Understanding the answer to what is a brand will help you lay a rock solid brand foundation that connects with your audience and builds your community.
With the right mindset, anything is possible. And today, we’re taking our next baby step forward in the branding journey.
Point B, here we come!
What is a brand?
The first step in reaching your Point B is understanding what a brand actually IS.
Spoiler alert, a logo is not your brand. In fact, I feel so strongly about this one that I dedicated an entire post to reasons why your logo is not your brand.
Now that we’ve crossed that hurdle, here’s my take on what a brand means: A brand is how people think, feel and act in regards to your business. How you actually get people to think, feel and act towards your brand is through a combination of brand elements; i.e. logo, font, brand voice, brand story, transformation, colors, etc.
A Brand is Fluid.
It’s important to remember and always keep in mind that your brand can evolve. It is not something that is set-in-stone. However, when you spend the time to create a solid brand foundation, it tends to grow with you and evolve in a more fluid manner.
Let’s take fellow Minnesotan and powerhouse, Jenna Kutcher. Her original business was a photographer. Then she started teaching about photography. And now, she’s not only talking all-things-business but also has become an influencer in the body positivity space.
While her business has dramatically changed since she first started her entrepreneur journey and her visual branding has evolved, the values that she brings to the table have remained relatively the same: amazing customer service, authenticity, body positivity and connection.
When you have a strong brand foundation, making a shift or pivot within your business doesn’t have to mean starting from scratch.
Another great example of this is the company Screw the Nine to Five, owned by Jill and Josh Stanton. They made a big shift in their business this past fall by closing their Facebook group, The Screw (which had several thousand members) to pursue a new direction in their business. While yes, it was a new direction, their core values and foundation remained: to help people create a business around their lifestyle.
Creating your brand is an evolution and when you realize no one single element holds all the weight of a solid brand foundation, my hope is the pressure eases a bit. You realize that picking the perfect font pairing will not make-or-break your business success. That updating your website colors for the millionth time will not, in fact, secure a client.
Put together, these elements create a brand, but each one by itself is not your brand foundation.
Laying The Groundwork for Your Brand.
So, what is a brand foundation?
Oh, I’m so happy you asked!
When I thought about the essential elements of what makes a great brand, four overarching pillars really stuck out to me. And because I love order and structure, I put a name to these pillars and called it The Brand Foundation.
This foundation is made up of four parts. Over the next several weeks, we’ll be walking through each part individually and then I’ll walk you through how to put it all together so you have an understanding of where to start when creating a brand.
The four brand foundation pillars include: target audience, brand values, the transformation and the visual identity. Together, these four parts create that solid groundwork to take your brand from Point A to Point B.
Next week, we’ll dive into the first pillar: the target audience. Until then, catch up on why your brand mindset matters and make sure you’re receiving my newsletters – they’re jam packed with even more business tips and strategy!
And before I sign off, here’s my shameless plug: At this point, it may be great time to talk to a design pro. There is SO MUCH value in getting an outside perspective. However, I am fully aware that not everyone has the time nor the budget to invest right away. So, if that’s you, this series is meant to get you started and when you’re ready to take the leap, let’s chat. —
All my best,
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