Whether you’re starting a new Business or rebranding an existing one, you’re faced with some pretty big decisions: defining your brand being one of them! Personifying yourself, clearly and definitively in the mind of the consumer is going to be a bit of a challenge for you.
That’s why I’ve put together a few fun exercises that can help you envision your brand as a multidimensional entity that will help you create a unique and successful brand.
Style is a way to say who you are without having to speak – Rachel Zoe
I want to make sure that with any branding that you be true to yourself, your own personal style and the vision you have for your Business (short term and well into the future). At the end of the day, you (and your target market of course!) are the ones who have to love your brand.
Is this a direct reflection of YOU and your business? 100% authentic.
Is this a true reflection of what you offer to your clients & customers?
One approach that many have found helpful is to think of your brand as more than a logo or a product or even a company, but as a living, breathing personality.
Your brand walks into a party…
First let’s consider how you want your brand to appear to others.
Let’s imagine your brand is a person walking into a party… How is she dressed? You’re going to this party to connect with other guests in a memorable way. What would you say, and what would be your approach? Is it methodical, extroverted, fun? Or would your tone be more conservative and eloquent, or assessible and friendly, cool, street smart? Write down the words that describe how your brand would act.
The Celebrity Analogy
If your Business was a famous celebrity, who would it be and why?
Maybe you just love Audrey Hepburn, you like her look and what she stands for. Maybe someone like Oprah? What traits do they possess that are shared with your business?
If you could choose anyone in the whole world to represent your Business as it’s spokesperson, who would it be, and why? Would you pick someone from your local community? Someone who you and your country look up to? A Celebrity? A fictional character even?
Looking at the “why” you’ve chosen your particular spokesperson is the key here.
I’m sure we’re all familiar with archetypes in our own personalities and which ones we identify with.
This particular approach was popularised by Margaret Mark & Carol Pearson in their book The Hero and The Outlaw: Building Extraordinary Brands Through the Power of Archetypes.
Their system consists of two dimensions: self-focused vs. group-oriented, and order vs. change. For example, if the culture of your company is to exercise control, you are likely an archetype in the upper semicircle.
Richard Branson’s Virgin brand is an excellent example of the rebel archetype. So is Harley Davidson. Break the rules.
To dive deeply into this type of branding archetypes, you’ll need to read the book, but you get the jist of it.
Keep it real
Your brand may have a number of negative personality attributes, so don’t be afraid to include less flattering terms like “boring” and “inflexible.” What you’re after is an accurate picture of who you are, not a list of wishfully, bordering on sickly sweet.
Tip: Avoid feel-good terms like “warm,” “friendly,” “Caring,” “Responsive” and “Personal.” For example: every Web Designer thinks they can do the best website (whether that is true or not). Eventually, if service and results are not up to par it will look blaringly fake and like every other business who thinks and advertises how great that are with these words and it ends up looking like the same old crap.
What makes you stand out?
*Don’t try to be someone you’re not, because you may end up not liking them anyway!
Get on Pinterest and take a tour, see which designs you like and why they resonate with the Business & Life you’re creating.
For example if you’re a Wedding Photographer: type in Wedding Photographer Logo or Wedding Photography Branding (you get the idea!).
Grouped together, these details will begin to create a picture of your brand’s personality.