15 entrepreneurs on making their brands stand out
It takes courage to leave the safety of industry norms and really step into your unique brand style. We asked influential and experienced entrepreneurs from a variety of businesses to answer this question:
What’s your favorite way to make your brand stand out?
Thank you to everyone who responded! Here’s what you had to say.
Well my packaging of course! I knew that if I want to stand out in a sea of crappy, plastic bagged, princess underwear I needed packaging that would make people stop and check us out. Boutiques, gift stores, large retailers – they all need to see our packaging as unique, on brand and practical.
The other thing that makes us stand out is using wedgies, butt, and underwear in our copy – most people don’t think twice about what underwear their kids are wearing… my mission is to change this.
The social media world, although ‘social, trendy, and casual’ is actually quite stuffy. It is all about ‘how to do things right’, ‘when to do things’, ‘what to say’, and ‘what not to say’. Having to stick to many of these rules for clients, by the end of the day I need freedom!
My brand stands out for 2 reasons. 1) I am real. I talk how I talk and I don’t try to ‘sell’ anything. The other reason is far more ‘groundbreaking’. 2) ELEPHANTS! See what I did there? I break out of the constant stream of social media tips and share elephant videos you’ll ‘never forget’ – for people who are just as tired of the ‘here’s more you need to do so you don’t suck’ content that streams out of my industry. So if you like elephant videos mixed with a few pretty casual examples of social media gone right – Facebook’s got it!
My business operates within a very crowded and popular market – coaching and business support for entrepreneurs. To stand out I’ve narrowed my focus to have a very critical, yet overlooked conversation in the entrepreneurial space – leadership, and more specifically, women’s leadership.
I believe now more than ever, women are poised to make massive cultural change and generate tremendous wealth through the vehicle of small business ownership. And that will only happen if they have the clarity, confidence and capacity to claim their space and step up as leaders. That’s what I help them do through leadership training, coaching and masterminding.
On a light note, there are few brand touches that don’t include reference to my inordinate love of coffee. This has become a well-known brand marker for me, with clients sending me all forms of coffee products over the years to say thanks.
Want to see both in action? Join me in my free community for women leaders, change-makers and entrepreneurs – The Leadership League Coffeehouse (powered by care and caffeine).
Standing out in the weight loss industry is a challenging thing to do! My goal has always been to share the science behind healthy weight loss and really give women the knowledge and support they need so that they can finally be successful.
I seem to communicate best either in front of a camera or behind a microphone so I started implementing video early on in my business with starting my YouTube channel. I just started my own podcast up as well, it’s called ENERGY To Thrive. I speak so much easier than I write and I was ready to build this platform to share my opinions and viewpoints on health and weight loss.
Both of these things have required a tremendous amount of courage and a true willingness (and desire) to be both seen and heard. I dug deep to find my confidence and it’s been worth every hand sweating moment with the emails I get back about how my words made a difference to someone.
My brand is still evolving as I myself evolve. That said I love using my humour to make The Write Harle stand out. Making people enjoy discovering their unique voice and brand message has been a game-changer for me as I used to hide the humour, thinking “professional” meant “no laughter.” Not bringing this full aspect of my brand certainly hurt the growth of my business because there wasn’t any real authenticity in how I delivered my company. Blah! Now, people know that they’ll receive quality content, while enjoying their discoveries about their own brand along the way because of a well-timed pun.
At leonadevinne.com my brand is all about evoking a feeling of joy. The branding is colourful, clean and there’s even some confetti. I help people find that sweet intersection of doing what they love, in their unique way, to make a difference that only they can – which I playfully refer to as their Joy Spot. My desire is to spark joy in peoples lives so they can live and work full out. My brand is more about how people will feel when we get a chance to work together and so not about “pick me’. My brand is fun, no BS, and a bit unconventional – just like the clients I work with.
Being bold can be as simple as just doing what you want to do. I want to artfully document the beautiful and ordinary lives of families. That means shifting the mindset of families from more static, ‘in-the-park’ shoots to those that celebrate their everyday. I have found I really have to nudge… or shove… folks to try this!! To inspire clients, I created “Pop-up Specials”. The specials focus on ideas that document their lives … playing with their new puppy, spending a day at the cottage, hiking together in the mountains, making chocolate chip cookies. These are such powerful ways to tell the story of a family. These are the images that families will treasure most. The specials encourage clients to try something new (with a bonus for them!) and I satisfy my creative appetite. The result? Building my brand in a remarkable and memorable way.
As a nutritionist, I am competing to stand out in a very over-crowded food and health space. I try to stand out in 2 ways.
1) I try to get through to people’s minds through their eyes! I include bright and vibrant pictures of food in my blogs posts and recipes. For example, in my images, I overlay brand-consistent text so people can see how that image is related to the blog I am sharing. See an example here.
2) I try to get through to people’s minds through their stomachs! I love to show people how to energize their nutrition through cooking classes and food demonstrations. Over the last few years I have offered healthy cooking classes. This fall, I will expand my live cooking classes and demonstrations to video.
One of our core values is inclusiveness. We make it a major priority to make everyone feel welcome, appreciated, and able to do one of our classes, no matter their fitness level. We strive to portray this in our social media accounts. We make our posts casual, and reflective of our fun, easy going atmosphere. We try to show that the owners and instructors are relatable, and have busy lives and challenges just like anyone else. And also are just so awesome that people will want to come check out their classes! (example 1, example 2, example 3)
In addition to this, we also take the time to highlight our awesome community of riders. Their accomplishments, their challenges, and their experiences at our studios. We get a lot of social media interaction when we make these really personalized posts. (example 4, example 5, example 6)
Lastly, a little humour goes a long way! Sometimes just a post to make people laugh is needed! Hashtags are important, so we always include key hashtags for our industry. But quite often we’ll sneak in a couple funny hashtags that enhance our post or our message, and dedicated followers start to look for these in our posts! (example 7, example 8, example 9, example 10)
I’m not skilled at copyrighting, but it’s so important to have a brand that speaks to your target client! I’ve found surveys to be extremely helpful in helping me speak to my clients and write better copy. I surveyed my email list about their struggles with feeding their family, and they came back with responses that can helped mold services and speak directly to them in their own words. For example on my Dinnertime Rescue page, my clients used the words “frustrated, overwhelmed, exhausted and guilty” when it comes to how they feel about feeding their family. I’ve used those same words on my sales page – no creativity required!
When I started my YouTube channel I wasn’t sure what I was going to do. As I go into my third year as a creator on YouTube, being myself is how I set my brand apart from others. I like to include my family in my videos and produce content that others can relate to. My videos reflect who I am and the knowledge that I am inspiring other women around the world is why I produce videos. I have included a link below to one of my most recent vlogs.
As you know, one of my goals for my brand was to be true to my personality and style of coaching and communication and that has always been non-sugar coated, hard hitting and to the point. I recently did some personality testing that labelled me as “insensitive and condescending” I guess that’s what you get for telling it like it is! When I had my professional headshots done, Janet helped me to create my famous finger wagging pose and I have used this pic a few times now on social media, the goal to promote a branding message for my ideal clients, that I want them to take their business seriously! I want them to be successful and enjoy a business lifestyle that gets them results, and you can’t do that if you are not in it to win. So quit making excuses and reasons why you can’t and pull yourself together!
I am a purple-o-phile, and I’m not afraid to show it! Amethyst, part of my business name, is a purple gem and I adore purple things. On an extreme day you can find me working on my purple laptop, drinking from my purple mug, wearing purple shoes and purple shirt, (my glasses are black and purple), making notes on my purple notepad with a purple pen. When I hurt my knee and started walking with a cane, guess what colour I painted it? Purple! My website is of course purple, as are two of my brand colours. Some people think a purple website is overwhelming, but I find it has attracted exactly the right clients for me.
Image of some of my purple-ness: https://www.instagram.com/p/BYXh5UqlVLq/
The home staging industry is a very visual industry and our clients always look for that beautiful transformation of properties. Often pictures are posted of the work that has been done but to stand out in this market and brand myself and my company, I have opted to add video to my portfolio.
Using Facebook Live, I give viewers a peek into the work that is put into these home staging projects and explain to them, why staging a home for sale, is a crucial part of the sales process. I tune in on location, with live video which also gives my potential clients a chance, to get to know me, the home stager they will refer to their clients. Video makes our staging process transparent and unique and gives our service the extra edge sellers and Realtors are looking for.
My goal is to not only showcase the property for sale but also educate the viewers on the staging process. Being live on location, there is no chance for a re-do. Just as there is no chance for a re-do in staging. You only get one chance for a spectacular first impression, being online or showing a property in person. Staging Calgary always sets the stage for success so beautiful pictures can be taken of every room, which will improve online traffic and number of showings. We make that important connection buyers are looking for, as purchasing a home, is a very emotional process. And – we have fun in the process.
I do my very best to make sure every customer I have the opportunity to interact with gets the absolute best purchase experience possible. I often tell my cusotmers that if they live long enough they may get lucky and meet someone who loves motorcycles as much as I do but they’ll never meet anyone who loves them more! That person just doesn’t exist! As a result, my ultimate goal isn’t to just sell another Harley-Davidson but to make sure that customer gets out of motorcycling what I do.
Over the years, I’ve seen and navigated almost every type of design scenario and budget. I know the costly consequences of cutting corners, patching together tech solutions, using multiple designers to save a buck, and not planning ahead. It sucks in every way: time, energy, money, and reputation.
Today, my business is focused on serving only serious entrepreneurs who are past the allure of bootstrapping and DIY alternatives. The brand packages I offer are investments in fully-customized and robust solutions of graphic design, web design, and video services. It’s a huge honor to be trusted with design and branding for a business. Therefore, it’s my obligation to be upfront, honest, and transparent to achieve the very best results. Personalities and design styles have to click before I say yes to a new project. Because I’m truly “fueled by non-conformity”, entrepreneurs ready to blaze trails and shatter norms might enjoy a slight advantage…