Meet OffLimits, the vegan and gluten-free cereal brand with its own world of fun and playful mascots. Before creating her own branded breakfast company, founder Emily Miller studied global trend forecasting and wrote BREAKFAST: The Cookbook, featuring authentic home-cooked breakfast dishes from all around the world.
Now, Emily’s brand OffLimits focuses on re-writing the breakfast narrative through inclusive mascots that represent a new generation of cereal eaters.
Looking to build your own brand in an established industry? Emily shares some creative branding tips to help you craft a compelling brand identity for your business.
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4 steps to building a winning brand identity
- Think big
- Ask the tough questions
- Bring together like-minded creatives
- Have confidence in your vision
1. Think big
When building a brand, it’s important to think long term and imagine how you want it to look and feel at its peak. Emily wanted the OffLimits brand to revolve around a world of mascots and focus less on the actual product. “It was never just about starting a cereal brand, it really started with the mascots and pouring my own emotions into their extreme personalities,” Emily says.
The character-focused approach led Emily to design a whole branded world where the mascots could live and play. She knew she could eventually expand her business through the mascots and storytelling, and add cereal flavors along with it.
2. Ask the tough questions
It’s important to consider your competition and highlight your differentiation points when developing your brand. Comparing yourself to older, more established brands can be intimidating, but it’s key to creating a brand you’ll be proud of for years to come.
3. Bring together like-minded creatives
To bring her brand vision to life, Emily brought together a group of creatives with different areas of expertise. “OffLimits is an example of what happens when creatives are brought into the [brand] conversation from day one and unite to build something that’s more than just transactional,” Emily says.
For example, one team of creatives handles the mascot design, while another uses those assets to make animations for the company’s website. “We created a really cool process between a bunch of different creative people,” Emily says.
4. Have confidence in your vision
Emily didn’t let the established cereal companies deter her from launching her out-of-the box brand. “For millennials and Gen Z, we really are full of emotions that we’re not afraid to talk about, and there needed to be a new brand in the space that wasn’t afraid to address anything,” Emily says.
It’s important from day one to back your own vision and believe in the story you’re trying to sell. “Embrace being creative and weird. Take an approach of, ‘If you don’t like it, we don’t care,’” Emily says.
If you tell a story you believe in that brings together creative minds, your audience will want to become a part of your branded world—and buy your products..