Ever notice the advertisement material of Mercedes Benz? It always reflects the cool and cultivated image of their luxury cars. The language is always bold and refined. The sublime visuals makes you think ‘luxury car’ and ‘Mercedes’ even before you have seen the logo or branding. Even though it’s a global manufacturer, the same theme repeats everywhere and bolsters its brand identity.
So what is giving their diverse marketing team such focused direction?
It’s their signature brand style guide. Yes, brands have signature styles just like a diva and they help them distinguish themselves just like Kim Kardashian stands out from the crowd. Mercedes is always classy, bold against stark backgrounds, uncluttered, a mix of classic, modern and cool.
Having a signature brand style makes all your branding and marketing material look and feel cohesive. This leaves a deep impression on the customers’ mind and aids them in identifying with you. It ensures that every time they need a product/service you offer, they automatically think of you.
So how do you create a signature brand style?
- Understand yourself
Ask yourself what is your brand vision and mission? This helps you decipher what you are working towards and who you want to help. It enables you to define your target audience and understand the demographics. For example, if you are selling luxury cars, you will look for customer segments that can afford them and have the related infrastructure to drive them. The signature brand style is better defined if it focuses on the correct niche instead of say, everyone who owns a car.
- Understand the customers
Once you have found your target audience, its best to get to know them better than themselves. What drives them? What kind of values do you both share? They might like luxury cars but what excites them about luxury cars? The key to it is thinking from the point of view of customers to find what value you can bring to them that other brands cannot. This helps them distinguish you from others in their mind. And the cues for your signature brand styling lies in the answer of these questions.
- What does signature brand style affect
Every channel through which you communicate to the clients. Written content, visuals, videos, press conferences, reaction to an event, damage control strategies, everything. All these media should speak of the same signature style that becomes synonymous with your brand. This will serve as a frequent reminder to the customer about who you are and what you do.
Usually having a single firm create all your marketing material and help you with branding, logo design and digital marketing. Indizine brings all these services through a single window with a dedicated team to work with you.
- How to create a signature brand style?
In fashion, to find their signature style, people often take tips from their favorite celebrity style icon.
Similarly, to make a standout signature style for your brand, think of it as person. Start building this style icon by jotting down their qualities on the paper. First think what kind of person this is: elegant or whacky, bubbly or dignified, masculine or feminine. What kind of pictures would they take, what brand voice would they speak in, which channels they would approach for marketing. If your brand was a person, what kind of public image would they maintain?
Next, think from the targeted audience’s point of view. When they look at your brand, what kind of person should they think of? What qualities do you want them to associate with you? What emotions should they evoke?
While asking these questions, start collecting images that correspond to the answers. Look for pictures that would convey the same qualities as your brand would. Put them in a single folder and look at them in one go.
Once you have all these images, look for common themes. What’s the color palette? How’s the language? What are the visuals like? Are they minimalistic or wildly artistic? Are they cluttered and vibrant? Organized and bold? Or are they something in between? Do they appeal more to the male audience or lean towards feminine touches?
These clues help you subconsciously design a signature brand style that appeals to the customers. There isn’t a single answer to what your signature brand style should look like. But as long as it connects you effectively to the target audience and stays consistent across all your marketing material, you have succeeded in creating an iconic signature.