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Pathos and Branding

Hi all! Jillian here with this week’s Design Talk. This week we are going to get back to some branding tips and tricks. 

The jewelry business tends to have a traditional, timeless quality to it. Many companies, especially locally owned ones, have had established names for years. While you don’t want your brand to feel “dated”, “out of touch”, etc., this can be used to bring in and keep customers for the long haul. 

There is an emotional tie that attracts people to brands and businesses. People like what they know. There is a sense of stability, comfort, almost parental feeling to long-running small businesses. This is your chance to play into that. 

Have a backstory. What made you start your company? What was something you’ve always wanted to fix, offer, or do? Why is it this business? Talk about how this business has been in your family for x amount of years. Talk about the grassroots initiative for this business, how it was built from the ground up. Talk about how your store has been in the same small town where everyone from all over town comes to shop at. Appeal to the pathos of your consumers. 

I’ll give an example. When I was in college, I ran for the cross country and track teams. I was a long distance runner. I loved running. The story of Nike and its background really spoke to me. The story of Steve Prefontaine, a small-town boy distance runner who had an adulterated love for not just competing, but running in general, made me love the sport. The fact that Bill Bowerman, then-head coach of the University of Oregon started his Nike shoe business by making shoes out of waffle irons, was a story of a humble beginning for what would become a Goliath in the sports industry. I was emotionally connected when hearing these stories, and that was what kept me hooked. 

You and your business have the ability to do the same thing. Maybe it’s those back stories, or maybe it’s using subtle color palettes to feel soft, understated, and timeless. Maybe it’s picking a serif typeface that will stand the test of time and putting an “est.” and a date in your name. Maybe it’s telling the story of how you and your partner fell in love, got engaged, picked out the perfect ring, and that you hope to share that joy with future couples. 

There is an excellent book if you're interested in delving further into branding. It’s called Creating a Brand Identity: A Guide for Designers. While it was written for us designers, it really does do a good job of explaining and exploring branding in companies and the do’s and don'ts. 

Hope this provides a little more context into building a brand that people will feel an emotional connection to. 

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