Brand Boosters: Tips to grow your brand identity

September 16, 2015

Brand Booster Tips | In Honor of Design

(Image via Aesop, type by IHOD)

Anna : Today Melyssa and I are sharing with you some Brand Boosters to keep in mind when growing your blog or business. I really miss getting to talk branding and entrepreneurship through The Brand Market workshops, so I am happy to share some tips to grow your brand identity:

  • Defining your purpose and telling your your story?
    What were your original reasons for pursuing your business? What sparked the motivation to go after that vision? Why do you value this dream? When you understand and value your purpose, and the purpose of your business, all the small and big decisions you face can be run through those foundation questions. Those answers to the WHY will be the guide through every decision you face in your life as an entrepreneur. When I was running The Brand Market, my purpose was to help entrepreneurs in their pursuit of doing what they love as their main job. I also knew the branding elements needed to display that I understood what a brand was, so everything I shared and created ran through those filters.Every great brand has successfully defined their story. They have found their niche, outlined their strengths, and consistently deliver content based on these parameters. Whether it is the attention to detail, customer service, comical writing voice, or the bold colors you integrate, define what makes you stand out among the rest. So it’s important to ask yourself these questions: What do you want people to feel when they visit your site? What do you want them to take away from your brand? How will they become familiar with your product or personality? What will be your trademark?

“Do what you do so well, that they will want to see it again and bring their friends.” – Walt Disney

  • Create a brand that will grow with you – When entering into the technical aspects of your brand (ie: colors, logo, materials, packaging, etc.), you want to make sure to create a brand that can grow with you over time. Aim for timeless fonts that are not too trendy. Consider custom design and colors that resonate with your style and reflect the style of your company/blog/shop. When you secure a strong brand identity, you can start to implement that into every aspect of your business. (Your profile images, your color schemes on website, business cards, social channels, etc.)

    If you choose to re-brand your business, make sure you do a little research ahead of time. Make sure no one owns the domain name and social media handles are available. Get opinions, but not too many. Ask those you trust to give objective advice on a new name or style and ultimately, go with your gut instinct. Give your audience plenty of prep time know you are switching to a new name or look so that they can get on board!

  • High Quality Imagery – With the surge in online entrepreneurship, it is so important to make sure your first impression on your site is an impactful one. Since we don’t get to meet our readers, clients, or customers face to face, we have our words and our imagery to convey our message. No matter what your business is, high quality imagery is worth the investment. You want your photos to portray the quality of your work and what your style and content are about. When I ran an accessory business, all I had was a little canon powershot camera and I practiced and practiced to get the images I wanted to display the look and feel of my brand. Since I didn’t have the funds to hire out a photographer, I invested my own time to figure it out. I had taken photography classes in college, but product photography was a field I was unfamiliar with. I browsed the web till I found goals to aim for and how to reach them. It served me well in the first months of my business, but that little camera could only go so far  in quality,  so my next plan of action was I sent out my products to some of my favorite bloggers who represented my aesthetic and they modeled my first line. When I launched the line with professional images, the products sold out! Do what it takes to make your imagery professional so when visitors see your site, it leaves a lasting impression, instantly delivers your style, and overall speaks your brand identity. It will pay itself off ten ties fold!
  • Presenting your brand to the public – Whether you are about to launch your business or about to re-brand your business, you should have a launch strategy. Everyone loves behind the scenes photos, teasers, giveaways, and hype. Have a good amount of strong content available on your site and social media channels to roll out the weeks leading up to the launch. Get people engaged and coming back for more, so that when you launch, they naturally want to share and take part in your great success!

brand building tips | IHOD

{Postcards by A pair of pears}

Melyssa: Branding is what helps potential readers and customers differentiate you from your competitors. Not only is it your aesthetic identity, but it’s also your personality and overall purpose. Can you tell it’s kind of a big deal? 😉 Here are four of my tips for boosting your brand:

 

 

  • Create templates for your website/blog imagery. Your branding can become confusing fast if each of your blog post images uses a different font. To make things easier on you and more beneficial for your brand, create 2-3 blog post image templates that all follow a similar style (i.e. they incorporate the same color palette and fonts). Not only will this allow you to create blog images in a snap, but it will also show your followers that you keep things consistent, which builds trust.
  • Focus your brand’s messaging on who you serve, not immediately on yourself. So, rather than starting the bio on your About page (or social media profiles) with “Hi, my name is ______ and I started this website because I love _____,” try leading with something more like, “Are you a _______ or ________? Then you’re in the right spot because….” Essentially, before you start talking about yourself, you want to tell people who your site exists for and how you help those people. When new visitors feel like you’re speaking directly to them, they can better understand and relate to your brand.
  • On the same token, design your brand around your ideal reader or client, not around yourself. It’s tempting to create graphics and products that speak directly to you — and I’m not necessarily saying you shouldn’t do that, but if you want to stand out and build a solid brand online, you need to think deeply about your target market and whether or not your brand’s identity is appealing directly to them. This goes for all aspects of your branding, including your logo, website design, and social media images.
  • Lastly, once you have a solid grasp on your website’s branding, aim to weave that through everything else that your brand comes in contact with. For example, your social media profiles and email newsletters. This means that your images, such as Instagram photos, and copy, such as your pin descriptions on Pinterest, should all feel like they’ve come from the same person (you!). If your website is bright and colorful, create a colorful Instagram feed. If your writing is sassy and sarcastic, incorporate that humor into your tweets. Branding, at its core, is about maintaining a consistent personality, geared toward serving and relating to your ideal audience. Sound good?

If you want to learn ALL the things about branding, I’m teaching an online branding workshop next month. You can sign up here to get more info when it’s released. Holla!

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