Before you create your brand visuals you need to get clear on your brand.
What makes you different?
This is the special stuff that makes you, you. The magic that others doing what you do, don’t have. The subtle distinctions. This can be something huge, but it may well be something that seems small – it probably seems smaller to you than it does to other people because you’re living it. So you may need a conversation or two to help you figure it out. It might be hidden in your testimonials. It might be a surprise. It might be that you need to become really curious to figure out what this is.
What is your position/space
This is similar to difference, but this is more about showing that value to your ideal customer – how you do that, what you can do to make sure they see YOU as the business who can deliver that need to THEM. Importantly, where does your brand sit alongside? Which category are you in? Being able to show this allows your customer to go “ah, you’re like xyz, but better – for me – in this way!” so that they understand what it is that you actually do.
Who are you talking to?
My very favourite tool for this is the head, heart, hands and feet model. It doesn’t cover everything – the key (with everything) is to be as curious as possible and digging as deep as you can. Start here and push as far as you can.
Head – what are they thinking about?
Heart – what do they care about?
Hands – what are they up to online?
Feet – what are you they doing offline?
What impact you want to have?
This is about working on your purpose, your vision and your mission so that you are creating a brand based on intention. This gives you focus and makes creating visuals so much easier because you know where you’re going. You know what you want your brand to achieve.
What is the feeling that you want to create?
Ooo, such a good question. Start with your initial thoughts and keep going until you know how it feels. Until you have it down, you can see and taste your brand in your minds eye. Until you’re evoking images, memories and emotions a the very thought of your brand. You may need to talk it out or create mood boards and this will help you to gather the essence of what your brand really means to the people who matter.
All of this work will help you to develop a strategic direction for your brand visuals – but more than that – a direction for your whole business. This work on your brand isn’t simply so you can create a compelling logo or a set of gorgeous illustrations which tell your story – it’s for you to use, refer to, find inspiration from and build your business on every day – so that your brand is strengthened and aligned with your business activity and so that your business is aligned with your brand.
Because your brand is more than a well chosen font and a perfect photograph – it’s everything you do in your business and how that makes your customers feel, think, remember and talk about you.
It’s what they know about you before they become customers, what that experience feels like and the stories they share afterwards.
Creating brand visuals which align with your brand strategy helps with this. They’re a visual shortcut to creating the impression your know you need to create. To showing what you stand for. To layering different aspects of your brand together to help evoke those feelings and demonstrate why your business is the one they need in their lives.
When you’ve spent time crafting your brand strategy, creating those visuals becomes easier.
The path is already laid out.
The destination is determined.
The adventure has already started and you’re ready to invite others along on the journey.
Showing them what to expect can be demonstrated with a line here, a word there, an icon, the perfect shade of green. All of these visual elements tell your story. When they work together the story becomes more powerful. More intentional. More irresistible.
Unique and beautiful photography and brilliant words alongside these elements are essential to the development of a distinctive brand with the power to make or break it.
Choose to make it.
Choose to create a brand that supports your business. To build a business that exudes your brand. These two are not separate, they are inseparable.
They’re like putting on boots. You wouldn’t go out wearing just one boot. You’d end up with a dirty sock, a sore foot, you might struggle to drive your car, or to walk up a hill. People would look at you and wonder what on earth you were thinking when you got dressed.
When you wear both boots you’re balanced. You’re ready. You’re able to go the distance. You keep your brand and business clean, aligned, going the right way together. When you put one foot forward, the other comes along too. Your brand and your business are a package.
For the best outcome, wear your brand and business boots. Together.
Amy Purdie, The Brand Explorer takes you on an Adventure to discover what your brand is all about, helping you with your brand strategy, brand visuals and content ideas. You can join Amy’s Brand Success Club or join her in your very own Private Brand Adventure.
Amy has been enjoying designing logos, brand identities, illustration, print work and websites – since 2007 fuelled mainly by tea and chocolate.