Brands that do it right: what makes a great brand and how to get inspired
There’s so much noise out there that it can be difficult to discern who’s doing it right and who’s just building on trends. Because we care about intentionality over here and we want to teach you to know the difference between fluff and substance, we felt compelled to dig a little deeper and talk about what a brand actually, dissect a few of our favorite ones and show you how you can get inspired to do it your own way.
What is a brand?
A brand is an intangible marketing or business concept that helps people identify a company, product, or individual. People often confuse brands with logos, slogans, or other recognizable marks, but these are not brands, they are merely marketing tools that help promote said goods and services.
When looking at this definition, one word stands out: intangible. By intangible, we mean something that goes beyond the palpable reality of your product or service (be it a physical or digital one). It’s something you cannot identify other than by adding an emotional layer to your product or service. And in doing so, you create a bond with your consumer, you make them feel things that have little to do with your actual product features or service outcomes.
The goal of a brand is to create something bigger than itself, thus creating brand equity. This is without a doubt the most difficult part of brand building, but it is also the most crucial one. Without a strong brand (and let’s repeat, by brand, we don’t mean a logo or a tagline, we mean a strategical backbone that defines your unique positioning), chances are your visual identity will blend in with the rest of what’s out there, and you won’t be able to engage with your target audience and build that emotional connection which eventually would lead to trust.
We get people to trust us, but how?
Trust is a tricky thing – it’s quite hard to build, and it’s even harder to maintain. But you must strive to do so in order to build a sustainable business. When there’s trust, there’s loyalty, and there’s loyalty, there’s often growth in it for your brand.
In an oversaturated market with ever-changing consumer trends, content fatigue, advertising overload and societal values sometimes in flux, building trust can seem challenging. The first step is to craft a vision for your brand that resonates with people and makes them want to buy into your promise is definitely a challenge. We’ve searched high and low to bring you a few of the ones we think are doing a pretty solid job at building trust, owning their values, staying consistent and responding to consumer needs without compromising on their beliefs. Here they are…
Merchery: finding the right niche
Good merch, for good brands. Merchery is on a mission to make corporate merch beautiful & sustainable. Their brand is extremely consistent and they embody their ethos in the best way possible: no fluff marketing, transparent messaging, valuable information and most of all: they listened to what the market needed and created something new.
Get inspired: observe the market, study your industry, identify the potential gaps and craft a product or service that people are craving and that is either not available, or needs to be delivered to consumers differently.
Tonic Site Shop: unfiltered honesty
Jen and Jeff are not afraid to spill the proverbial tea – or better yet, the tasty margarita. Tonic makes customizable Showit websites and their content is always thought-provoking, personal and highly relatable. How refreshing! Best consumed with a cold cocktail in hand. And, no, we’re not drinking coffee, because nobody cares – if you know, you know.
Get inspired: unearth your core beliefs and don’t be afraid to voice your opinion. You want to attract the right people AND repel the ones that don’t fit your vision. You’re not for everyone, and you need to be brave enough to embody that.
Sundream: remaining authentic
Summer is our season, so it’s no surprise we’re obsessed with this sunny, salty, down-to-earth coffee brand. Sundream’s aesthetic is absolutely gorgeous and truly represents what they stand for: a laid-back, warm & approachable coffee label. As they say, “This way to brighter days.” Wait up! We’re coming.
Get inspired: tap into your passions and your unique personality traits. Remember: people buy from people (wink to my friend Diana Davis Creative). The power of a brand sometimes lies in the simplest of things: making people feel good by portraying an honest version of who you are and remaining down-to-earth. And what better way to do that than by building your brand around what YOU love. The more authentic you are, the easier it will be for them to trust you.
Dae Hair : becoming bigger than yourself
Clean and simple desert-derived haircare. Their goal: make hair care more accessible, while making the world a better place. Dae Hair’s brand is everything you’d expect them to be: bright, yet delicate, inclusive, transparent and geared towards making their consumers feel heard and special. If you’re looking for a good dose of sunshine and a sprinkle of adventure, look no further!
Get inspired: nowadays, people care about a lot of things, not just themselves and so should you. Stand for something, be of service to others and talk about it so people get to know what you believe in and feel a part of something bigger.
Necessaire: embracing minimalism
Nécessaire is a clean & sustainable skincare brand. Their mission is to emphasize on how important our skin is in day-to-day life for everyone, no matter their age, ethnicity or gender. And they do it by going against the grain: essential products & ingredients, stripped-back photography, minimalistic packaging.
Get inspired: less is truly more and you should embrace that, no matter what your brand is about. People need help simplifying their life and streamlining their choices, so if you position yourself as someone who can help them do that by providing something good, simple and straight-forward, your messaging will become that much clearer and you can let your products or services speak for themselves.