Your branding shouldn’t stop at the colors you choose.

It shouldn’t stop at your business cards or even your logo. It’s much more powerful than that, and it can be much more fun too!

If you are new to business, you’ve probably heard the word, “Brand” a LOT, but you’re probably asking yourself “What is a brand? What does that even mean, really?”

Brand, branding, and business identity; these are all names that are used by business owners and designers alike to explain how you get the Personality of your business across to your audience.

[ctt template=”2″ link=”00845″ via=”yes” ]Your Brand is what your customer or client believes about your business. @amanda_creek[/ctt]

A brand includes the emotions a customer or client has when they meet the different sides of your business. These representations could be a logo(s), colors, fonts, photographs, and even the words you use on your blog and your website.

All of these things come together to create the “style” of your brand: its personality.

The content you share with your audience on social media and on your blog (and even the types of products or services you are selling) all communicate with your customers. The things you help them to do and the way you help them: these things represent your brand and show them your brand personality and message.

So, when you are new to business and you’re wanting to build a “brand”, you have to set aside time to figure out how these different things could come together to create that feeling that you want your customer to leave your site with.

[ctt template=”2″ link=”3e71x” via=”yes” ]When you start to think about what your brand will be start with your customer + yourself. @amanda_creek[/ctt]

In order to be successful, you want your customer to see your business and remember you first (not a competitor) while also remembering something distinct about what it is that you offer and how you offer it.

You want them to feel like your brand has its own personality – almost like a real person – that drives the way your brand looks, speaks, acts and affects them.

I know. It sounds weird, but it’ll make sense. Let me give you a quick behind-the-scenes of my own brand personality, as an example.

I’m an expert in web-design, visual communication and internet marketing. I do something that is highly specialized, and a lot of my customers don’t understand what it is that I do for them.

That’s why they call me, right?  But it can be intimidating to contact someone to help you in a field where you aren’t the expert. Just ask me how I feel when I call up my accountant during tax season…fear shivers anyone?

So because it can be intimidating to hire a web-designer for many of my clients, I try to emphasize how approachable I am with my branding.

One of the major things that I want people to remember about me is that when they hire and work with me, it’s like working with a friend. It sets their minds at ease to work with someone who’s going to take care of them like a friend would – and I also love to help my friends, so it’s kinda perfect.  ;)

So whenever I create something for my business, be it a photograph or a little (robot-selfie) doodle that I share on Instagram, I share it with the hope of helping them to feel like I’m not beyond their reach or a total pro know-it-all.

Amanda Creek Creative Robot Selfie

I try to share in a way that I would share with friends: with a fun and playful tone and a whole lot of empathy and caring.

This feeling of “working with a friend” can come across in the words I use, too.

Instead of using words in my writing that people won’t understand, I always try to go back and explain it in the simplest way possible so it doesn’t feel like a University lecture.

I have to be conscious of this whenever I write even the smallest of posts or emails, because it’s easy to forget that I went to school for a long time and learned all of this information that many people may not have learned yet. I just want to make sure that my customers and clients don’t feel like I’m speaking down to them, or like I’ve got it all figured out and they’re way behind.

Because they’re not! And I know how it feels when someone talks like they’ve got it all figured out. It feels icky – like I’ll never be able to achieve their success,…and that feeling is not a part of my brand personality. It’s not the message I want to convey.

I ask myself (and my editor asks me), “Would you say it that way to your buddy?” If the answer is no, we change it to add more of my friend-to-friend words and remove any less friendly, academic or highly professional words.

For your business, you will have to decide what represents you and what is important to your business or brand. Only then will you be able to communicate that brand message to your customers in a way that feels genuine and consistent.

And then ask yourself before you create anything new for your business – even if it is just a quick email or a tweet, “Is this showing my brand personality, or is it confusing the message?”

As you start to understand your own brand personality more (I know! I know It’s a lot. That’s why I’m making this a whole series about branding.), you’ll find that it becomes second nature to show the personality of your brand in everything you do.

Share with your friends and  make note to come back next week, when I go into detail about the 3 main components of your brand…and help you figure out which ones you’re missing.

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