I listened to a Periscope the other day (I know they’re visual, I was doing something, so I was only listening!) I can’t remember who it was, but she was talking about setting goals and her word for the last year had been “Intentional”. Being intentional is really important when you’re creating your brand, because that is what will help you to be consistent, appeal to the right people, align with your business values and convey the right impression of your business.
Your brand should be part of a long term plan, not something you’ve just thrown together because you need something. It’s January, a time when pretty much everyone and their goldfish is making plans and goals and setting intentions. Now intentions are great, but they aren’t necessarily going to happen – the road to Hell is paved with good ones after all, so make sure those intentions are really easy to achieve so you don’t end up there…
But intentions and being INTENTIONAL are a bit different. Intentions are plans that you make, “I intend to eat more healthily” (already failing at that one…) – being intentional is about doing something on purpose, being deliberate about it. Your brand should be deliberate. It should be on purpose. It should be intentional.
[video_player type=”youtube” youtube_remove_logo=”Y” width=”560″ height=”315″ align=”center” margin_top=”0″ margin_bottom=”20″]aHR0cHM6Ly95b3V0dS5iZS9kaW5TMmYxTkJSQQ==[/video_player]
Using that shade of green? On purpose. Using that font? Intentional. Using that font size, in that colour, in capitals, left justified? Meant to do that.
This doesn’t just apply to the design elements of your business. Your business touchpoints – each time you come into contact with someone else – span further than design. Your staff member greets your customer with those words? Planned. Your products are ethically sourced? Yep, that was intentional. Your shop is on this street rather than on the street around the corner? Couldn’t be any other way. Intentional.
So how do you know what you need to do to BE intentional with your brand? Well, it takes some time and some thought, but in a nutshell you need to do these things:
- Work out what you do
- Work out who you do it for
- Work out why you do it
- Work out your business values
- Work out what your touch points are
- Work out how you can convey aaaaalllll of this at each touchpoint (make a table, values on one side, touch points along the top and try to convey at least one value for each touchpoint so you can exude your values intentionally, stand out and help people come to an understanding of what you’re about.
- Create some guides – a brand style guide for the design elements and a brand guidebook for all non-design elements to help with consistency in your business. Aim for consistency. Aim for trust. Share these guides with everyone who is a part of your business.
If you don’t do this then you won’t have as much control over your business. People may have thoughts and opinions about you that are not what you had hoped. You can take control of this. Yes, even the small things make a difference. Wrapping items in tissue paper or adding a handwritten note, words which are used, words which are not – everything works together to help create an impression of your business, what you’re all about and if your ideal client will want to work with you or not. Thinking about these things and being intentional about them will mean that your business will convey what YOU want it to convey regardless of which touch points people experience first. So don’t miss anything out or your branding will be confusing and inconsistent. Working on it and being intentional with your branding will help you to become known for what you do, charge the right amount, attract the right people and be more confident about your business because your branding is a true reflection of it.
How can you be more intentional in your business?