Friday, April 11, 2014

Branding Inspiration That Will Help You Stand Out

Our recent blog post, “A Dose of Social Media Inspiration” was quite a hit with readers, which has pushed us to look for more inspiring marketing material. Finding and sharing unique marketing ideas and campaigns is what we love to do. This time around, we’re going to be putting the focus on creative branding.

A unique brand that recently caught our eye is Voodoo Doughnut, a donut shop located in Portland. While donut stores sound like a standard business, you may be surprised to hear this donut shop is far from ordinary! If you haven’t visited this establishment yet, you can clearly get a sense of who they are by visiting their website and social media accounts. You will see they have an eccentric approach to things, which can be seen throughout their brand messaging. Not only is their marketing material fun and humourous, but it works perfectly well for their brand and their overall image they strive to be.

Being in downtown Portland, this sort of quirky humour reflects the environment and hipster community. They are clearly different from other donut shops, such as Krispy Kreme, Tim Hortons or Dunkin Donuts. While these mega-donut stores can afford all the marketing resources they want, Voodoo Doughnut still makes it out on top. With their creative marketing messages that tend to go against the grain, it only further sets them apart from well-known franchises. 

Their marketing material isn’t the only thing that makes Voodoo Doughnut stand out. When you grab a donut from Voodoo Doughnut, expect the unexpected. You’ll be pleasantly surprised to see unique donuts displayed in front of you. Such flavours include maple bacon donuts with real bacon on top, fruitloops donuts and voodoo-doll inspired donuts. That is truly something you don’t see every day! Even original flavours, such as the boston cream donut has a Voodoo twist. So if you’re looking for this flavor, keep an eye out for a replaced name – the “Portland Cream” donut.


Everything about their brand is unique and creative – it truly requires some out-of-the-box thinking to develop such ideas. Even their website is different. With a design that perfectly mimics the brand, it’s no wonder Voodoo Doughnut caught our attention. They also have a fun allergy disclaimer on their website that mentions “voodoo magic” may be included in their donuts. And if that isn’t creative enough, they also sell bumper stickers that state “I got VD in Portland.” With a slogan that says “the magic is in the hole” you can’t expect any less from Voodoo Doughnut.


With all of these unique brand ideas, from product offering to marketing materials, it is not surprising to hear this donut shop has become a popular attraction for tourists. If you plan to grab a donut in the near future, expect a long line up. We visited this unique establishment last week while in Portland after seeing it featured on Man vs Food. We stood outside in a 30 person line-up …which we later found out isn’t unusual! It goes to show that being different isn’t so bad after all. It can help you gain world-wide recognition, as it did with Voodoo Doughnut.

In the end, it all comes back to marketing 101. When strategizing for your marketing campaigns, you need to identify key elements, which includes determining what your key differentiation strategy will be. What will set you apart from your competitors? Whether your competition consists of other small businesses or big-box stores, you still need to pinpoint what makes you different. What will make your brand memorable? What will ultimately make it stand out? These are questions you have to consider in order to develop a winning creative brand.

Have you been to Voodoo Doughnut before? If so, leave your comment below and tell us what your favourite donut is. 

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You may also like:

Awareness Campaigns Don’t Have To Be Boring! 
Why Interacting With Other Brands Is A Win-Win
A Dose of Social Media Inspiration
7 Reasons Why Connecting Facebook and Twitter Is A Bad Idea
Build an Online Brand Presence – Before It’s Too Late!

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