Brand Like a Superhero – Part One
Superheroes really can teach you a thing or two about branding
Even as I write this, I know what you’re thinking. You’re wondering if my husband has finally converted me into a sci-fi geek that hangs out at conventions, dressed in her best superhero regalia.
Relax – it won’t happen.
Even so, it completely amazes me how much brand recognition the average person has when it comes to superheroes. Any self-respecting, red-blooded business owner’s heart beats just a little bit faster at the mere thought of having that kind of visibility (and recognition) for their brand.
The good news is, this is a goal that you can not only aspire to, but it’s one that’s well within your reach. With a bit of creativity and a dash of marketing savvy, we can take the lessons of the comic book guys and gals, and put them to work for your own brand and marketing messages.
Your Mission, Should You Choose To Accept It
As you read through this simple guide, think about what you can do to enhance, nurture and support your brand — because simply kicking it from the nest on a wing and a prayer will not be enough to make it fly.
The purpose of this guide is to use the analogy of the comic book superhero to illustrate some of the most important aspects of your brand image. My goal is to arm you with actionable tips that you can put into practice right away. Ideas that aren’t paired with the “rocket fuel” of action are about as likely to fly as an origami paper crane.
While your brand plays an integral role in your overall marketing strategy, it is only truly effective when it’s used in conjunction with other healthy business practices. Remember that marketing is an ongoing process, and those who continue to learn, evaluate, and adapt will always win the day. You don’t have to be a superhero to brand like one. So, without further ado, let’s get to it.
Tights are optional.
Pondering the Costume: Do These Tights Make My Brand Look Big?
Any self-respecting superhero knows the importance of a great looking costume. Now, you can liken this to your logo, your preview images, product packaging, your website, or your promotional materials…essentially it’s anything that visually depicts either your company or your brand. Regardless of the form it takes, you want to be sure to take the time to craft yourself the proper costume.
Take into consideration what market you are in, and how that market might be more receptive to certain colors, fonts, and imagery. Having the right look for the right market is as essential as having a superhero having the right costume to complement his particular powers. For instance, what good is a cape to Aquaman?
What’s That Up in the Sky?
Serving up text alone will render your message forgettable – pair the same message with imagery, and the pictures will subconsciously trigger the brain to recall the textual content that was present alongside the displayed imagery.
Your distinctive, signature image — whether that is a big red and yellow “S,” or a little black bat insignia — plays a big part in your branding. It must play to your strengths, but it also needs to serve as a symbol by which your customers can easily recognize you.
Do you love the color blue? Perhaps you wear that signature shade in all of your class videos, or use it in the lettering of your promo images.
Select visual imagery that can grow with you and your business — something that will hold as much significance for your brand today as it will 10 years from now. It is much more difficult to change these things after you are established than to take the extra time to conceive it right the first time around.
Building on the Costume
If you’re like most people, when you walk into the store to buy a product and you see several similarly priced products, you purchase the brand you recognize. The same is even truer on the Web, where many people shop simply by putting the brand name they remember into a search engine.
Consumers gravitate toward brands they recognize — your product or service may be of higher quality than the brand leader in your niche — but if your brand isn’t recognized by prospective customers, you won’t be able to convert those prospects into customers. The goal is to become top-of-mind — so that when a customer is in the market for your product or service, they immediately think of you.
So, how the heck do we accomplish this?
The short answer is this – by refining our brand image to make sure it is consistent across all marketing channels: your blog, your online store, third-party marketplaces, your newsletter, promotional images, signage, etc.
The Man of…What’s Your Name Again?
Imagine how embarrassing it would be for Superman if he thwarted a ruthless gang of criminals, only to find his heroism credited to Batman in the headlines of The Daily Planet?
If the man of steel is branding himself properly, this would never happen. And we don’t want it to happen to you, either.
Stay tuned – in the next installment, we’ll discover how to dodge branding bullets with a consistent branded image.