A good brand is built with intention and purpose. This is done by first understanding the brand strategy and then creating aligned visuals.
I remember when I first started our home renovation blog, North Country Nest, and I would spend hours and hours redoing the logo and making tweaks to the website. I would then head over to my favorite bloggers’ websites and eventually find myself back to the drawing board with our own visuals. The ‘big’ bloggers, the ones who were doing it full-time, had this look and style and feel that was just next level. And, as a newbie, that look and style and feel was what I wanted.
I would ask myself again and again, “How do I create THAT?”
As an outsider looking in, all I saw were the external facets of their brand and how everything came together so seamlessly. Their photography looked effortless. Their brand voice and how they communicated was so spot on with how they appeared. They had real engagement with their audience and the content they were producing was top notch.
Let’s Talk About a Good Brand
It wasn’t until I started diving into branding that I realized how much intention, strategy and thoughtfulness went into those blogs. I also realized that it takes a lot of work to make all the moving pieces fit so well together. The look and feel that seemed effortless? The brand voice that fits so well with their overall aesthetic? That, my friends, is what a good brand can do for your business.
A good brand doesn’t look like effort because every puzzle piece fits together smoothly. A good brand communicates in a way that accentuates the experience and makes you feel like you already have a connection, even if they’re a complete stranger (or the organization is brand new to you). A good brand builds trust with intention and purpose.
Your Brand Is More Than a Logo
My lightbulb moment happened when I realized that the external facing visuals I was consuming (and trying unsuccessfully to emulate) from my favorite bloggers was more than just happenstance. It was no accident that their blog posts were written in way that fit so well with their photographs. That their logo and colors enhanced the words and phrases they used. That every piece of content seemed to blend together with intention.
Maybe you’ve found yourself in a similar boat – you see a beautiful logo from a business owner you look up to so you buy something similar from Etsy or 99Designs or Fiverr. Except when you add it into your website and start using it with your graphics, it doesn’t seem to fit as well. Something feels off but you aren’t sure why. I mean, now you LOOK like a professional business and that’s what matters, right?!
Here’s what we often forget: a good brand is so much more than a pretty logo, the right fonts or the latest color scheme.
Yes, the external aesthetics matter. Of course.
But, let’s go back to the Witt and Company definition of what a brand means: Your brand is how someone thinks, feels and acts in regards to your business.
Influencing those thoughts, feelings and actions happen when you’re intentional and strategic about your business’s brand experience. Creating a Good Brand that looks effortless and seamless means you have done the work behind the scenes – you didn’t just pick out a logo and slap it on your website. You’ve intentionally thought about your brand strategy (the plan for communicating your brand) and used that to guide how your brand will visually appear.
Why We Start with Brand Strategy
Let’s circle back to my endless efforts of creating visuals for my blog that didn’t feel right.
The reason? I was emulating the external visuals without having done the internal work. I was trying to look like another blogger without fully understanding the strategy behind their brand. If their ideal client was different than who I was writing for, the visuals would need to be different. If their brand voice and personality was different than what I wanted for my blog, the visuals would need to be different. If their purpose and ‘why’ as a business was different than mine, the visuals would need to be different.
Are you seeing a pattern?
When we try to emulate the Good Brands we see because we like what they’re externally showcasing, we end up falling short. Not because their designs are bad but because they’re not a good fit for our brand.
This is why we do the strategy work FIRST. This is why it’s important to understand who you’re serving, why you’re serving, how you’re serving and what makes you different. Those four elements guide how your brand will visually look AND they’ll lead to a brand that’s created with intention, strategy and purpose.
Ready to bring meaning and intention into your brand? Let’s connect – simply click here to fill out the application and schedule a no-obligations consultation call!
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