Branding 101: YOU are a brand
I thought I'd start a branding series on my blog. It's what I do everyday and I know all you creatives and budding entrepreneurs out there will appreciate some go-to tips to give you a professional edge. The most important place to begin, is to understand that success is attributed to a defined and positive brand perception.
You're a walking talking brand so think about the image you portray to the world on a daily basis.
The one thing I tell all my clients when we first meet is that we are all individually a brand. The clothes you choose to wear, the people you surround yourself with, the way you conduct yourself in business and relationships, the hobbies and passions you pursue, even the car you drive all exudes a personal brand. Every element of your persona is portrayed through each of these things.
If you're starting a business or have an existing one, it is in large part due to a passion that you have - which in turn means it represents part of your personal brand. I always spend time getting to know my clients whilst working together so that I can clearly and most effectively portray their brand in the way that matches their passions and persona.
So how do I define my brand?
Now that you know you're a walking talking brand, think about the image you put out to the world on a daily basis, grab some paper and answer these questions to start defining your brand:
What three words best describe me?
What am I most passionate about?
What three brands do I adore? (These can be clothing, tech companies, blogs or individuals)
What do these three brands have in common?
Now, let's get a little deeper:
What public persona do I admire / have an interest in? (actors, musicians, anyone with a public image)
Why am I interested in them?
Name three successful people that you personally know and then write down what makes them successful.
Ok, we are on our way to identifying your personal brand! Now I want you to look closely at your passions for a moment. How much time do you contribute to each? (There's no wrong answer here, just pop an estimate in hours or days next to each).
Now take the one that has the most hours allotted - what two colours do you associate with that passion? (again there is no wrong answer)
Now take a look at the brands / personas you admire. What style do they possess? Use 2 of these words:
Minimalistic, timeless, modern, retro, soft, feminine, masculine, on-trend, vibrant, elegant, professional or artistic.
Congratulations! You've just started to define your brand all by following what you're passionate about.
Now ask yourself, do these colours, passions and styles align with who you are now? Do you exude that look and feel on a daily basis? Don't worry if you're answer is no, part of this process is to discover more of who you are and what you love. If you're answer is yes, you're one step ahead and you can now start to look at the brands you admire most and what details they posses to create your own.
Now what do I do?
Next week I'll be talking about the personal branding process and how to implement it in 5 areas of your life. In the mean time, research your favourite brands and make some notes on images, style, fonts, colours and what really catches your eye.