What is the goal of marketing? Well, to get noticed, of course. Outside of a few innovative musicians or artists hoping to make some kind of wider societal point, it would be very rare for a brand to invest money into marketing just for the sake of it. While creative vision and application is a tool to gain awareness (and can often exponentially increase that if done well), its foundational purpose is to gain that awareness.
But is it possible to brand with more subtlety and care? After all, all marketing reflects on our brand and how people regard us, and in some cases, can cause a first impression that may last forever. For this reason, we cannot be as braggadocious as we may find to be the most effective – some good taste is required for marketing to work well.
Subtle branding, then could be considered the perfect balance between accessibility as well as offering a smooth and non-offensive means of getting our brand known. In this post, we’ll discuss a few measures by which that could be possible:
Carefully designed, worthwhile branded items
Ultimately, you can slap your logo on anything, but if it hasn’t been designed well and professionally, it will look cheap, and ultimately, that impression will reflect back onto your brand. For instance, napkins with your logo can look fantastic provided they are carefully laid onto the material, are folded correctly, and are placed in the right contexts. Details like this, especially small, subtle details, are often more effective than printing the ‘coolest t-shirts’ or the most overbearing baseball caps with your slogan.
Merchandise can be a great way to bring additional support to your brand, as well as function as giveaways when you attend business conventions or expo’s. For instance, it might be that having a tote bag designed for an event could serve as the bag that everyone else in attendance puts their other merch into. Which logo ends up being the most visible? That’s right, the one outside of the bag. Don’t be afraid to merchandise in this way, with a tactical mind and a shrewd eye on quality.
Associating yourself with other brands
Of course, no business is an island, and sometimes, who you’re seen doing business with or alongside can often influence just how much import your brand has. For instance, think about Headspace, the meditation app that has become one of the most popular self-care apps on the market. Early into their launch, they offered free months of their premium service to anyone who signed up for a Spotify subsciprition. Not only did this give them exposure, but the tacit business ‘approval’ of a much larger and much more trusted brand. As such, they benefited immensely despite giving away their subscription service for free, at least temporarily. It might be that you benefit in the same way.
With this advice, you’re sure to brand with more subtlety and care going forward.