Injecting your authentic message into your brand.
If you’ve spent enough time here, you’ll know that what really makes my soul sing is creating yummy visuals! As you can imagine when I set out to design my own brand I was itching to get onto pinterest and gather beautiful imagery to inspire my business visuals. I was ready to immerse myself in all things mood board. However this enthusiasm I am sure many of you share with me, needs to be grounded in an understanding of your brands story and message. When you rush into visual branding without first considering your underlying message you may be forfeiting the very thing you are setting out to do. Creating an identity.
So, fellow dream-chaser, lets hold back for just one moment and define the core message of your brand. By taking this critical first step, your brand will have depth, meaning and connect better with your audience. It will also give you greater confidence in your visual branding. When you know you have created visuals backed with meaning, you’re less likely going to want to change it in weeks to come.
Your Audience, Yourself and Your Business.
Your business visuals have a lot of power in attracting the customers and clients of your dreams. But to do that, you first need to nail down who they are, their concerns, tastes and feelings. I know you will have heard the saying ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’ well, while your dream customers are incredible humans they are going to judge your brand by its cover. Its Science. Like all of us, they will form an opinion of your brand based on visuals in under a second. Without proper consideration, you run the risk of attracting the wrong customer base. So, ask yourself the following questions:
Who these people are?
What do they need from your brand?
What emotions you want to evoke in them?
Where are they at now and where do they want to be with your brands help.
How does working with or buying from your brand make them feel about themselves?
What appeals to them, and the styles they like and the vibe they would resonate with.
Then there is you! You’re the little worker bee behind your brand and that shouldn’t be forgotten. While you and your brand don’t have to be one and the same thing it’s important for the two to be a fit (especially in service based businesses). Your visuals are going to give your customer an idea of what to expect from your brand and your personality. If your shy, loud colours and bold patterns may not be a good fit.
For those of you who are not planning on being the face of your business or even popping out from behind the curtain any time soon, your brand still needs a personality. A great example of this is Frank Body. Despite being the brainchild of two women their brand messaging comes from the perspective of a slightly sleazy and cheaky guy named frank.
Some things to consider about yourself or your brand’s persona:
General personal attributes.
What makes you who you are, such as history heritage experience, skills and personality.
Aspects of where you are that your audience would look up to.
Your story and journey.
Your lifestyle, interests and habits.
And of cause we can’t forget about your business itself. When I say your business I mean your offers, values, positioning, differentiation, business model and the community you create around what you do. communicating these through your branding will help your customer decide whether your services or products are a good fit for them.
Some things to consider about your business:
What products and services do you offer and how do you offer them?
What sets you apart from your competition?
How do you position yourself in the marketplace? Are you the cheap and cheerful, the boutique ir the high end. This one is really important because if you get that message wrong in your visual branding you instantly set the wrong tone and loose sales. Start the experience with your branding and set the tone from your positioning.
What is your business model and what is the number one thing you want people to do when they find you and what is the end goal?
What community feel do you want to create around your business?
Bringing the message together to create a distinct brand identity
After careful reflection of you audience, your brand identity (you) and your business , it’s time to pull all the key words and phrases from your answers together. This will help you create a word bank that describes your brands message and story, giving you clarity when it comes to visual branding As easy as it is to get carried away in a sea of beautiful inspiration images and lost for hours in Adobe Illustrator or Canva be sure to revisit the ground work you’ve done. Be sure, as you begin designing that you are reflecting your brands message in each element of your brand identity. Including font and colour choices, graphics, icons, logo, textures, patterns, illustrations and layout.