In design, white space defines the space between elements. It’s not empty space, but instead can bring emotion, power, or order to a layout. In branding, white space refers to something more behavioral, and it involves speaking to consumers in a new way, or offering them something unique.
Brands that find true white space within an industry -- room to offer products or services in a slightly new way -- are poised for success (especially if they can then do a good job communicating what makes them so special!).
But first you have to find -- or CREATE -- that white space to begin with! Sometimes it can be as easy as communicating your brand differently or in other places than your competitors. Other times it means tweaking your products/services or your branding to play in an untapped space.
Here are three tips on creating white space for your brand:
Realize that your brand is a vehicle for bringing value to a customer. Really embody that truth, and open yourself to an ongoing dialogue between your brand and your customers to ensure you understand their needs and frustrations. With that open line of communication, you’ll begin to recognize how to tweak your brand (its offerings, its delivery, its methods, etc.) in ways that will meet those consumer needs and answer those frustrations. You’ll start to stand out within your industry. You’ll carve out white space!
Keep a pulse on both your industry and the world as a whole. Oftentimes, brands look to other brands within a vertical to get inspiration and to gauge their overall success at a given point. That’s important, certainly, but look beyond that relatively small universe of just your industry and instead glean inspiration from the way brands in totally different spaces are doing things. It will broaden your thinking and poise you to bring interesting, new-to-your-industry tactics to market.
Be open to iteration. Don’t think of your brand or the products or services you offer as stagnant. Instead, view your brand as a living, evolving thing that can move and morph to meet the market’s needs. This mentality will keep your brand nimbly searching for white space at any given time.