Branding, colors, fonts, logos, yadda, yadda…
There’s so many articles talking about branding and visuals, but what is it really anyway and how can you really apply all this stuff into your personal or business brand identity? Well let’s finally clear this all up.
What is Branding?
My littlest son, who is 3 years old– going on 13, is particularly religious in waking me up at 8:00 in the morning. He does this by sleepily walking out of his room, rubbing his eyes and then flopping on my bed beside me saying. “Mommieeeee, tome here.” Everyday. Even on Sundays. And if I don’t get up, he then ups his game by flopping over me until I get up.
This, my friend, is branding.
Yes, my 3 year old has a personal brand. My little Zuri’s brand is to bug the hell out of me every morning until I get up to make him breakfast. It will be something I will remember and love for the rest of my life. And when he has a wife and kids of his own, I will taunt him and laugh 😉
Your branding is merely your reputation. What people say about you constantly whether you are with them or not. If you have a reputation for wearing a certain perfume as you walk by your special boo, you boo remembers you just from that smell and attributes you with the smell. Instant branding. Or you may have a saying or do something that people around you know you will ALWAYS say or do.
This is your personal brand… people know you and love you for being you. It’s that simple.
So how can you use this branding thing in business?
The same way my little Zuri finds a way to get in my face every morning with hugs, kisses and whines, it the same way for your business–minus the whines. The special thing that you do that make you who you are should be infused in how you interact with others daily.
Figure out some ways you can get in the face of your clients, customers, tribe, etc. with hugs, kisses (not literally), info, tips, tricks, hacks, chats, or just fun stuff that leaves you to be remembered without screaming “Buy from me!!” all the time.
Consider how you can be a friend in your business, the more you are a friend people become closer to you because they REALLY WANT to be your friend in life and business. This becomes your brand in business.
What is Branding Identity?
Most people own some form of ID. If you’re flex your confidence good enough, you may have a bomb license or passport photo. But it usually has your name, birthdate and other information saying who you are. Not on a deep level but just enough to say –yeah that’s definitely Lauren.
This is brand identity. Your logos, stationery, online graphics, website, etc. are like your passport or license for your business or personal brand. It’s just enough to give recognition to a business and touch slightly on its values. However, is the longevity of constant visuals and interaction that builds your branding.
How do you use branding in your brand identity?
In whatever visual materials you or your designer creates, it has to have 3 factors.
Your visual brand in every way communicate your company’s values and your brand story. The information, events, webinars, free giveaways, and other things that you give should visually tie in directly to what you or your company stands for in creating solutions for the world’s problems.
How does your visuals show that you are accessible or connected to your community? Make sure that however you communicate in various ways visually that it gives direct access to your brand’s values and just to stay in touch. For example, would you call your friend a friend if you didn’t have any way to contact them or connect with them? Same thing in brand identity.
In all of your visuals and in even in your branding, your story has to be communicated–constantly. Branding and Brand ID really never just stops. It’s organic because people grow and change. So as you change, your business story and values change and therefore your visuals change as well. Make sure that it always ties in with your company values and its the same online and offline. Remember be in the face of your tribe with hugs and loves, but no whining! For example, below is a picture of how Coca-Cola and Pepsi has changed their logo throughout the years. It took time and a lot of dedication to build such a strong, recognizable brand.
Here’s a graphic that I made some time before that says it all.
So you may be just starting out in the business world, trying to get your brand out there. As Soul II Soul once sung ” Keep On Movin’, Don’t stop like the hands of time”. Hell, if Coca-Cola and Pepsi can continue from their rachet logo like they had in the early 1900s, imaging what you can do with your brand and brand identity! And for your visual and audio pleasure.. here’s Soul II Soul to inspire your weekend.
There’s more coming your way from me on visual branding! Interested? Sign up below for special notice for freebies, webinars and more cool stuff coming to help you sort out of all of this branding stuff. 🙂