Branding is about so much more than loving the way something looks. It’s about loving the feel. How the brand speaks and acts, how they serve their customers and the world around them, this is all a part of it. It can be somewhat intangible though. With a great brand, you won’t feel the branding. You’ll just enjoy the experience. 

So in an effort to expose some of the mechanics of phenomenal branding we wanted to talk about which companies give us all the feel good vibes and how you can translate that into your own business no matter how big or small. 



Industry: Apparel (Bras and Underwear)

One of the best ways to launch a brand is to fill a gap in the market. ThirdLove came in response to a major need among women. Everyone had had a crummy experience of a poorly fitting bra in an overly sexualized store with aggressive sales people. That in itself is branding. Addressing how an industry has failed people in the past and how you intend to do better should be a content focal point. 

And the ThirdLove founder didn’t pull any punches in their content when they wrote An Open Letter to Victoria’s Sercret where she describes her company as the antithesis to VS. 

The entire brand represents that ideal. Featuring women of all shapes, sizes, ages and races, every word, every image, every product is representative of their being the anti-Victoria’s Secret. 

In your own brand, find that pain point you’re trying to solve and represent how you’re doing that in every aspect of your content.

Dutch Bros. 


Industry: Coffee

While there is little success without a great product, there is more to a brand than selling quality stuff. Though Dutch Bros. coffee is delicious, we can all agree that many of us go for the emotional goodness. The staff is infectiously kind and it’s THAT that people go back for. 

But what is “that?”

That is culture. Training. Company mission statements. None of which is the first thing most think about when branding. We always think of color schemes and websites and Instagram, but what Dutch Bros. has is a foundational principle that is integrated into the hiring process, the franchising process and the training and management of their staff. 

Even if you’re a solopreneur, getting super clear on who you are, what you represent and how you want to make people feel when they interact with you is an important part of the process. 



Industry: Electronics

We won’t pretend like you don’t know what Apple offers. A little ol thing called the iPhone… a computer or two. Ya know. Real subtle, underground products.

If it weren’t a quality product, it wouldn’t have lasted this long. But what makes Apple great compared to its competitors is its endless commitment to doing things better. 

From the seamless interplay between each product that just compels you to stay in the Apple club for life to the Genius Bar that helps anyone of any skillset cross the technological bridge to love their products, Apple has a brand dependent on education and integration. 

When it comes to your brand, how can you train people to not only use your product, but to love it? You may not be able to set up a Genius Bar, but you can train people how to make your product an irreplaceable part of their life through… you guessed it: CONTENT. You can also help add some Apple to your brand by creating synchronicity between your products. People get an iPhone and then it only makes sense to get a Macbook and then when their kids need a tablet, why not an iPad at that point?

If you are someone who started their brand making farmhouse signs on Etsy, then perhaps a print farmhouse throw pillowcase is the next move. You know it goes with their decor, but it’s not just a repeat what you’ve already done. The point is, some great branding goes into product planning. The idea of “if someone gets X, they would totally get Y, and Z” is just as much a part of your brand as how you market your products.



Industry: Home goods, groceries, apparel

Oh Target. You hold so many of our hours and our dollars. How do you do it?

It’s not just because Target has everything on Pinterest in a single store that it’s possible. Walmart arguably has the same spread of options as other big box stores. We are old enough to remember when Target, Walmart and Kmart were all basically the same thing. 

Target, however, has pulled way ahead in terms of branding and attraction. Why? Brilliant partnerships. 

We don’t go to Target to get the Target brand candles. We go there for the Magnolia line by Joanna Gaines. We don’t go there for basic t-shirts, but for Missoni’s uber colorful fashion. 

Sometimes building your brand is just as much about association as it is about presentation. Who are you surrounding yourself with? Where are you being featured? Who is featuring you? 

Collaborations and PR help give your audience a frame of reference. They may not quite know who you are yet, but if you’re sharing the posts of someone they love, appearing on a podcast they subscribe to or contributing a series to their favorite site, the proximity will trigger interest. 

It’s vital for new businesses to get out of the mindset that branding is all about looks. Branding is a much deeper, much richer experience and it always comes back to how it makes us feel. Whether it makes us feel included, happy, successful or stylish, branding should be about awakening joy in your customer, not dazzling them with pretty aesthetics. Though, those are nice too.