How to make your brand stand out from your competition
We were all born to be different, so why fit in?
A company, business, product, or service needs to be unique and offer something that no one else in their niche does.
Standing out is the new blending in. In fact – standing out has always been important.
When you look back at some of the most important things to have been created and brought to the world in just our lifetime, you’ll find at the centre someone, or some company that refused to follow the status quo.
Standing out is one of the most important parts of your business or organisation and your brand is at the centre of it all, wrapped around you, your values, and what you stand for.
Standing out is more than just a snazzy tagline though…
Being yourself is a rule for life. In fact, it’s one of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s tips for success – “Trust yourself”.
Being you and building a company or organisation around the values that you stand for are important. Actually, they’re damn sure the only thing you should do. If you don’t do that, then you become beige.
(No one likes beige!)
Your values can stem from what you think about your industry or niche or how you want to make changes in the way things are done.
There are so many examples of this being done well in our society from Virgin with their fun, party-like style which runs deep from the early days of Branson’s magazine publishing, to Ben & Jerry’s who care deeply about everyone in the supply chain from supplier to consumer.
Tone of voice
Once you’ve sorted yourself out and allowed the values to shine through, it’s time to set that all-important tone of voice.
How you say something is how you say anything. From answering the phone to the billboard ads and social media posts; your tone of voice matters.
This can be set by what you absolutely don’t say to the words and phrases that you align yourself to. Blogs, web pages, adverts, video text and interviews can then all be led by this.
Tone of voice goes deeper than copywriting, too. If you’re creating content for podcasts and YouTube (even if you’re appearing on channels) then the words you use, the opinions you have, the topics you discuss are all important to your brand.
You wouldn’t see Nike advertising at a wedding show.
Colours are a big part of your brand. You don’t need telling that, do you? Your brand should have a palette that you can use in content, marketing and more. Your colour palette will have been chosen as they complement each other. That way, when you create marketing material, slide decks, social media graphics or YouTube idents, it all looks purposeful. You will more than likely have a primary colour palette for your logo and a supporting colour secondary palette for the look and feel of wider marketing material. If you don’t already have this, it’s worth having a chat with your designer.
A good brand will have brand guidelines, and these will stipulate which colours are used and often where they’re used. You might have different colour logos, but they’re to be used in the right places. It’s done on purpose, not just because it looks good on the brand guidelines PDF! You’ll possibly have different colours depending on the format, so you’ll probably need a black and white version, a reversed-out version, and versions with different colour backgrounds, etc.
Just as your colour palette determines your colours, your brand guidelines will also guide you on the typography you use, too. And, as above, there will be type faces and fonts decided for use in certain places and situations.
Headings and paragraphs are often different but work hand-in-hand thanks to good branding.
This is often overlooked but it really shouldn’t be. Ask any photography fanatic and they’ll tell you about their style and their inspirations. Photographers take pictures in a certain way and therefore they have a brand within that. The way they shoot is the way you view them.
Your brand needs photography that reflects the brand and the values it stands for. Just look at any large brand online and their website photography is a core part of their brand and it’s consistent across the board.
Apple always display their products with a stark white, almost clinical style and EE are consistent in their pictures of middle class, trendy, forward-thinking and busy people with their iconic white bubble symbols laid over the images.
Your marketing and content
And then it all comes together. Your values, tone of voice, colour palette, typography, and images all come together, on-brand and on-message and help you create the message for your marketing, perfectly. Every time.
Marketing needs to be on point and your brand guidelines and brand values will drive this. No matter what you’re creating and what it’s for, your brand will then guide your message so (if you’ve done it well) your message will stand out.
Marketing needs to stand out. So much marketing doesn’t because it’s not following the brand ‘rules’, or they simply never had them in the first place. Either that or it’s inconsistent… or the message is just crap!
A modern business or organisation creates a lot of content. From simple email footers to full-blown campaigns, there are so many elements to consider. Your brand should guide each and every part of this if your message is to land.
It will not only help it stand out if you’ve really followed your beliefs, but it will become consistent and that helps the consumers of your content neatly (and unconsciously) knit all your messages together and recognise you instantly no matter where they see you.
Branding shouldn’t blend in and neither should you or your message…
Looking to get your message out there? Want to make a real impact? Let’s have a chat. Book a call now with our head honcho, Philippa Smart, and we’ll see what we can do about getting your brand noticed.