Why do different brands that sell similar products achieve different levels of success? Very likely, because of branding.

Branding comes in all shapes and sizes, and each business has its own look, tone, personality, and characteristics. But some brands stand out more than others, getting more buzz than other businesses—even those selling all but identical products or services.

You know those successful companies... They're the ones you stalk on Instagram because their content is always on point and their images seem straight out of a magazine. Or perhaps that business is the local store that everyone recommends to friends, or that one must-see e-commerce website.

What are those businesses doing different from the rest?

They're branding their gutsy.

Gutsy is having an idea to do something and following through with it. It's going against the grain by trying something new that no one else is doing, knowing that it could stick or it could fail. If we want to get really technical, the definition of "gutsy" is "showing courage, determination, and spirit." Essentially, it's a willingness to take a leap of faith.

Often, the most successful marketing and branding campaigns are the ones willing to take a risk with the business's identity. Let's take salad dressing, for example. There are thousands of companies that make, manufacture, and sell salad dressing. Most take a similar approach with their messaging and labeling, and they sell a decent product.

But consider the brand JUST. It sells salad dressing, but its labels are so simple that they grab your attention. The logo, a simple black and white mark, is placed on a clear bottle that displays the color of the product within it. That's it.

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image of Laura Wallace

Laura Wallace is the owner, creative director, and resident fire-starter at Worx Graphic Design. She is also the author of Brandstarter and the founder of The Green Couch Project.

LinkedIn: Laura Wallace