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The Brand-Tender’s Journey
How to care for your brand every step of the way
Hello and happy day! I’d usually be getting ready for Thanksgiving houseguests this week, but 2020 keeps bringing the “little bit different” vibes. This year, instead of hosting my family for the traditional feast, Bryan and I are going to amuse ourselves by making overly complicated turkey burgers. On the side, cranberry relish and sweet potato oven fries.
While my mind is on journeys that aren’t being taken this year, there’s one journey that I’ve walked quite a few entrepreneurs through this year – their branding journey. At least this one doesn’t involve any turkey-brining.
When you begin your branding journey,
Acknowledge that you have a brand. Your brand is the impression you create in others’ minds. Whether or not you are doing anything to shape your brand is another matter.
Know how much you need to do to shape your brand. Understand that each phase of business has a right-sized brand for where you are now. You can grow a brand slowly, over time, through useful marketing tools, worksheets, and more. Or, if you’re more established, you may be ready to rebrand in a bigger way. It all has to do with your degree of certainty about your business and its core – what you’re really all about. Which is why the next step is to… drumroll, please…
Get clear and get to know your brand. Getting to know your business better is crucial to building a strong brand. I recommend starting with a self-reflection tool. Nobody knows your business better than you do, so you have to dig in and get real with your answers.
Make some basic design choices early on. Establish a couple of colors you’ll use in your documents. Find a unique font on Google Web Fonts, and download it to your computer and install it. Use this for headlines, in one of your corporate colors, and bam – you’ve already made your document stand out from the crowd. Use these consistently to build your baby brand.
Or, if your business is ready, you can skip straight to hiring a designer to design a logo and other brand identity assets. (I’d love to help.)
Get your stylesheet and templates. A stylesheet is a document that shows the colors, fonts, and other elements that form the core of your brand. And I often design templates for things that you’ll use time and time again – worksheets for your courses, social media images, and presentations top the list.
Get a website. Get the right-sized website for you and for your audience’s attention span. A surprising trend in 2020? Moving towards single-page websites, because simplicity rules in the face of uncertainty.
Review things from time to time. This is part of Brand-Tending – checking in on your brand from time to time and making sure you haven’t gone off course. I recommend setting a time once a year to cozy up and review what you have, to see what’s relevant and what may need to be revised or omitted.
Continue to evolve. As your business grows and changes, your brand will grow and change, too. You’ll decide to add a new program or product to your lineup, or realize that it’s time to get a new marketing piece designed.
And, every day, as you go about your business – remember, THAT’S building your brand. Your brand is shaped in every interaction, so I urge you to keep an eye on this. Think about how you can keep the tone of your brand consistent and in alignment with your core values at all times.
I hope it was useful to get an overview of your branding journey. It’s always a better feeling to know where you are, and what twists and turns are ahead.
And know that if you are looking for a guide for this or any other graphic design adventures in your business, I’m here to help.
Your questions/comments are welcome, and I’m so, so grateful to you for reading.
And, yes, I have something special for you.
If you’re ready to get a jumpstart on your branding journey, is now a good time to get started?
If so, consider my Spark Brand and Web Package. You could have your new brand and website up and running before the close of 2020.
As a newsletter subscriber, I’d like to offer you a special discount - enter code GRATEFUL for $250 off your package.
I’d love to make some beauty with you!