4 things that ban.do has taught me

As some of you know, I hope to someday own my own brick and mortar business. This dream of mine sometimes veers into "obsession" territory.  I find myself using my free time trying to learn as much as possible from other business owners. It's easy to be inspired, especially on instagram, my favorite social media outlet. I've been following the success of Ban.do since I was in middle school--2008, almost 10 years ago. Wow!

Just a few things that Ban.do does well:

1. Consistent branding. I could look at any of their photos out of context and think, "BAN DO." That doesn't mean they aren't dynamic though. They manage to stay within a certain color pallet without it looking forced or redundant. They know their customer, and she's fun, not afraid of color, and has a unique sense of style. I look at their images and think to myself, "I want to be that" or "This inspires me." And you know what that means? I'm going to buy their products to feel closer to this brand I feel connected to visually. This all might seem sneaky, but as someone who wants to own a business down the line, I find it totally clever and inspiring. The most clever part? Read on...

2. Creating a brand that people want to belong to. Like I said, creating a brand that people want to be a part of is crucial to success. Ban.do's tagline is "We're serious about FUN." Who wouldn't want to be a part of a brand that encourages you to embrace the fun things in life, like pool parties, brunch, and sparkles? Sure, this isn't everyone's cup of tea, but there is a strong demographic that does identify with the bright-colored dreamland that Ban.do creates. The best part? The women behind Ban.do want you to join their #bandogirlgang.

3. Inclusive marketing. The amazing thing about clear branding of a business you love is that consumers who identify with it are going to want to share their love of it, whether that is through instagram or word of mouth. If they get it, they get it. Throw in a fun hashtag like #bandofuninthesun and consumers will not only want to photograph your product, but they will try to photograph it in a way that will encourage the brand to repost it. And you know what that means? Not only creating community, but also FREE marketing. Score.

4. Transparency. The business leaders that I admire most are the ones that are killin' it in their respective fields with grace, humility, and a whole lotta fun. The founder and artistic director of Ban.do embodies all of these things for me. Her candid take on leading a business is something that I've always looked up to as an aspiring small business owner and leader. She's never afraid to be vulnerable, to open up and literally say "Hey, my life looks awesome, but really I'm having a bad time lately." As someone who has always struggled with anxiety and depression, it's always a relief when a super successful woman shares not only her ups, but also her downs. Honestly, I think it's an incredible business move. Who doesn't want to feel like they not only can purchase items that will make them feel more like the cool chicks on instagram who are making them, but also that they can actually relate to these badass women? It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy, included in their brand, and thus makes me want to buy their products even more. Now that's a successful business model!

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