Sometimes great branding comes across when you least expect it. My wife recently joined the Smile Direct Club and when the packaging came in I was so blown away I had to take pictures. See, working in the digital marketing field I know the importance of good company branding – and wow, did they nail it.
Smile Direct Club Branding
Every piece of their offering was branded in a simple yet obvious and effective way.
The shipping box was a plain brown box but printed on the side was the message “Smile Inside, Handle with Care :)”. The words appeared in a distinct yet easy-to-read purple coloring which matches all the written content found on the welcome/instructional booklet and product packaging.
Once you open this box, you’re greeted with a second. This one is a bright, vivid blue with white lettering. On the side is printed the message “open for a lifetime of confidence.” That same blue coloring scheme is repeated with the invisible aligner retainer.
Then there is their logo, which would be immediately identifiable in any setting. The words “Smile Direct Club” are written in such a way that they appear to be a smile. The larger word “Smile” is in a straight line above the curved words “Direct Club.” When on the blue background, the words are written in white. When the words appear on a white background, they are written in that vivid blue color.
From start to finish, everything is branded in the same coloring theme, with the same message and the same feeling. This is the literal definition of a great company brand story.
Why Should You Care?
Why should you care how great Smile Direct Club’s branding is? Simple. It is a notable example of what all businesses need to strive for. Your branding is what will set you apart from a crowd of competitors. It is what will eventually win you customers when your products or services are so like another company’s.
What Makes for Great Branding
The term ‘branding’ gets thrown around a lot in the modern marketing world. It spans inbound, outbound, and every combination of the two. In a market so saturated with competition it is vital to your overall company success – no matter what industry or niche your products and services fall under.
If you want to win at branding, start by making sure you are following the following best practices. If you aren’t already, don’t worry. There is no time like the present to set things up the right way.
Your brand needs a good story (described below) but it also needs a cohesive theme. The colors, fonts, imagery, and phrases used need to align. With the Smile Direct Club, they used a purple, blue, and white color theme with all phrases and imagery designed to boost confidence and relate back to the idea of getting a beautiful smile.
Here are a few other notable examples of cohesive branding themes:
Gerber Baby Brand – features a smiling baby on all of their products, with fun fonts.
Corktown Seed Company – bold red designs complimented with gray and white, in old-fashioned fonts
Brox – Black, white, and red colors with bold, modern fonts
Wave Runner – aqua, white, and black with bold modern fonts; the imagery of waves is predominately featured on all their products
A Good Story
Branding revolves around a good story. It is the story of your business and allows your customers to personally relate to you. It doesn’t have to be elaborate, but it does need to be honest and compelling.
When developing your brand story, ask yourself the following questions:
Why did you start your company? What were your inspirations or goals?
Where is your company going or where do you want it to go?
What do you provide your customers? Why is this important to you?
What makes your business unique? What sets you apart from the competition? What do you do differently?
The answers to these questions are your brand story. Once answered, all you must do is take that information and transform it into a single story.
This story will also help to fuel the ideas behind your catchphrase or tag line. Essentially, your tag line should be your brand story summed up in about three to six words.
Your branding needs to provide a valuable, memorable customer experience. When you open product packaging or visit a company’s website you should immediately be immersed in the brand story. It should be presented in a positive way that makes customers feel valued.
Remember the little phrases Smile Direct Club had on their packaging and shipping box? They added significant value to the brand story because they were little confidence boosters that make people feel excited to try the product. The positive messaging used keeps customers happy.
If you look at their website (a key factor in the customer experience) you’ll see that it follows the same general theme presented on the packaging and contents. Even better, the website is highly detailed, so customers know what to expect.
They highlight customer success stories and have information customers need predominately featured where it is easy to find – such as what insurance might cover, who is a candidate for their programs, and the cost (with no hidden fees attached).
Great Product Packaging
We’ve lightly touched on this in all the other categories but having high-quality product packaging is invaluable. If seen in stores, it is a way for products to catch the eye of shoppers. If (like with Smile Direct Club) it is shipped after an online purchase, it can make for repeat customers.
The Wrap Up
Smile Direct Club is a notable example of a cohesive branding campaign with a good story and great packaging, who delivers a memorable, valuable customer experience. If you can incorporate these best practices into your own company, rest assured you will be winning at branding.