Tips on creating a strong brand with Tess of Smack Bang
Described by Ze Frank as "The emotional aftertaste that comes after an experience” (even a second-hand one) with a product, service, or company — a brand is the complete and intrinsic sum of your business’ attributes.
It is the narrative you weave to show people who you are, what you stand for and how you can improve your customers’ lives beyond the benefits of your product attributes. Your brand is the way you position yourself in the market, the way your customers perceive you and the reputation you create for yourself. It is your way of communicating to the world, and to your customers, who you are and just as importantly, who you are not.
A strong brand knows what it is, knows why it’s different and knows why people want it. We spoke to Tess Robinson, Founder & Creative Director of Smack Bang - a digital creative agency known for their refined aesthetic & analytical approach, on her top tips to creating an impactful brand…
Make people feel something
Branding isn’t just the product you buy. It’s the way that product makes you feel and who you believe you become when you buy it. It’s the identity, the connection, the badge of honour you give yourself when you engage and interact with it.
The secret to building a remarkable brand is building a remarkable story. A remarkable story doesn’t appeal to logic or rationale, but to our emotions and the identity we are seeking to make for ourselves. A strong brand invites its audience to respond with feeling. Your business needs a bigger, better and more heart-fuelled narrative: one that encompasses the amazing story of your company and makes people feel a certain way.
Foster a sense of belonging
Strong brands provide a sense of belonging. To create a cult brand is to perfect the art and science of creating a feeling of shared consciousness with others, supported by ritualistic behaviour. In this day and age of social media it is pure ingenuity when pulled off. When branding is done right, it has the power to create deep connection — both between product and consumer, and the tribe of consumers alike. Brands that will succeed long into the future are those that serve as a conduit for collective experiences, helping consumers to feel more at home in the world.
Be meaningfully different
Our brains are hardwired to notice what’s different, so building a cult brand means building a drastically different business offering that plays to its uniqueness. Back when the corner store only carried one type of flour, brand wasn’t important. However, in today’s e-commerce-driven world with virtually limitless purchase options, brand is everything.
The goal is to make a brand that is more meaningful in its pronounced difference that what sets it apart is the very thing that endears people to it.
Exceptional brands don’t chase trends, but rather are instrumental in pioneering them. When a brand understands itself, it can relax and focus on its own inherent value rather than peddling someone else’s. This very sentiment of being true to one’s self is instrumental in inspiring a loyal following for the right reasons.
Champion your why
Strong brands tell a captivating story founded on core values and an unwavering commitment to purpose. They wear their heart on their sleeve with their values defining the very heart of their branding and decision-making.
Loyal customers don’t buy products. Instead, they buy story, mission and purpose. In fact, today’s consumers are beginning to care about the why sometimes more than the what. Consumers are placing increasing pressure on brands to take full responsibility for their output and environmental impact. This is already starting to take effect, with brands both big and small clambering to close the loop and investing significant resources into ensuring their products and processes are regenerative and restorative by design. Positioning your why at the heart of everything you do helps create a brand foundation that is rock solid and attracts customers who are as well.