You know what I'm ridiculously passionate about?
(Besides cats and coffee, of course.)
Branding. I friggin LOVE branding!!!!
Not only is branding super fun, but your brand is what allows you to actually STAND OUT from everyone else. Are then ten bazillion other competitors in your industry?
Awesome. They don't matter when you have a strong, personality-filled brand!
BUT FIRST, WHAT EXACTLY IS A BRAND?
Your brand is your business's identity (both online and offline) and it's what people feel when they interact with you and your business. It includes visual elements like specific colors, fonts, your logo, graphic elements etc. but it also includes things like your vibe, your values, your copy and voice, the experience you give to clients and more.
Think of your brand as all-encompassing, baby!
Think of your brand as YOU.
Because YOU are your business! :-)
Having a strong brand now adays is absolutely essential for not getting lost in the shuffle of the ten bazillion other businesses and websites that are currently popping up on the internet on a daily basis.
(And getting lost in the shuffle is sad indeed.) :::sniffle:::
In addition to not getting lost in the shuffle, here's a few more reasons why your brand (and making sure that it is rock solid + filled with your unique personality), is really, super important ...
- When your brand is strong, not only will you stand out among everyone else, but you will actually be remembered.
- You will attract the RIGHT type of people to your business.
- Your brand is the difference between someone choosing YOU over a competitor!
- Strong brands develop a very loyal following (think about Apple and Starbucks!)
- Having a strong brand gives you credibility and authority.
- Kick-ass brands can charge higher prices (and no, I'm not talking about price gouging! Because that's mean.)
- Strong brands tend to grow faster (which means more money for you, baby cakes!)
Trust me, making sure that your brand is strong, consistent and on point is really important, mmmkay?
Like ... as important as it is for me to have coffee FIRST thing in the morning!
(And that is VERY important, believe me.)
So now you might be wondering ... "how do I know if my brand sucks?"
Welp, generally if you can agree with one of the statements below, then it might be time for a good 'ol re-brand or a complete brand overhaul!
Here are 10 signs that your brand probably sucks ...
1. YOU'RE NOT EVEN SURE WHAT A BRAND IS, EXACTY ...
Well ... NOW you do since you just learned that in this post, hehe.
But if you didn't know exactly what a brand was before reading this post just now, then it's more than likely that your brand sucks.
Well, if you didn't know what a brand was, then you likely didn't know what all a brand includes. And if you didn't know what a brand includes, then you're likely currently missing key elements and don't have a streamlined, consistent brand.
2. YOU LOVE OTHER BRANDS ... BUT NOT YOUR OWN.
If you LOVE someone else's brand but don't feel the same way about your own, than that is sadder than a fluffy, dejected kitten whose sitting next to a dirty dumpster.
You need to LOVE your brand! What's the fun in being a brand that you don't love?
Not very fun at all, if you ask me.
3. YOU'RE NOT ATTRACTING THE RIGHT TYPE OF PEOPLE.
Do you ever scratch your head confusedly and wonder ... "why the heck are these types of people coming to my website and getting on my email list? They're not really who I want to work with at all!"
Because if you DO wonder that, then your brand is giving off the wrong vibe.
(Did you ever see the movie 'Dumb and Dumber?' If so, then please take a moment to picture Jim Carrey's character "giving off the vibe" right now.)
Have you done that yet? Maybe a picture will help ...
Anyway. If your brand's message and / or presence is off, then your people will be too.
Do ya feel me?!
4. YOU'VE NEVER ACTUALLY CHECKED TO MAKE SURE THAT YOUR BRAND IS CONSISTENT.
If you've never checked to make sure that your brand is consistent everywhere, (I'm talking about all over your website, on ALL social media platforms, in your emails, etc.) then it probably isn't.
And if there's something that I want you to remember, it's this: STRONG BRANDS ARE CONSISTENT.
(I'd also like you to remember that I frequently work while looking like a total hot mess wearing a zebra print Snuggie!)
Think about a strong brand like Starbucks ... they are consistent across everything.
No matter what state or country you're in, if you go into one of their stores you will see the exact same colors, fonts, messaging ... hell they even keep a curated playlist of music for their stores!
It's the same online. They use the same colors, fonts, messaging, etc across everything.
They are recognizable. People know exactly who they are!
5. YOU HAVEN'T PICKED OUT PARTICULAR ELEMENTS FOR YOUR BRAND OR CREATED A BRAND STANDARDS GUIDE.
If you haven't picked out specific colors, fonts etc. then you're likely using a mish mash of different elements, which means that you're not being consistent.
And remember what I just said above?
(No, not that I work in a zebra print Snuggie, although thanks for remembering!)
That strong brands are consistent.
You need to be using the EXACT same colors, fonts, elements etc. across everything.
And your brand standards guide? That's simply a document that you create which lists all of your specific brand elements and guidelines so that you can always have a quick reference to make sure that you're being consistent whenever you do anything.
You NEED to be consistent with the tone and smell of your fart!!!!
(Sorry, that went downhill fast.)
6. YOU'RE NOT SUPER EXCITED ABOUT YOUR BRAND.
Yo ... if YOU'RE not super excited about your brand, then why should others be?
Because if you feel "meh" about your brand, then it will probably show. Plus, that's just NO FUN AT ALL, is it? And I'm ALL about having fun! :P
When you look at your brand standards guide and your presence online, you want to be pee-your-pants excited over how freak'in awesome it is!
7. YOU FEEL LIKE YOUR BRAND IS A WATERED DOWN VERSION OF YOURSELF (OR DOESN'T REALLY MATCH YOUR TRUE PERSONALITY AT ALL.)
Do you feel like there's a disconnect between who you REALLY are and your brand?
If so, that's no good!
If your brand doesn't really match your true colors, then not only will that probably feel incredibly stifling and inauthentic, but you won't be attracting people who TRULY resonate with you.
I am a VERY strong believer that you should ALWAYS be yourself.
Because by being 100% yourself, you will:
- Have more fun. Let's face it ... trying to fit into some stupid mold that you THINK you should be isn't really very satisfying, now is it?
- You will have a brand that is COMPLETELY unique. Because no one else is YOU.
- You will attract people who truly resonate and connect with you. (And that is actually VERY important if you want to have a successful online business!) Are you obsessed with Star Trek? Cool! Infuse that into your brand and you'll attract other like-minded Star Trekies! :P
Makes sense right?!
In other words, you want your brand to BE YOU.
Remember that free workshop that I keep mentioning?
(Yes, yes you probably DO remember. But just incase!)
8. WHEN YOU PICK OUT THREE WORDS TO DESCRIBE YOUR BRAND BUT REALIZE THAT YOUR BRAND DOESN'T ACTUALLY MATCH WHAT YOU SAY.
Perhaps you describe the way you want people to feel and view your brand as bold, funky and untraditional and yet ... your presence online screams the opposite!
You've got light, airy fonts and graphics that are classic and generic and you don't really speak in a way that screams "bold."
You need to pick specific words of how you want others to feel and then make sure that your brand actually matches those words across everything.
9. YOU FOLLOW TRENDS INSTEAD OF STICKING WITH YOUR BRAND STANDARDS GUIDE.
If you're not following your brand standards guide and are succumbing to all of the latest styles and trends, then you're probably all over the place when it comes to your brand presence.
And guess what?
Strong brands AREN'T all over the place.
What are they??? (Yes, please say it out load to your computer screen!!!)
Strong brands are consistent.
Did you say it out loud? Hehehehe.
Plus if you're straying from your brand standards guide and constantly following other trends, then you're probably not staying very true to yourself, either.
10. YOU COPIED SOMEONE ELSE'S BRAND.
Hey, you know what ISN'T a great idea?
Finding someone whose brand you adore and then copying them!
There are several issues when it comes to copying someone else's brand ...
- You're really NOT staying true to yourself if you're copying someone else.
- You will NOT be original ... in fact you'll be a second rate version of someone else!
- You won't stand out.
- It won't feel authentic because again ... you're not embracing who YOU are.
- Depending on the degree of your copying, it can also be illegal.
So just don't do it, mmmmkay?
There's only ONE you in the entire universe, so you want to infuse the heck out of yourself INTO your brand.
AND NOW ... DOES YOUR BRAND SUCK? IF SO, TRY NOT TO TOTALLY PANIC! :P
Unless of course you want to.
That's a little less dramatic, wouldn't you say?
Having a brand that's totally unique that you're super PUMPED about and extremely PROUD of would be pretty nice. Am I right?
Don't blend in with the crowd ... be a hot pink flamingo in a sea of swans!
Or ... a colorful Fruit Loop in a bowl of Cheerios!
Or ... be a rainbow striped zebra in a sea of black horses!
You get the idea. :P
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As a thank-you for sharing, you'll receives tons of fuzzy good vibes from me. :P
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Is there something that you struggle with when it comes to branding?
Let me know below!
And now ... time to go dance around in my living room like a maniac.