How to start your holistic approach to branding
So, you need “branding” for your business? A logo, fonts, patterns, color, the whole kit and caboodle?
That’s not branding.
Okay, let me rewind for a second. Technically, yes, all those things are part of your brand and you’ll often see them sold together as “branding” on many designers’ websites. But it’s still not branding, it’s brand design, you are missing some key ingredients to a successful brand. Need the quick answer to what branding is and what you need? Join my Brand Commitment Course here.
Branding is, as my celebrity crush, Seth Godin puts it, is, “the set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another.”
In no part of that definition did you see the words logo, fonts, or even design.
You used to be able to get away with opening a storefront and expecting foot traffic. Or designing a logo and slapping that on your business cards and website. Now a brand encompasses, and requires, so much more.
Now you have to brand on purpose, with purpose, and you have to do it on every level of customer interaction.
Because a brand worth its salt is a series of ongoing conversations, both visual and verbal, come together to create a brand experience.
That means you can’t treat branding like it’s a line item on your business’ to-do list.
Register your domain. Check.
Register your trademark, LLC, etc. Check.
Branding. Hold it right there.
Here’s how you can treat branding as an ongoing practice and reap the rewards of loyal customers and clients you love:
1.) Approach your brand holistically.
This is the most important aspect of a successful business and brand. Now, don’t run for the hills if you’re not into “woo woo” stuff, this isn’t that, I’m using holistically in the same way many others might use “authenticity,” or “brand experience” but I believe it’s more than that.
“Approaching your brand from a holistic perspective means your entire visual, verbal and emotional identity is in alignment with who you are being.” Lisa Guillot
Pause: Who you are Being? That’s the big deal. Social Media has created a constant conversation between you and your audience. This is also true for people who are making a career change. Your personal brand is alive and kicking on LinkedIn, Google, and all of your social media. Go ahead, Google yourself. See what life your personal brand has taken on if you haven’t been tending to it.
A positive and long-lasting brand experience needs to be holistically drawn from your true authentic being if you want it to 1.) resonate and create those memories Seth talks about and 2.) be a business you can feel good about showing up in every day.
2.) Continually gut-check and knock out your fears.
In case you haven’t noticed, I don’t put life and business in their own neat and separate boxes.
Nope. Who I am being is the same in a personal or business conversation. I bring my authentic self to the table.
Life and business are intertwined and continually play off one another, and chances are, if you’ve been in business for awhile, or searching for that perfect job, I’m telling you something you already know.
What you may not know is that your fears, your feelings, your overwhelm, those ways of being will show up in your brand or personal brand experience if you’re not intentional about it. Are you disorganized, living in a constant state of overwhelm, or you fear you don’t have enough time? Those ways of being will bleed into your brand experience in a heartbeat (been there, done that).
Take a peek at my latest Bright Now on Friday videos on YouTube to get clear on how your fears are posing as branding myth’s that may be holding you back.
You can also download my FREE 7 False Beliefs that may be sabotaging your brand and business right here.
3.) Consistently know-up and show-up.
So far, almost everything I’ve talked about here has all been about you, you, you. Now it’s time to talk about them. “Them” being your audience.
In addition to coming from your authentic self, crafting a brand experience your audience will fall in love with means you have to consistently be learning about them.
Here’s a practice for you this week: write down 10 places your audience likes to hangout online: go to them, get involved, comment, research. Then write down 10 places your audience likes to go in real life: go to them, learn, observe, stalk…I mean talk!
Learning about your audience doesn’t stop after you’ve created your business plan and received your logo files.
You have to do this any time the opportunity presents itself at every stage and age of your business. Get curious and inquisitive everywhere. After my Branding On Purpose event last week I sent out a survey to get feedback from my attendees, it was a great experience to ask for their opinion and adjust accordingly for next time.
P.S. – If you’re crafting your brand experience with a holistic approach, this part won’t be exhausting, it’ll be exhilarating.
And there you have it. There’s a lot more work that goes into creating a magnetic brand experience, but these pillars are the starting point.
Now I want to know: Are you approaching your brand or personal brand from a holistic perspective? Are you purposefully ignoring one (or more) of these practices because it feels massively and overwhelmingly uncomfortable?
I’d love to hear about it and help you break through those barriers so, shoot me an note.
Also, don’t forget to grab my free guide to the 7 Myths that may be holding you back in your brand and business. It tackles gut-checking and knocking out your fears. I think you’ll find a fun way to kick start Q4!