Up & Away: How to create a brand people love
How can you make people fall in love with your brand? Four business owners with a knack for wooing fans share their tips.
Co-founder, Willie Smiths Organic Cidery, Tasmania
Our brand philosophy is quite simple: we want to forge our own path by doing something different to what is currently available in the cider marketplace and we want to be honest and truthful in everything we do.
I think people connect with our brand so well for a number of reasons. Firstly, we are from somewhere real and we have a real story to tell. Secondly, we’re not just here to sell cider – we’re trying to help develop the cider and apple industries in Tasmania. We try to tell a bigger story than just cider. For example, on the mainland when we are selling we make sure we talk about all of the great craft offerings Tasmania has in the alcohol space. Finally, and probably the most important reason is that people can get to know us – by visiting us at markets and festivals, or through open days at the cidery.
My advice to others would be: you need to have a great product that you are passionate about and believe in 100 per cent. Product quality is the first, second, third and fourth thing we focus on, as without that you have no chance. Next you need to be able to capture the passion and emotion of the product you have created and the philosophy you have behind it in your labelling and packaging. Finally, you need to build a community of like-minded people who share your ideas. A brand is much more than a logo; it’s a system of beliefs that people can associate themselves with and feel connected to. It’s much more than a product; it’s a way of living or a way of being.
"A brand is much more than a logo; it’s a system of beliefs that people can associate themselves with and feel connected to."
When I asked my peers and social media followers what they loved about my brand, they said: honesty, quirkiness, no-nonsense attitude, approachability, tenacity, generosity and that fact I practise what I preach.
I sound awesome, don’t I? I want to be my best mate.
As for advice to others, I would say ‘be yourself, everyone else is taken’ but I reckon someone else will say that. So I’d say: think of all your best qualities and make them part of your brand. It’s pretty hard to brand yourself as a technical innovator if you can’t use the toaster, or as approachable if you’re a social misfit.
There’s room for all sorts of people in this world, and all kinds of brands. So if you’re a bit weird, sarcastic and hairy, try to work it into your brand. Play to your strengths and weaknesses. Own them. Love them. And people will love you back.
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Creator of foodie website and blog, Eat Drink Paleo
When I started growing Eat Drink Paleo as a brand I wanted it to be different to what was around already and I wanted people to be able to identify with it, and with me, as I decided I would be the face and voice behind the whole thing. I knew that my passion and my philosophy on food as well as my approach to eating and cooking would be something people could connect with so I simply made sure that it’s showcased through everything I do with Eat Drink Paleo.
If you’re building a new business and a brand, you have to think about whether you will become part of the brand or if your product or business develops a personality and character of its own.
Once you decide on what your brand is about and what you want people to associate your brand with, make sure it’s reflected in everything you do.
I think it’s important to be very transparent and open, as people love that. They like to know there is a real person behind the brand, someone who has weaknesses and is on a similar journey with them.
I also highly recommend investing in good design – your logo, website design, your products. It’s tempting to save the cash and do it yourself but it makes a huge difference if your brand looks credible and professional, even if you’re trying to make something fun and playful.
Owner of yoga studio, Yogapad, in Mullumbimby NSW
My brand is very much an extension of me. My business truly reflects my joy and passion for yoga. When I was creating the brand, I sat down and listed all the words and phrases that came to mind that I would like to be associated with the brand. The list looks something like this: approachable, real, knowledgeable but not too serious, consistent, reliable, clear, simple, uplifting, inspiring, yoga practice mirroring everyday life, light, fun – even a little silly.
This list has guided me in all decisions from logo design, website design and copy, to the yoga studio colour scheme, and the way I teach my classes. I would say that people are attracted to my business because it is just me being me and not trying to be anything or anyone else. There is quite a lot of freedom in that.
What is your advice for building a brand people love?