While it is tempting to keep your branding simple, just make a nice pretty logo, pick out a few nice fonts and colours and you are good to go, it's like slapping a fresh coat of paint on an old run down falling apart house. It will look nice for a bit, but it won't last.
There is so much noise and clutter out there , so many brands trying to grab attention. But what can help you cut through and speak to the right people and allow them to find you and feel an attachment to your brand is including these elements in the essence of your brand identity.
THE VISION OF YOUR BRAND
Your brand vision is about looking forward, having goals for what you want to create and the difference you want to make in peoples lives. This part of your brand includes your purpose, mission and offers.
You created you brand for a reason, and there is a vision for what you want it to become. There is purpose to your brand, it isn't flippant and meaningless. You know the impact you want to make and what you will offer and create to do that.
You offer is in many ways the vehicle for your mission, it is the thing/s you create to help achieve that mission.
It is about seeing a future for the brand, and considering the journey you want to take your audience on.
Without a vision your brand is directionless, and you will find yourself getting caught up in different ideas, and latching on to shiny new things, rather than focussing on what you are trying to create and the journey you have laid out.
You may want to create a mission statement that clearly states what you are trying to help people with and the difference you want your brand to make to those people and how you plan to do that. That way when new opportunities or ideas arise, you can look at your mission and check if it aligns with what you are trying to achieve, and if it doesn't then you know it isn't for you.
For example- My mission is to help people better understand themselves and take out time in their day for self reflection and development so they can become their best selves, I do this through journals and providing advice and journal prompts to help them on the journey.
Now say an opportunity comes up to collaborate with a candle brand, now lighting a candle while journaling can help set the mood and make the process of journalling a nice experience, so this would be a good opportunity that aligns with the vision of the brand.
However if you started to get into healthy eating and though 'hmm maybe my followers would also like some recipe ideas' while this may appeal to the same audience, it goes off track from the vision of your brand, and you could end up feeling lost and lose your way as suddenly you are promoting all these different things and your message becomes diluted and confusing.
This doesn't means a business can't pivot. If you feel you need to make changes, then you also need to revisit the vision of the brand and make adjustments so you have a new vision, rather than a split up messy, unclear vision.
THE HEART OF YOUR BRAND
A strong brand needs heart. This is about connection. It is the human side to your brand, where you show empathy, care and connection.
People want to feel connection and meaning. Know your audience, connect with them, use story and have strong values that your audience will align with.
You want to get to know your audience on a deep level, know their fears, struggles, desires, hopes and dreams and connect with them. Create community, make friends, share things with them, listen to them.
Then you can create things in your brand that build connection, such as telling stories, using visual story telling, and have strong clear values that guide your decisions, how you behave and what your brand creates and shares.
Your brand values should be a guiding light in your brand, they direct your brands behaviour and can inspire innovative branding ideas.
For example, a farm that sells eggs and values happy hens, organic produce, quality, friendliness and sustainability. That would influence how they set up and run their farm, the chickens they have, how their share stories about the farm and the chickens, they might put on the box a little story about the chicken that laid those eggs, her name and her favourite thing to do (this makes it friendly, higher quality and showcases the happy hens). They would use sustainable packaging, and maybe even share fun tips about how you could re-use your egg cartons. e.g how to plant seedlings in the egg carton, or maybe even go a step further and use seeded paper so people can plant the egg carton and grow something in their yard.
Values can become the gateway for more story and connection and lead to brand innovation and clever memorable marketing ideas.
This all gives your brand heart.
THE DISTINGUISHMENT OF YOUR BRAND
This is about what makes your brand different and sets it apart. You need to stand out, find your focus and niche, position your brand and find a way to do things differently.
You don't want your brand to just blend in and be overlooked. You need to find your differentiating factors. It includes considering your brand focus and niche and the positioning of your brand.
Study what is currently in the market and what distinguishing factors make your brand a little different. Think about it from your customers point of view, what options have they already tried, what frustrated them and how you you filling a gap in the market.
Consider why you decided to do this, was there something that you felt was missing, and wanted to create something that you felt was needed or do you have a fresh unique perspective or set of talents that you are bringing.
Do you feel your brand has all three parts? If not how can you refine it? And if it does, does revisiting these things inspire new ideas for how you can share this in your brand and marketing?
STRENGTHEN YOUR BRAND TODAY
Download the guide to build a stronger brand that attracts and connects.
I'd love to hear from you
Come join me on Instagram to chat more about this! You can comment on a post or send me a DM and let me know your thoughts or ask a question.