Why branding is so important and why Anthropologie is so good at it
Hey there, it’s been a little bit since I’ve updated my design/branding tips! In the past couple weeks I’ve been thinking about why branding is so important. Why am I taking on this industry, and why does it matter? As I thought about the answers to these questions I realized something. Branding is one of my favorite things about companies I love.
I didn’t understand this until a few years ago when I was able to identify what branding truly is. When some people think of branding they associate it with marketing, which is true, it’s a great marketing strategy. The other thing people might think is a logo. I think this is where a lot of the misunderstanding comes from. Although a logo is an amazing visual mark that sets you apart from other brands, it’s not what branding is. Branding is so much more than a logo.
Branding is: understanding your mission as a company, your target audience and goals and strategies to achieve your mission as a brand. Your brand is the experience you give your audience.
Those are still only touching the surface on the deeper concept that is branding. I thought I’d elaborate through a little case study of one of my favorite stores
Anthropologie has been a favorite of mine ever since my mom and I perused one of their stores in high school. Once I started learning more about branding I realized that I not only loved anthropolopgie aesthetically, but I actually loved their brand as a whole. So what does that really mean?
Anthropologie does an amazing job as a brand to make their shoppers feel welcome and inspired when they come into a store. Have you ever walked into an anthropologie? I love walking into their stores because it’s truly an experience. The way things are styled and designed make me feel like I’m in a bohemian wonderland, and honestly, sometimes I just go in for the inspo (that’s not just me right?)
Anthropologie’s own creative director Missy Peltz told Racked why they created such an environment for their shoppers,
"We have this romantic notion that people still want to be inspired," Peltz says. "Not only by a garment or gadget, but by an experience or scent. We want to immerse the customer in a complete experience by appealing to all of her senses. Our aesthetic is authentic and approachable. It is not pristine or precious, which at times can be intimidating. We want the customer to always feel welcomed."
Side note: this reminded me that I’ve bought the capri blue volcano candle just so my home could smell like anthro – that’s just how intoxicating anthro’s retail experience is.
A few years ago I was one of the lucky winners of an anthro giveaway during the holidays. I did not have any expectations of winning but because anthro has beautiful visuals I wasn’t hesitant to post one of their images that were required for the giveaway. As you can imagine I was pleasantly surprised when I received a comment on one of my posts that I won!
This was an incredible brand strategy on anthro’s part to create customer loyalty. I’m obviously 1000-percent loyal now + will forever enter all the anthro giveaways. Their online presence and social media strategies are so effective in promoting their aesthetic as a brand and creating customer loyalty. Everything a brand could hope for. Their social media content is so beautiful that it’s shareable on all social media platforms.
Throughout my years of shopping at anthro I also notice that they pay so much attention to detail, everything is meticulously #onbrand. Everything from birthday cards in the mail beautifully enveloped, store displays, shopping bags and Anthro events. Customers have a unique experience that feels thoughtfully curated just for them.
As a consumer anthropologie makes me feel uniquely represented in their aesthetic, but also in their thoughtful and creative attention to detail. Walking in to their stores is captivating and experiential. Their brand experience, it turns out, is what keeps me coming back into their stores.
Attention to detail goes a long way with creating a brand people will trust. The experience attached to your brand is what keeps people coming back. Sure there may be different brands that provide the same services as you, or same products as you, but what sets you apart? The experience and emotional response that the consumer has with your brand is what can make the biggest difference.
A brand is more than a logo; it’s the entire package that will convey your message. This includes everything from your visuals, your words and the perception of your brand.
I love branding because it helps create an experience that is so unique to each brand. A brand’s beautiful story can unfold through the proper visuals, words, and brand values.
If you’re thinking of analyzing what you want your brand to convey, then consider your favorite brands and how they make you feel as a consumer. What are some strategies that they utilize that could help you stand out from all of the rest?