Your business needs a distinct, visibly identifiable brand – a look, if you will, that can be seen anywhere your customer encounters you, whether that’s in person, online, on social media, signage, or some other platform. There’s a tendency in several industries for the majority of businesses to have stylistic elements in common – bridal wear retailers is one example; athletic shoes are another. It’s a type of tunnel vision that results in a lot of ads that look alike, websites that can’t easily be distinguished one from another and lackluster social media – nothing stands out, because everyone’s doing the same thing.
If you’re in this situation, know that it is possible to make a change. We’ve seen this happen in the financial services industry. For ages, any branding they did was overwhelmingly staid and conservative; over the course of the last decade or so, we’ve seen that change, with several institutions, such as Ally and Ing, embracing far more distinctive, casual branding to great effect.
Making changes begins by making a concerted effort to look outside of your industry for branding ideas and inspiration. It’s time to take a walk around the neighborhood and see what other businesses are doing to promote themselves. You can break out of tunnel vision both by looking at other industries and cultural references. Apple’s retail locations were so impactful because they didn’t look like any other store – but their aesthetic did have more than a few traits in common with aerospace industry branding as well as futuristic TV shows.
It’s a process that can take some time. Pinterest is a valuable tool to use that can help you figure out how you’d like your business’ branding to evolve. Take advantage of the Secret Board feature to give yourself a place to collate images of design elements you’re considering that’s totally private – only you can see them. Having a suite of materials you find inspiring to reference can be a tremendous asset to your graphic designer or web developer.