Branding is more than just a pretty logo. It’s about consistently portraying your brand image to build familiarity.
There are several different elements that go into creating a brand identity including voice, color(s), visuals and more.
It's also about your presence in the world—like in social media. When marketing your brand by creating and publishing content on social media, it’s especially important to follow those specific guidelines, even when you're showing off your brand's personality.
Below are four of our favorite brands who have exceptionally developed their creative brand identities on social media using all of the elements mentioned above.
1. Taco Bell
If you watched our awesome rap music video, the name “Coco Taco” and Taco Bell sweater might give away our obsession with T Bell, so of course this brand is number one on the list. Our love for Taco Bell doesn’t just come from those delicious nacho grillers we obsess over. Being the social media marketing nerds we are, Taco Bell has won our collective heart through the brand identity they have created for themselves.
Taco Bell continuously does an incredible job of creating content that’s fun and engaging.
Let’s face it, the taco emoji probably wouldn’t exist today without Taco Bell and the petition they created in 2014! To celebrate the success of bringing the taco emoji to everyone’s keyboard, Taco Bell made their own taco emoji engine, where Twitter users could type the new taco emoji + any other emoji and receive a surprise gif when hitting “enter.” This campaign received a Cannes Lions Gold award and more than half a million tweets within the first 5 days.
The #TacoEmojiEngine isn’t the only thing that’s gotten people hyped up on social media.
Taco Bell does an amazing job posting engaging content on Instagram. They even provide mobile wallpapers, found on their Instagram story, that users can screenshot to enjoy for personal use.
When posting social content, Taco Bell always has the consumer in mind and is constantly finding ways to to get users involved, whether it’s running a photo sharing contest, using a hashtag or tagging a friend in a post for a laugh.
Taco Bell has also developed a unique, distinctive identity on Instagram in which they consistently post 3 images in a row with the same style, creating a fun, storytelling visual sequence. This is a perfect example of how a brand can successfully stand out and create that familiarity that people see and automatically associate with that specific brand.
AirBnB does an excellent job posting content that creates a story while authentically showcasing all the amazing places you can travel to while staying in an AirBnB rental. They sell the experience by posting content that’s inspirational and will give the user serious FOMO.
If you look at their Instagram longer than 30 seconds, the temptation to buy a plane ticket and never come back is REAL.
Each piece of content beautifully portrays a different destination and experience, showing faces of real people and allowing consumers to connect with the content on a deeper level.
AirBnB also posts content at a variety of angles, whether it’s through the perspective of the traveler or host. Regardless of that perspective, we can all agree that AirBnB consistently delivers inspiring content that and really shows you what it’s like to experience a unique destination like a local.
Careful what you tweet to Wendy’s. You might get roasted!
This hilarious and entertaining quality is what makes Wendy’s stand out from the crowd.
Wendy’s is well-known for poking fun at users and competitors while staying up to date with the social trends.
Take the tweet below for example. Wendy’s put a twist on a popular, trending meme to call out McDonald’s frozen meat, which received over 231K likes and 78K+ retweets. Boom. Roasted!
Aside from the sass, Wendy’s tone of voice portrays a great sense of humor when interacting with users and competitors on social media. For example, Burger King recently tweeted @Wendy’s a photo of one of their signs at a location that read, “@Wendy’s prom?”
Wendy’s response? “Ok, but don’t get handsy and we have to be home by 10.” Incredible. These posts quickly went viral and received a lot of positive attention.
There’s no question Wendy’s takes the cake when it comes to social engagement. Their consistent sassy remarks, funny customized memes and constant engagement earns Wendy’s a familiar reputation that people love and recognize.
That’s what brand identity is all about: consistency.
4. Tijuana Flats
Tijuana Flats is a super underrated brand that deserves some recognition. Tijuana Flats has done a great job building a brand that’s original, fun, and unapologetic.
With a hot sauce line called “Smack My Ass and Call me Sally,” Tijuana Flats is well known for the edgy, anything-goes approach.
A few years ago they ran a successful social media campaign called #flatoutrageous. In order to participate, you had to visit a local Tijuana Flats and do something flat outrageous like the hashtag suggests. Doing so would earn you a free street taco, and needless to say, customers had some fun with this.
Tijuana Flats ran another promotion that gave students a free meal if they brought in a failed test. Can you name another restaurant that rewards bad grades? We'll wait...
Another unique feature that sets Tijuana Flats apart from the competition are the visual elements. This tex-mex chain restaurant features original, hand-painted murals on the inside walls. What’s even cooler is that you won’t find any of the same two murals at any of the locations. You’ll also be surprised to learn that the online artwork you see associated with this brand is all done by hand.
That’s a Wrap
Building a brand identity should be anything but boring. Take note of these fun brands and think about the ways you can be creative with your brand, while still sticking to the guidelines.