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How to Stand Out in a Crowded Market with Branding - Ep. 23

Updated: Dec 26, 2023



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There are so many small businesses out there that in order to be able to get those consistent clients you need to be able to stand out from your competitors. A great way to stand out in a crowded market is to use the power of branding. Branding has a reputation where people think it’s only there to make things look pretty but there’s so much more to it. Branding is about creating a unique visual identity that really resonates with your audience it helps your business tell a story, and it gives your business a unique design style that is what's going to set you apart from everyone else. If you're ready to see how branding can help your business stick out for everyone else let's dive in.

1. Branding helps you understand your target audience so you can create a sense of community that people want to be a part of

The first thing you need to know about standing out in a crowded market is to understand who you're speaking to and this is your target audience. I want you to know who they are, and what are their preferences and pain points. Really understanding your target audience and being able to get inside their heads and understand what kind of visuals will appeal to them will help your branding tremendously. Look at Harley Davidson for example. They are successful because they have a deep understanding of who they're speaking to and you can see that in their designs and they're messaging. The visuals of their brand are more masculine but not so masculine that it alienates women. They understand that the people buying their products are both men and women so they are careful with designing visuals that are neither 100% geared towards men and are still appealing to women. When people are buying a Harley Davidson they're not just buying another motorcycle. They are buying freedom, American craftsmanship American values. Having a Harley Davidson is a reflection of the brand values and wearing the Harley Davidson logo is not just a symbol. It’s a badge of honor.

Beyond just the physical design Harley Davidson has a unique community and lifestyle around it's brand they have events like rallies and rides and there's just a nice sense of camaraderie among their riders. All of that is part of their branding and it’s a big part of their success.

Visuals, values, and community are how branding helps them stick out from other motorcycle brands.



2. Defining Your Brand Identity Makes Your Business Memorable

When you have a brand identity in place it's going to be the visual representation of your business that people need to connect with you. That's why businesses have logos, specific color schemes, specific typography to use, and an overall design style that they use consistently. Having this strong and distinctive look is essential for standing out.


Imagine if all pasta brands had the exact same packaging design. When you go to the store to buy a box since they all look the same none will be memorable and when you go back to buy the same pasta you're going to have a hard time finding that exact same brand and you will end up buying a random box.


That memorable and easily identifiable brand identity is an easy way to tell your story and to make yourself known by just being you. Think of the Nike swoosh or Coca-Cola's iconic red and white color scheme—these elements are instantly recognizable and have played a pivotal role in helping these brands stick out.

Creating or refining your brand identity is an investment in your long-term success. It's not just about having a pretty logo; it's about crafting an identity that tells your story and resonates with your target audience.

3. Branding Makes You Look More Professional and Helps You Land Clients or Sell Products

If you're at the store and you have two shampoo bottles, they are the same price, they smell the same and the only thing that's going to set them apart and make you choose one over the other is going to be the packaging of the bottle.

Most likely you’re going to choose the one that looks more professional. If one bottle uses comic sans is kind of messy, there’s no clear color palette, and just looks like someone did it in their garage then you're probably going to choose the other bottle that was obviously created by a professional, it's easy to read, looks high end and gives you that, oh that’s cool feeling. Not to mention that the more professional something looks the more we trust it.


It may sound harsh to judge a book by its cover but we do it all the time, it's just part of our survival skills. Do you trust the guy in the suit or the guy in ripped old and dirty clothes? The same idea works with your business. Now look at your own business do you have branding in place? If you don't then a competing brand that has branded their business and has that professional look and feel they're automatically going to scale quicker simply because they have a really great first impression which makes customers want to learn more about their business over yours.

If you're in need of an affordable way to create your visual brand I have a DIY Brand Yourself in 5 Days mini-course that's under $300 where I teach you my branding process that I use for my clients. You can get more info at www.zsquaredstudio.com/diybrand. Ill show you step by step how to choose your fonts, colors and brand style in a method based on strategy and intention.

4. Emotional Connection through Branding Will Help You Achieve Long Term Success

It’s funny we were watching Family Guy the other day and they were talking about Yahoo and how they don't have a corporate identity, they haven't really rebranded or updated their content. They've pretty much just been exactly the same from when they started and that really keeps them from scaling because they don't have any emotional connection with their viewers.


Google on the other hand, even though they have an incredibly simple homepage they change it up every once in a while with some beautiful artist-created designs. Something as simple as that has created a lot of emotional connections with their users. They see the artwork, think it’s fun, moving, neat, empowering, whatever emotion comes up and they just wanna keep using it because there is that sense of community. Yahoo simply exists and will never be as big as Google as long as they stay the same.

5. Innovative Designs Will Help You Turn Heads

Innovation is going to be what keeps you ahead of a crowded market. Especially because design trends and technologies evolve rapidly and if your business is able to embrace these changes then you're able to grow with your audience and stick out from other businesses who stay the same. Imagine you're scrolling on Instagram and all of the posts are still but all of a sudden you run into a post that has a lot of moving graphics. That design is going to stick out because it's different and innovative. You stop and read the post and maybe you love it so much that you head over to the profile and you follow that person. All because of one post that stuck out to you and made you stop scrolling. The power of design and branding really is that simple. If you are checking out multiple dentist websites and one of the websites has a plain white background, generic fonts, and stock images that you've seen before it's not going to be as memorable and exciting as the website with an obvious color scheme, intentionally chosen fonts that gives off professional and fun vibes, and professional photos of the dentist, staff and office. The latter website makes you feel at home and at ease because the personality that was put into the website comes off as professional, caring, and all in. When it comes to marketing, it's all about sticking out by being your authentic self. That's why you shouldn't copy other businesses' visuals. What works for them will not work for you because you're not staying authentic and true to yourself.


You know those coming-of-age teenage movies where all they want is to fit in? They change everything about their personality including the way they dress to match the trends like the popular kids.


They are never truly happy until they go back to their authentic selves. When they change everything to match the popular kids they just end up blending in and it never feels quite right.


Instead of staying with the trends stay true to yourself and do you. Those fresh innovative ideas are what are going to help you stand out from everyone else. If a bright neon pink color is trending don't use it because it's popular stick to your color palette because it's what makes you, you, that's what makes you different.


Recap

I truly believe that branding is the only way to help you stand out from the crowd. Remember that branding is not just about visuals. It's about the tone of voice you want to use with your customers. The stories that you want to share, the values that you have in your business. That's all part of your branding, and once you really nail all of that down that whole persona, that is how you're going to stick out from everyone else.


As always here are the 5 ways that branding can help you stick out from a crowded market. 1. Branding helps you understand your target audience so you can create a sense of

community that people want to be a part of

2. Defining Your Brand Identity Makes Your Business Memorable

3. Branding Makes You Look More Professional and Helps You Land Clients or Sell

Products

4. Emotional Connection through Branding Will Help You Achieve Long Term Success

5. Innovative Designs Will Help You Turn Heads If you're interested in creating a brand for your business check out my Design Your Brand in 5 Days mini course at www.zsquaredstudio.com/DIYbrand it's a great starting place to start building your brand from a solid framework. Thanks all I have for you today, have a great day and happy designing! Z Squared Studio is a Brand and Web Design Studio based in Juneau, Alaska. Check out www.zsquaredstudio.com for custom brand design, logo design, or web design.



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