Brands vs. Smart Brands that WOW!

What’s a brand? Everyone seems to have their own definition.

Some define a brand by a business’ visual identity components—logo, website design, or a collection of collateral materials. Others interpret “brand” as a company’s reputation, or the gut feeling one has about a business.

The messaging and copy used in marketing collateral? Yes, an important part of a brand. The tone an office assistant has when answering the phone? Absolutely.

A brand is all these things and more.

But, what is a “Smart” brand? And more specifically, what are Smart Brands that WOW!?

Recently, I took a deep dive into Odessa Design’s history as part of a professional development course I was taking. I reflected on 25-years-worth of client experiences, the problems I solve, and the creative paths I follow to help achieve my clients’ goals. I detailed my favorite type of work, explored the makings of an ideal client, and documented my unique point of view. I got to the core of Odessa Design—an incredibly eye-opening, mind-clearing exercise on so many levels.

Most inspiring, though, was realizing that this process, this examination of my business, is a practice that I go through instinctively with clients before doing any work for them. I ask questions, explore, probe, and study until I uncover their essence. And from this, branding solutions are born. Branding solutions that are so fundamentally and characteristically appropriate that there is no other possible answer. Branding solutions that are focused, articulate, authentic, and memorable. Branding solutions that work for you by:

Spotlighting your sweetspot

What’s your big thing? What are you an authority on? Anyone eyeing your homepage or social media profile should know immediately what you’re about. Let prospects know exactly what you do and why they should care.

Attracting the right prospects

A brand should clearly identify your ideal client. Being explicit about your niche market helps to ensure that prospects are a good fit. Plus, when your friends and colleagues know specifically who you serve, referrals become easy and plentiful.

Speaking directly to your target audience

Use clear, benefit-focused messaging and copy that addresses your customers’ pain points. What problem are you solving? How will a client benefit by working with you?

Conveying an authentic voice

You use a certain cadence and voice when talking with friends and colleagues. So should your business. Whether authoritative, intellectual, conversational, or playful, make sure your brand voice is true to you, so you can own it.

Making an impression

Actor Will Rogers said, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.” Capitalize on a meaningful logo, engaging imagery, fonts with personality, intentional colors, and rhythmic layouts—all help your brand make an impact.

A “Smart” brand embodies these five elements. And by nature, if it’s Smart, it will WOW! customers.


If you are worried that your brand is outdated and not working as hard for you as it should, are struggling to attract ideal clients who value your expertise and pay you what you’re worth, or are uncertain about your brand and need clarity on your best opportunities, schedule a quick call with Gen to learn more about our 2-step branding process.

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