You know that twinge…that itch? Something about your branding feels off. You can’t quite put your finger on it. It just doesn’t feel right somehow.
You question it.
Is it inconsistent?
Is it not quite beautiful enough?
Could it be better?
Is it the wrong style?
Is it really me?
Why am I not getting seen?
And… “Oh their branding is so pretty! I should do something more like that.”
And there you go, rebranding again. Starting all over, changing your fonts and colours and maybe even that never quite perfect logo. Why do you keep doing this?
You are not alone.
So many creative business owners struggle with their own branding. Even graphic designers who are designing brands for clients everyday. We lean on the excuse ‘it’s just so hard to design for yourself’.
But there actually are reasons why. And when you identify the underlying issue, you can finally get your branding right, and finally feel confident and happy with your branding. You can get on with doing your creative work and rest at ease that your branding is all that it needs to be.
What is going wrong with your Branding Process?
The itch you get, is actually the realisation that your branding is out of alignment. It either isn’t saying the right thing, is trying to be someone else, or just isn’t you. You either just went with a fleeting trend or something you liked in the moment or tried to imitate a style you saw others using that was working well for them.
You chose your brand style for the wrong reasons. And so it will always feel wrong. When you get your branding right, it sits well with you. It feels right. It’s you, and you just know it’s all it needs to be.
Another issue that may be causing things to feel off, is that you are trying too hard. You want to be the best, most impressive and amazing. You want to show off how clever talented and creative you are. You want a mind blowing brand, but it never feels enough. So you keep tweaking, improving and never feel satisfied. As soon as you see something that in your eyes is better, you feel the need to take your own design up a notch.
This is yet again another symptom of lack of alignment. Your too busy competing and trying to impress, rather than looking at the real purpose of your branding. The function of branding is to communicate the message of your brand. Rather then being the best at making a stand-out brand identity, be the best at being true to your brand message. Stop trying to be the most impressive. It is about resonating with your audience, not about impressing them with fancy design.
So it is possible to put an end to re-branding cycle. You have to create a brand that is true to you. That communicates the right message. That resonates with the right audience. A brand where all elements are chosen for a reason, a meaningful reason, beyond just looking nice.
You need to start the right way, and you need to commit to taking the time to do the process properly. You can’t skip steps of the design process. You can’t rush it. When you strategically design for your branding, and take the time to really work out what it needs to communicate and how it can be the true essence of your brand and personal identity, it saves you time in the long run.
You may feel the need to rush, because you want your brand to look good quickly, so you can get on with the things that make you money. This will only cost you in the long run though. When you invest the time to get your branding right, making it true to you and making design choices for the right reasons and following a proper process, then you won’t have to do it again. In fact you will only have to make small tweaks over time, never a complete overhaul.
How to Create a Brand Design that you will Stick with.
It all starts with following an in depth process. When it comes to designing for yourself, I recommend people go deeper then they would if they were designing for someone else. This is because we tend to find it hard to step back, and see the style that will be right for our own brand. You are too involved in it all. you can’t see it from an external point of view.
This leaves you confused and mix minded. So by going deep, it helps you get the clarity you need. It gets all those thoughts swimming in your head out on paper. Organise them, think them through and sift through what is really relevant and what matters. The process of getting brand clarity will make the design process so much easier. It will then fall into place a whole lot easier.
Start with the 3 elements of your brand identity.
Start by looking at the 3 key parts that make up your brand identity. These are:
- You. Looking at your personal style, personality and identity and how you play a part in the identity of your brand.
- Your Audience. Looking at who they are, their needs, desires, problems, identity, and what they are attracted to.
- Your Business. Thinking about what you want to communicate, your values, story, your process, your offers.
When you get clear on these 3 parts, you can then analyse how they all interlink and find a style that speaks the story of your brand.
When you leave any part out, things will feel off. Because you are merely guessing, or basing your design choices on the wrong things. You can’t try to be someone you are not, speak to an audience you don’t feel a connection to, or build a brand identity that doesn’t sit right with your own values and story. Your brand is unique to you, and you need an identity design that reflects that.
If you want more resources to get this right and finally nail your brand style, check out these free resources :
- Define your Brands Visual Style, email course. You will get a new email every second day over 10 days, giving your the prompts and questions to get you thinking deeply, and the processes to take those thoughts and start to turn them into a brand style.
- Why it is so Hard to Design for Yourself and How to Overcome it
- How to create a Distinct Brand Style– video
- What your Visual Branding needs to say about your Brand
- How to Design a Timeless Brand Identity
- Why you Shouldn’t treat your Brand like a Guinea Pig
- Why You Need to Define your Ideal Audience before you Brand
- Why it’s Important to have Clarity in Branding