The Ingredients Of A Distinctive Brand

If you were to cook up a recipe for a distinctive brand, what would it include? 

This question is something many of the great entrepreneurs of history have asked themselves. Understanding how to create a winning brand is often enough to drive company success, even if the product and operations side of the business is mediocre. 

So, what are the ingredients of a distinctive brand? Let’s take a look. 

An Understanding Of What Makes The Brand Unique

First, many of the most distinctive brands have a unique understanding of what makes them unique. They know what it is about them that consigns them as being different from everyone else in the marketplace. 

For a company like Apple, it was its opposition to the Windows PC. For Experian, it’s about providing vacation experiences people will love. 

Therefore, you’ll want to think about what makes your brand unique. Having an understanding of where you’re different from the run-of-the-mill firms in your industry will eventually bleed out into your ads and help you gain more traction. 

A Scent

Some brands also experiment with ways to make their brand distinctive rather than involve scent. Adding a certain smell or taste to products can enhance brand recognition by tapping into primal sensory organs. 

Scents can be valuable in virtually any industry. Obvious areas where scents matter are in the perfume and candle industry. Here, you can invest in classic smells that capture your audiences’ imagination and encourage them to keep coming back for more. 

However, there are examples of brands using scents, even though they sell items that don’t relate to smell. For example, some book publishers know that readers love the smell of freshly printed novels. As such, many invest in the best smells for the paper and ink they use to give people a sense of nostalgia. 

Clothes brands also use smell to encourage sales. Hollister, for instance, pumps scented diffuser mist into some of its stores to change the atmosphere and enable people to smell something nice while shopping. 

If you can’t think of a way to add smells to the product or service experience, you can still add them to the packaging. Perfuming tissue paper, ribbon, or cardboard, or adding scented petals to packaging, are options you might want to explore. 

Brand Voice

At the same time, it can help to focus on your brand voice. Communicating with your audience in a specific way improves familiarity and helps them recognize you better. 

Many brand voices are distinctive because of the underlying attitude. Red Bull is an excellent example. The way the company communicates is all about fun, thrills, and seeing the less serious side of life. 

This brand voice makes sense for Red Bull because of the energy drinks it sells. Everyone knows the company’s tagline and style, including in extreme sports. 

Other brands try to be witty and informative. For instance, Which magazine wants to maintain its status as Britain’s premier product reviewer, so it adopts a professional and empathetic tone to communicate the fact it understands what consumers are going through. 

Usually, it takes a couple of weeks to develop a brand voice. But once you have a clear vision of what you want, write it down. Then, practice creating content around it, sending examples to editors who can cross-check it with your brand objectives. 


While it might seem clichéd, having a great logo is also something that can add to a distinctive brand. Once people internalize it, they’ll never forget it. 

The best logo in the world is perhaps McDonald’s golden arches “M” symbol that appears atop its restaurants and drive-thrus. It’s instantly recognizable, no matter where you are in the world. 

The challenge is developing a logo people will remember. There are countless brands who develop something that’s too complicated and people can’t remember it. 

If you decide to invest in a logo, make it as simple as possible. If you want complexity in your brand, save it for your website home page or social media posts. 


Finally, you’ll want to focus on the typography you use to communicate to your customers. Choosing a recognizable font makes your business more recognizable (just like logos and other imagery). Everyone, for instance, recognizes Coca-Cola’s or Ben and Jerry’s typefaces. They’re just so distinctive.

Creating a new typography from scratch is complex, but there are agencies out there that do it professionally. The script you receive will be unique and based on the brief or artwork you provide. 

Isa Lillo


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