You might have read that headline and thought, this chick is crazy! Of course my logo is my brand, I paid a lot of money to have a cool logo designed. Well, stick with me so I can explain. Let me set the stage. You have an idea for a business. You’ve run it past some people, possibly friends or even fellow entrepreneurs, you’ve defined your ideal client, had some conversations with real people who might be your ideal client, come up with a great name, and you’re pretty sure your idea is viable. You’re ready for the next step in getting your baby off the ground and out into the world. So now you run out and hire a designer to create a really cool logo and website for you. And you’re off the to the races!!! Sound familiar?
Well, hold on just one minute. How will you give direction to this designer on what you’re looking for in a logo, website, or other design element? How can you be sure that the amazing creative work that I’m sure the designer is capable of really tells your brand’s story and conveys its essence? What even is your brand’s unique personality and how do you uncover it? Do you just choose colors, fonts, and a look that you like or is there more to the process? Where do you even begin?
Let’s take this back a few steps to the real work that has to be done well before you start hiring designers. There’s a crucial step that must happen before engaging the services of a creative design professional for important things like a logo or website. Before you design even the first brand element you have to define your actual brand. But what do I mean by brand, then, if it's not the logo? I think brand expert Marty Neumeier does the best job of explaining the difference between a brand and a brand element, like a logo, in his book The Brand Gap. He explains that a brand is “a person’s gut feeling about a product, service, or organization.”
"A brand is a person's gut feeling about a product, service, or organization."
So, to break it down, a brand is really the feelings your customers get about you or your company. It’s the warm and fuzzy they feel in their hearts when they interact with your brand (group hug!). A logo is merely a visual representation of your brand’s personality. And a logo, or for that matter any visual element for your brand, should send signals to your audience on how they should feel about your brand. But in order to make sure that happens, before you run off to hire a designer it’s critical to first do the deep dive into determining what your brand stands for, what its voice (personality) is, and what makes up the story of your brand. By defining these things you’ll then be able to give any designer you hire specific guidance to create brand elements that capture and convey your unique brand essence.
But as an entrepreneur how do you uncover the unique personality of your business brand? Does your business brand even have a personality yet, especially if you’ve just launched your business? It does and it starts with YOU. You and your unique set of personality traits, passions, values, beliefs, and quirks are all wrapped into your business brand. As an entrepreneur when people buy from your business they’re really buying from you.
And YOU are the one thing that your business has that your competitors don’t have.
(For more on this topic check out my last blog post on how to Use Your Personal Brand to Differentiate Your Business Brand.) So by defining what your personal brand stands for you’ll be able to ensure that your unique personality shows up in your business brand and you’ll have a set of attributes from which a designer can work their magic.
Truth be told getting at those things that make your personal brand unique and defining what your personal brand stands for can be challenging on your own, particularly because you see yourself through your own filter and that can differ from the way others see you. But I can help. Contact me now to get started defining your authentic personal brand so that it shows up clearly and consistently in your business.
The Brand Teacher
Want to make sure your personal brand is working for you to attract your dream job or clients? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let's schedule a chat about how we can work together or book a Personal Brand Boost Strategy Session today!