One of most reoccurring happenings that I’ve been seeing in the creative entrepreneurial world lately in a lack of authenticity and originality. It appears as if everyone wants to do the same thing, which is actually not a bad thing. Its only bad when individuals fail to, well be an individual, and produce content that is entirely too similar to those in their same community and niche.
I’m not talking about writing on the same topics, because again we can all write on the same thing and have different takes. What I’m referring to is straight up coping someone’s style or content, whether it be written or graphical.
Graphic elements are probably the easiest to notice when duplicated or made similar, because visual elements resonate with people more quickly than written form does. Today, I’m sharing with you the importance of originality and uniqueness in your branded elements. These are the elements of your branding that include, but aren’t limited to your logo, color scheme, images and typography.
As you all know, I’m super duper passionate about branding and have shared the importance of it many times here on the blog. The one reason why I think it’s so important is because branding differentiates your business (or blog) from everyone else’s in your niche. In addition, it makes you stand out and be memorable amongst your target market or audience.
Knock Off Being a Knock-Off
Standing out amongst your competitors is essential when it comes to you attracting and retaining customers and clients. People love brands that stand out, and they are more likely to promote and support them. Many times its the uniqueness of your branding that gives people an initial interest in your brand. If your branding looks like everyone else’s, you’re failing to effectively position yourself as someone who can bring something different to the table. For instance, if you produce a higher quality product than your competitor, but your branding looks just like their’s, people will assume you are both the same. Even worst they may assume that one of you is a knock-off of the other, and they may just think you are the knock-off. Boo…we definitely don’t want that!
Many new entrepreneurs fall into the trap of having bad branding or branding too similar to those in their niche, because they try to DIY it from the jump. There is nothing wrong with DIY’ing it, however you really need to do your research ahead of time and make sure that you aren’t too inspired by someone else’s. As a new business owner, it can be hard to know where to start and that’s where coaching and consulting can be such a huge help. Its also the time when hiring a brand strategist and stylist can be invaluable resource to you and your business. These professionals can help you organize your business ideas, comprise a business plan and vision, as well as consult you on and create beautiful branding for your business.
Its the once reason why I feel like these investments are so important, especially in the early stages of a business. The early stages are the best time, because you are starting from a clean slate and introducing your business to the world for the first time. You really only have one time to do this, so you have to make it well whether it. First impressions are lasting, and you want to have the absolute best one amongst your target audience and market.
Let Your Branding Serve Your Purpose
Yes, you can alway rebrand your business at any time if you feel your branding is no longer representative of your brand’s mission and values. Branding is supposed to serve this exact purpose, so if it doesn’t then a rebrand is in order if you already have branding. If your branding is too similar to someone else’s, then it definitely isn’t properly representing your business or accomplishing the mission of it. Reason being: its already doing that for someone else.
If you prefer to DIY your branding or can’t afford to hire someone to do it for it, then you really have to keep your eyes on your own paper and dig deep into your creativity. As a creative you 100% have the ability to come with unique concepts for your branding without looking to and comparing yourself to others. For some reason, many creatives either don’t have the confidence in themselves or are lazy and try to go the easy way out; copying someone.
Even if its a situation where they aren’t necessarily copying someone purposely, its easier to them to look to competitors and those in their industry for too much inspiration. Being inspired isn’t so much the issue, as it is more of people thinking that by doing things just like those in their industry is the only, or right way to do it. The only right way is the original and unique way, and that’s what us creatives have to always remember.
Although someone may appear to be very successful and have a huge following, it doesn’t mean that their business practices, much less their branding will garner the same results for you. You are the only one that can make it happen for your business.
Have the Right Approach
If I can give one piece of advice to fellow creative entrepreneurs, or creatives in general it is to think critically about what your brand’s purpose is as you approach your branding. Once you do this, you can then add your aesthetic to the mix to create a truly unique branding that properly represents your businesses mission, values, and your own aesthetic. No two businesses will have any of these factors be exactly the same, which is why its so easy to pinpoint when one copies another.
Let your uniqueness shine through, because the world deserves to see it. When you try to be someone else, you fail miserably at being you. It will take time, effort, and energy to bring all of you to the table, but at the end of the day you will be much more satisfied in what you produce. You will know that when you put your content or products out there that it has you all over it, and that no one can dispute that. Everything about you and your brand will be that much more appreciated and interesting.
When I rebranded back in March, I struggled in trying to create branded elements that I truly felt reflected my brand’s mission, values, and aesthetic. It wasn’t that I was too inspired, but it was because I was starting from pretty much scratch and had to figure how I wanted to convey my brand. I was confident in the big branded elements of my brand like my logo, color scheme, and overall aesthetic, but I the images I used in my posts bugged the heck out of me. In addition, I wasn’t in love with the typography I was using, nor was I even using it effectively throughout my posts.
I kept at it, revising and tweaking these branded elements until I got to a place where I was happy. I made an effort to not look at other’s branded elements too much during this time, because I wanted to make sure I wasn’t inadvertently creating images of a similar style. I stayed focused on how to make everything in my branding look more consistent, because I wanted for it to stand out and be immediately recognizable as Bliss & Faith. I feel I’ve effectively accomplished that and I feel very confident in my branding and all of my branded elements. I had an awareness piece in mind when it came to my branded elements, and I used it to insure that I created an original and unique brand.
What do you do to insure your branded elements are original and unique? – Do you feel you’ve effectively accomplished having an original and brand overall?