How To Create A Bad-Ass (And Cohesive) Brand
Part 3 of a 5 Part Series
Hey there, babe! This is the third post in the Branding Breakdown series. During this 5 part series, I will take you behind the scenes and dish the exact formulas, psychology, and processes I use to take a brand from scattered ideas to an alluring identity. Let's get into it.
Over the past couple weeks we have covered what branding will do for your biz, and I helped you find your why. This week we are going to take your why one step further down this branding journey and use it to define your brand style.
Your brand style is the overall "look-and-feel" of your biz. It's what you will use as a road map to pull together colors, choose fonts, and create graphics. It's the wire-frame of your brand. It will will hold your brand together through a gorgeous and easy to understand style.
The key to a bad-ass and cohesive brand? Tell a story!
Think about one of the biggest brands in the world: Nike. You can probably identify it's iconic swoosh from a mile away. But back in the 1970's, Nike was just a small start up just like your biz is today. When Phil Knight hired a designer to create the logo (for a mere $35 smackers- no joke) he wanted something that would stand the test of time and grow with his business. Enter the swoosh that is simple but masterfully made. In fact, this checkmark was created to communicate movement and speed for the athletic brand. And those two describing words are clearly seen and recognized each time we spot an athlete sportin' some Nikes.
This is something that we all hope for in our own brands. We want our look- logos, fonts, etc- to become synonymous with the products and services, but also our mission behind our brand. That way, our brand can do the talking for us. Luckily, this is easier than you might think! So open those workbooks to page 2 and let's kick some branding ass!
Don't have your workbook yet? Download yours now!
How to Create a Bad-ass and Cohesive Brand: A 4 step process
Start out by revisiting your why (Don't have one yet? Use this to help!) Remind yourself what you're passionate about and how you're going to put a little heart into your business. Now write that down if you haven't yet- this is what will drive every effin' thing in your biz, so immerse yourself in it babe!
On to today's exercise...
Step 1: On page 2 of your workbook (seriously, go download it) write down your why once more and then break it down into the two categories from last weeks exercise. We will be dissecting each part of your why to discover a true-to-you brand style that will have your customers shutting the front door and holding the phone at the same time.
Step 2: We'll start by dissecting your passion first. At the top of page 3 write down the passion portion of your why. Then, mindlessly start creating a web of associated words that relate to your why. In each bubble, write down words that directly relate to the word(s) above it. The more words you write the more obscure your descriptive words will become (that's good, I promise!) and this will help you find a brand style. (Repeat this step on page 4 for the change you want to evoke in your industry)
If you need a little inspo, my webs look like this:
Step 3: Once you have annotated both parts of your why, you will be left with some really robust descriptive words. You can now go back through your web and start to circle some of the words that stand out to you. Then narrow it down to 3-5 words that you will focus on to create your brand style.
For my biz I decided on lady, modern, creative, 1960's feminist movement, and empower.
Step 4: From there, go back to page 2 and take these juicy words to start to construct a brand story that will be told through your logos, icons, fonts, etc. Start to think about colors and that reflect your words, icons that would get your point across, and a brand name (if you don't have one yet, use this formula) that reflects the words from your web. Hint: Lady & Company Creative came from my word web!
Use this space just to brainstorm, and don't worry about actually creating graphics and a logo just yet. This is just to get your brain focused on the story you want your brand to tell your customers. List all the options and don't be afraid to come back and cross some ideas off the list in the future! The key to finding your brand style is to just let go and allow your mind to wander until you find a style that suits you and your brand.
A great way to decide on colors and fonts is to refer back to part one of the branding breakdown series where we covered the psychology behind branding.
For my biz, I used the 1960's feminist movement as my biggest inspiration. But, I also wanted to include a modern twist so I muted out the iconic colors of the 60's and added in a mixture of psychedelic inspired fonts with a more modern crisp typeface, and geometric shapes as well. I wanted my brand to be an ode to how far we've come, but also recognizing that our fight towards equality isn't over- and if I may toot my own horn, I think it turned out pretty well! Toot toot!
Next week we will be using your word webs and brand stories to create an inspiration board! Be sure to subscribe so you don't miss it!