Ahoy Matey: Standing Out in a Sea of Brand Sameness


One is not like the other—at least that’s how it should be when it comes to your brand. Unfortunately, many brands appear to simply be echoing the landscape around them, virtually drowning themselves in a sea of “not that different.”

We get it, it can be tough to differentiate yourself and your brand when the internet has essentially leveled the playing field for everyone, big and small. You have to crawl and drag yourself from the pit of the deep to make yourself heard above all the noise. No small feat!

One of the biggest things you need to keep in mind is that your branding and biz strategies should be focused on the long-game. Every journey comes with highs and lows, but it’s only the folks who ride it out and don’t waiver that ultimately succeed.

If you want to “rise to the top,” you simply can’t get distracted by short-term gains or losses. They are distractions.

So how does a business go about differentiating itself from similar businesses? Good old-fashioned story-telling, dear readers. Your brand identity is shaped by the story you tell. It’s the story that leaves a lasting impression on your customers and clients, even when they can’t put a finger on why they are so dang attracted to your brand! Where to begin?

Draw Your Archetype

Take a page from fiction’s playbook and use Carl Jung’s popular archetypes to create a story around easily recognizable character traits. There are 12 of them to pull inspiration from.

  • Ruler
  • Magician
  • Creator
  • Innocent
  • Caregiver
  • Lover
  • Jester
  • Outlaw
  • Hero
  • Everyman
  • Sage
  • Explorer

Each of these character archetypes represents different traits of human motivations that you can use very successfully to craft your brand story.

It’s your job—or the job of your branding firm—to decide if an archetype is a suitable device to use for your brand and nail down which one best represents the story you are trying to weave.

Tease Out Your Differential

What—specifically—makes you different from other businesses in your industry? It may not always be super obvious, but you should be able to settle on one defining feature that is different from your competition. Even when the difference is subtle it can still be impactful if you frame it within a compelling brand story.

Keep Things Schematic

In other words, what kind of colors and hues represent your brand best? Bold and bright? Soft and pastel? You’ll want your color scheme for your website and marketing collateral to align with the story you are telling.

For instance, if your business caters to the parents of young children, you might choose bold, primary colors for your branding palette. If your business caters to lumberjacks, you might perhaps choose woodsy browns and greens for your branding palette.

Consistency is Your Friend

Consistency is vital. You’ll want to make sure you’re consistent all across the board, from your color scheme to the language and tone you use in your written materials, to your typography, your web design and layout, your packaging, your photos and illustrations, your social media platforms, and even your in-house communications. Remember the words “Coherent and Cohesive.”

If those words don’t describe your brand, it may be time to revisit some things and start tweaking. If tweaking is not something you feel confident doing yourself, consider consulting with a marketing and branding company that can guide you and give you expert advice.

Your Logo Matters

Your logo could be seen by some as the “face” of your brand. It’s arguably one of the most recognizable aspects of popular brands. Just think of a few of your favorites and what is the first thing that comes to mind?

It’s probably not their fonts or their web layout. Most people will recall their logo, which means your logo has to encapsulate everything your brand seeks to communicate, clearly and concisely.

Are there other ways to help your brand stand out? Of course, we could probably write a book! Hopefully, though, the tips we’ve shared here are helpful.

Crafting a compelling, unique brand story requires some creative thinking. Ask for help if you need it but never let your business stay stuck, drifting in the sea of sameness. Your success depends on it!

See Also:

Got a Problem? Talk to a Brand Designer

Speak Your Customer’s Love Language to Build A Brand They Love

Keep it Simple: The Beauty of Brand Simplicity

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