It's the holiday season, and chances are you've been doing some shopping. You know the drill: walk into a high-end store and gaze across from wall to wall at the products meticulously and beautifully positioned. Shoppers on a mission speed walking into the store waft the brand's distinct smell—be it a perfume, fresh cuts of leather, or the all familiar 'new Apple product' scent. You're one card swipe (ugh, or chip insert) away from the class, style, and grace of owning or gifting a real conversation starter.
Before you even walked into the store, you made a conscious decision to buy at a high-end shop in the first place—but why? A discount store was easily the same distance, if not closer. Maybe you wanted to impress you new bae (are we still using this term?) by saying, "Hey I think you're the real deal and by giving you this expensive thing I'm investing for the long haul" through a luxury handbag or precious jewelry.
There are many psychological reasons why branding plays such a pivotal role in the buying process, but one thing, in particular, ensures the longevity of business: enter, brand equity.
Below are X simple ways to start increasing your company's brand equity without changing your current product, service, or process:
1. Use better printing methods.
If you've ever received an invite to a formal event, the chances are that the physical invitation was letterpressed (you can feel the impression of the letters on the paper). Aside from the sentimental value of the event and memories involved, it was probably difficult to throw away something printed so nicely. Using methods like letterpress, gold foil, embossing, etc. can make your marketing materials especially challenging for a consumer to toss, yet alone forget.
2. Incorporate art into your product or branding.
Teaming up with an artist whose work and style compliment your product or service can add brand equity for the same reason that art collectors pay big money. Now, you can't just take some art you found on the internet somewhere, slap it on your brand, and call it a day (see: stealing, art theft, etc.) The right way to go about this is a collaboration where an artist creates a one of a kind work for a product, pop-up event, or in-store display. Also, pay them suitably—they're professionals.
3. Create a unique concept for marketing.
This one requires a little more creative juices—but still attainable nonetheless. Coming up with a unique idea for marketing materials swiftly cuts through the clutter of everything your competition is doing. Focus on you and what your business brings to the table—is there something historically unique about what you do or make? Is your geographic location (or lack thereof) unique? What's the one thing you do better than anyone else? Capitalize on what makes your business yours.
4. Start from the inside out.
The most successful brands are genuine to whoever created it. Look at aspirational brands like Apple and Virgin for example. Apple is Apple because of Steve Jobs, and Virgin wouldn't be what it is without Sir Richard Branson. Still not convinced? Think of TOMS, Tesla, and Patagonia—all of these brands have a unique mission and the founder to back it up.
5. Create a solid brand strategy for the next year.
A successful brand should have a solid brand strategy that is flexible enough to adapt to changing circumstances. So what does one look like? Often we see brands hiring out one-off freelancers to do what we like to call "patch-jobs," resulting in a highly inconsistent brand with no strategy behind it. Imagine if the big brands mentioned above only relied on one-off freelancers for design projects here and there—they wouldn't be the big brands that they are today. A solid brand strategy isn't easy, but luckily you're in the right spot. Americano helps build brands from the ground up—no matter how big of a dumpster fire your current design situation might be. Our discovery process allows us to connect the dots about your business and create a lasting brand strategy for years to come.