Using Your Logo For What It’s Worth: Branding Outside of the Box

August 11, 2016


Having a logo and an online presence is only one part of having a brand- the other part is providing an overall experience for your potential clients and customers. It will show what your brand does and how you will accomplish this. Your logo and social presence is definitely a part of conveying this information to other people, but the rest is up to you, the small business owner, to really distinguish. Establishing what makes you different takes a little bit of consideration: what in your background, experience, process, talents, content, or offerings makes you the standout pick outside of other businesses in (or even outside of) your field? Once you have established what makes you the standout choice, you’ll be able to best create your brand.

Now, there are some tried and true ways to brand your business. Your small business logo, social media profiles, and website are the ideal visual components that are a quick and easy go-to for your clients. However, the establishment and recognition of your brand go further than your visual online presence. For example, some businesses create how-to videos on their speciality and post these to YouTube, utilizing their reputation as the second-largest search engine provider to establish themselves as an authority and draw business to their websites, or use minimal visual branding on their products to reach out to the niche markets that want to avoid all possible branding on their products. These two examples are some of the ways that small brands are thinking outside of the box when it comes down to promoting their products and services to others.

Branding: More Than a Logo

Importantly, branding does not need to cost a lot of money. It needs to resonate. Below we’re offering some different ideas around branding that goes beyond great logo design and can provide some inspiration for providing a meaningful brand for your community.

share a coke

“Share a Coke” Campaign by Coca-Cola

Unique ideas for branding outside of your logo:

  • Rethink the category that your brand exists within. For example, one parking garage owner used the top floors of their garage to also hold events, thereby creating a civic space as well as a typical parking garage.
  • Instead of using your content as a way to share information about your business or refresh for SEO, try using it as a way to gather community in your space.
  • Ignore what your industry is “supposed” to be like and let your personality shine through. Consider this video from Lululemon that provides a new lens for the yoga goods retailer.
  • Create name recognition and an affinity towards your offerings by providing customizations or products with someone’s name on them. Consider Coca-Cola’s “Share a Bottle” campaign and its success!
  • Creating another value or use for your product outside of what may be expected. Intelligentsia coffee, for example, created brew guides for a ton of different means to brew coffee, proving their authority in the field of coffee making.
  • Provide a tangible value and prove that you’re an expert in your field by commenting and answering questions on blogs and forums. Perks if these are related to your field or your competition. The website Mashable gained a large portion of their audience by commenting on competing blog websites and gaining the trust of their audiences.
  • Use social media for something besides promoting your brand, but building out a personality. The Twitter account of Old Spice  is notorious for including a lot of hilarious one-liners outside of interaction with customers.
  • Consider selling or advertising in a different channel that someone would originally expect. Sinus Plumber nasal spray is a cold and allergy spray, but sold in hardware and automotive shops, placing them directly in the sights of people that need a good allergy spray.
Brew Guide from Intelligensia Coffee

Intelligentsia Brew Guide

These are just some suggestions taken from other brands that show how you can create a brand for yourself outside of your visual strategy. By creating a value that your customers can rely on and come back to over and over, you’re establishing your business and creating a valuable and meaningful place for users to come back to over and over.
Of course, a visual brand helps here. Be sure to establish a logo, color scheme, font option, and website as you’re embarking on your branding efforts. You’ll want people who are unfamiliar with your business to be able to identify and get in contact with you, and these visual reminders can be a huge benefit here, if not of utmost importance!