How to make your brand stand out online
Your brand means everything. It’s not just about the visual (although that’s important), it’s about everything you stand for.
How to make your brand stand out online is something I’m often asked about. Your brand means everything. It’s not just about the visual (although that’s important), it’s about everything you stand for, such as:
- the experience your customers will have
- how you make them feel
- emotional connections
- your reputation
- your values, ethics and your culture
If you think of it like that, it really is a bit of a minefield.
Establishing your brand takes time and the reality is, it may change as your business develops but the key to change is knowing when and how it should happen.
When you’re a small business owner, it can be difficult to understand how to make your brand stand out. How can you do it differently? But remember, even Richard Branson started with a market stall and I would bet anything that you can tell me what his brand is now.
If you get it right, you could take even the most saturated markets and make it your own.
What's in a brand?
When we think of brands, we think of the likes of Coca Cola and McDonalds because their visual is almost ingrained in our minds but let’s talk about another one that you may not think of first.
John Lewis – If I asked what John Lewis’s logo is, you may struggle to tell me. You could probably tell me their brand colours but that’s as far as it would go.
But, if I asked you what you think of when you think about john Lewis, I’m willing to bet you would immediately think about Christmas.
John Lewis caught on quickly to the impact a great Christmas advert could have. What they advertise is almost irrelevant because every year, they get the emotional connection just right.
They make you feel all warm and fuzzy and it’s now even a symbol of the Christmas season beginning.
That’s great branding.
Once tempted, you head over to their website and what do you find? Brilliant imagery.
The pictures you are greeted with get the imagination juices flowing and suddenly your mind has wandered into your dream room. You can imagine those pots and pans hanging from your kitchen shelf. You can see your dining room table laid out perfectly, ready to greet guests.
John Lewis has got you. It’s caught you in its trap and now there’s no escape. It’s created a feeling and a want inside you that you just can’t stop thinking about it.
That’s great branding.
When I said at the start that a brand isn’t just about the visual, here’s what I meant.
When you know who you are as a brand, you know what you stand for. You know your values, ethics and culture and most importantly, you know who your audience is and how to connect with them emotionally, then the visual comes into play. Your visual brand will ultimately bring it all to life and great photography is an absolute must.
So, how do you make your brand stand out?
1 – Create a brand that’s unique to you
Before you start, have a long brain storming session and figure out who you are and what you want to be known for. Have a look at your competitors and then visualise how you want to look. It’s so important to put your personality into it. You are unique, your business is unique, and your brand must be unique.
2 – Make sure your brand appeals to the right audience
Establishing your target audience is probably one of the hardest tasks of a business owner. Especially if you have several products or services. Getting to know who they are and what appeals to them is imperative if you want your brand to connect with them. If you don’t get inside their head, how can you expect to catch their attention?
3 – Keep your brand consistent
Your visual brand should be everywhere. On social media, your website, flyers, adverts and any other marketing material. Your messages can change but your brand should not. It should be instantly recognisable so having multiple images to play with is a must.
4 – Invest in a Personal Branding Photographer
If you want others to take your brand seriously, then you need to first. By investing in a great branding photographer, they will be able to take the vision you have in your head and bring it to life. They know how to get to your customers. They know how to emotionally connect so if you really want to stand out, bring in the experts.
5 – Establish your goals
The one thing you need to do before all of this is establish your goals. What is it you want to achieve from your brand? It’s not enough to say ‘I want more customers’, creating a brand is a long-term approach so your goals need to represent that.
Always here for advice if you need it. Happy branding!
Need a little help with your brand?
We offer free 30 minute consultations. So if you’d like some help or advice on how to make your brand stand out online, book a date and time that’s convenient for you and we’ll bounce some ideas around.