After last week’s super emotional and majorly cliff-hanger share (Spoiler: No update as of yet), I figured TODAY I should give you a smooth ride-along blog filled with amazing informational goodies to make up for the roller coaster I put you through.
Isn’t this fun?!
If you’ve been living under a rock for the past few emails (or just have been too busy catching up with Master of None on Netflix), we’ve been talking about the magic, madness, and mental marathon of nailing your brand and/or going through a rebrand.
I’ve shared my specific experience with the initial branding and current rebranding of Your Hot Copy (the highs, the lows, the revelations, the what-the-fucks), and some wisdom from my days as the writer/director of my film “Hannah Has a Ho-Phase.”
I hope my words offered you some much-needed encouragement, practical know-how, and, as always, a little bit o’ Lolz.
And without further adieu: now’s the time to open up the floor to some other seasoned branding professionals to give you their own pearls of wisdom.
I reached out to some of the best in the branding biz to get some tips, tricks, and time-tested tactics for absolutely NAILING your brand/rebrand.
Bad-ass lady entrepreneurial tribe for the win!
1. GET THE GOODS ON ALL THE NITTY GRITTIES
First off we’ve got the amazingly eclectic and talented design fanatic, blogger, and genius creator of the Biz and Brand Roadmap (click on that shit to download, sillies): Jenna Soard of You Can Brand.
(You guys, her company is called YOU CAN BRAND. If that doesn’t just make your little heart fill up with hope that you can do this thang, then I don’t know what will.)
For first-time branders, Jenna recommends asking all the right questions to cross your t’s and dot your i’s when it comes to effective visuals. Questions like: “Do the colors, fonts and images take into consideration your aesthetic? Does it fit the industry trends? Would my ideal client love this? Does this fit the brand’s personality (values, benefits, character qualities)?”
Melissa Burkheimer, design visionary and diva of digital identity, also advocates a methodical approach to a first-time brand. But don’t get too complicated, she says!
“When you’re branding your business for the first time I have two simple rules,” Melissa told us, “keep everything super simple and be yourself. Between your font style, your photos, and your offerings, and your entire customer experience, don’t overthink the process, and don’t change who you are. Your business and brand will most likely evolve and change, but having something out there is better than nothing when you’re first starting out.”
2. DEFINE YOUR VISION, YOU VISIONARY!
Lindsey Barbara (brand stylist and founder of the incredible iBlossom Business Collective) has some amazing advice when it comes to branding for the first time: get your INTENTIONS on fleek, FOR CRYIN’ OUT LOUD.
This means knowing exactly what YOU want to give your audience.
Do you know what kind of brand you want to be? A personal brand? Several brands? Branding as a company or “parent” brand? These are all internal questions to consider carefully BEFORE you put moolah into the making of the external things like a biz brand logo, design, and all that other fun visual jazz. Honing your intentions on your vision will not only clarify your direction for you, it will give you a greater chance of success with your biz.
Like Lindsey says, “Intention will make or break a brand. It will make the difference between a superficial brand and one that has traction, profit, connection, and emotion, AND one that immediately wins you work.”
3. PUT YOUR AUDIENCE FIRST
Obviously, it’s SUPER important to clarify your biz’s mission when you’re thinking about representing your brand to the world.
But it’s also WILDLY important to put your client first, and consider what THEY would be drawn to support with their monies and time.
The amazing Naomi Niles, Brand Strategist and Digital Storyteller, says it extremely well (doi, she’s a branding BOSS):
“Be clear on who your audience is. What are their likes and dislikes. What resonates with them most? Branding is very much about you, but even more importantly, it’s about the intersection between where their needs and yours meet.”
So all that time making sure your perspective is clear? Make sure it’s met halfway with time spent understanding the perspective of your prospective client.
“There must be a mutual understanding in order that your brand captures their attention and resonates with your customers. Most times it’s not about what’s most original or what feels 100% you. You must dig to find what feels true for you and also what is also true for your customers.”
4. SOLIDIFY THAT BIG PICTURE PLAN AGAIN…AND AGAIN…AND AGAIN
As for rebranding, web maven Melissa advocates a slow-and-steady, big-picture approach that takes into account the LONGEVITY you are hoping to create with your biz.
“If you don’t take the time to define the elements of your ideal visual identity, then you may not end up with a logo that looks like it belongs on a frozen treat,” she says.
“You want something that matches where you’re going in the next 5+ years, so as you build that big thing you want to create!”
Jenna chimes in on this as well, adding that the refining process of a rebrand can evolve over time. She recommends “updating visuals on timely trends” and “re-analyzing your target to see if things have shifted” as important steps to focus on during your biz makeover.
The amazing Kasia Zukowska (WordPress consultant and web designer extraordinaire), totally agrees with the concept of working that long-game to your advantage (both for rebranding AND initial branding), saying:
“Allow your brand to evolve and grow with you over time. People often want to start with a rockstar brand and spend so much time or money creating that brand to then find out they need to rebrand because it wasn’t right or because they weren’t clear on their business at that point and now they are. They key here is to start, get to know your audience, your business and yourself so your brand can blossom into that rockstar brand. No one ever starts out with a badass brand, it happens over time.”
5. RESONATE RELATIONALLY TO REAP SWEET REWARDS
We all know that tone, emotionality, and relational attributes are a HUGE part of repping your biz.
For all of you experiencing #thatrebrandlife, Kasia recommends an easy-does-it approach to moving into your new aesthetic, and utilizing the relationship you have with your audience to keep the love between your biz and your clients alive! (We’re talking freebies and sneak peeks to whip the masses into a fun frenzy.)
“You likely have a big audience at this point and they are emotionally invested in your brand so it’s important you ease your audience into the new brand. You can do this by getting them excited and leaking out little hints and previews of the new brand.
She also warns not to change anything TOO drastically, so as not to spook the herd and startle away your audience.
“Something else to remember is not to change your brand drastically, you should be able to connect your old brand to your new brand in some way. The only time you would do a drastic change is if you are targeting a different audience, changing your whole business (what you do/offer) or if your previous brand suffered because of negative reputation and can’t bounce back from it.”
There you have it, branders and re-brander alike!
What spoke to you most? Any specific words of wisdom spark an “a-ha” moment for you? Make sure to tell us at our Facebook page, and also STALK ALL THESE WOMEN AND LEARN EVEN MORE FROM THEM.
Trust me, you’ll be glad you did.