Branding elements for beginners – being different or distinctive?
Have you ever heard that your branding elements should be different from your competitors’. There is a lot of pressure in this race. But is being different so important? While specialists are not sure about it, there is one thing they know for sure – being distinctive helps your company grow.
Standing from the crowd is one of the most crucial elements of successful branding. But is it the same as being different? Is being different even possible in the world where shops are full of items, where we have endless options and unlimited choice?
Standing out in the world of million options?
Branding elements, while used well, can help you to create a strong image among your audience and attract more people. These items are a reason why customers remember you and why they notice you at the first place.
I’d like to confess. I hate buying shoes. Going from store to store, taking off my sneakers, going back and forth through walls of is definitely not for me. I own only a few necessary pairs and I wear them till they die. I don’t have any special connection with shoes like some people do.
Ok, but even I have my favourite brands. And when I consider buying a pair I always go to their website first. I would say these shoes are no different than the others. They just fulfil their purpose. So what makes me choose these over the others.
TOMS are solid and have pretty patterns, but so many of other brands out there too. Besides their mission (for every pair you buy they donate one pair for kids in need), they’re easy to spot on the street because of their unique and cute label on the back of the shoe. I remember I saw the first time when I was visiting my sister in London more than 10 years ago. Since then, I’ve been seeing them from time to time and I wanted them more and more.
TOMS’ shoes have the same purpose as any other shoes, but they stand out because of the brand’s components and how the company use them in its communication.
Companies know the power of well-designed brand identity, they know which elements and which features make them stand out and they know how to use them to differentiate their products from the competitors. So people like me will spot them, will remember them, will recognize them and want to have them.
Examples of branding elements that can make you distinctive
There are basic branding elements that every company should consider to have. A basic package should include a logo ( read what mistakes to avoid while working on your logo design), colour palette, typography, a layout of print materials, style of photos or illustrations. On top of it, depends on your company’s needs, you can add packaging layouts, social media and digital materials, signage and more. The list is flexible, but the most important is to be consistent. While some elements can change you should decide what are the basic, constant items that never change. Very often it’s going to be logo and typography and colour way.
Example of brands that use distinctive branding elements and doing it well
You probably came across Milka chocolate. What do you see when you think about it? Probably a colour purple and their famous cow. There is always yummy looking logo which reminds a wave of milk. In this case logo, a graphic element (a cow) and colours are the distinct elements that make this brand stand out. It’s hard to mistake it from any other chocolate on the shelf – even Cadbury’s products (which are purple as well).
Another example is Nike with its famous swoosh. A few years ago Nike went through rebranding process and decided to get rid of the company’s name from the logo. Crazy right? But the swoosh is so widely recognizable that the company decided to take this risky step. In this case, the dynamic symbol is clearly their distinctive branding element that makes their brand recognizable.
Eating crisps is my guilty pleasure and one of my favourite brand is Pringle’s. Who doesn’t know red or green tubes full of goodies? Their packaging become so famous and helped them to stand out in the stores. This year for International Women’s Day they also decided to create a new version of their cheerful mascot and created a female version of it. The style is unmistakable. If you know the brand you will recognize it. In this case – packaging and logo design are elements that make the brand stand out.
Few simple tips on how to create distinct branding elements and be recognizable
- Find your own voice – when you choose typography, colours and picture don’t try to copy brands that are already there. Look for your unique voice and style.
- Be consistent – the key to success in consistency. If you have to create a series of packaging – make sure that you use the same colour scheme, the same typography and layout. What you want to archive is that even without a logo people will recognize your brand.
- Observe your competitors but don’t copy – To differentiate your brand from others you need to know your industry and what your competitors do. li>
- Know which elements to leave and which can be changed – when you introduce a new element to your identity make sure you put it with already existing ones, so people will still associate it with your brand.
- Create the guidelines and list of rules – when you already have your logo, colour scheme follow a brandbook created by the designer and make sure you apply these rules to every single material you produce.
- Know your audience and what they value – when you work on your brand identity think about the consumers. Make sure the design and communication are tailored to their needs. You have to know your target group, what they need and what they’re looking for. This can be a long process but will pay you off for sure. The right designer and strategist will give you advice on how to create a perfect brand identity.
Why should I care about distinct branding elements?
After reading this article it can be already clear for you, but let’s say it once again. Creating brand identity is a process and requires strategy. Knowing which elements are characteristic enough to make you stand out will help you to
- Get more exposure
- Attract your customer attention
- Make them remember you
- Help them to make a choice and buy your products
- Again, remember you and come back for more
- Notice your new products even when they haven’t known about it yet\
This list can be even longer…
Working on brand identity can be time-consuming and very demanding. But making your brand stand out should be one of the most important things to take care of. A consumer has just a few seconds to notice your product and choose it among hundreds of others. Using right branding elements in the consistent way will help your clients to make connections and use your products.
Hi, my name is Magdalena. Brand designer and strategist with a passion for creative thinking, travels, and coffee. I'm inspired by new challenges and everyday life. I observe, read and listen. That's how I learn and gain experience to use it in my works.