Branding Blunder #2: The Awkward Teen Brand.
This one is very common for most start up businesses. You know how as a teenager, we go on a journey to figure out who we are, what we believe in and what kind of people we want to spend time with? Well the same goes for your brand. Sometimes this process isn’t easy to nail from the moment you set up shop.
We often get to a tipping point as we establish ourselves in our industry when we realise that the image we’re putting out there may not be meaningful and best representing who we are. In my experience it is very rare for people to get it right straight out of the gate if they don’t enlist professional help. Or sometimes even if they enlist professional help, they realise a year down the track it didn’t quite hit the mark.
Here are some symptoms:
- You picked your brand direction to fit in with industry norms, rather than actually being yourself. Do you see a common thread among how brands in your industry show up either visually or verbally i.e. lots of people use the same colour palette, have a similar logo style, same approach to how they write etc? Did you just follow suit?
- You feel a niggling sense of discomfort or uncertainty with how your brand is showing up in this world. Maybe you keep tweaking things because you’re never quite satisfied or feel like something is missing.
- You haven’t infused your branding with your ‘WHY’, your beliefs and really stood for something people can get behind. You don’t have a unique point of view compared to others in your industry. Your brand is just a sheep in the herd, not an individual.
- No one is telling you that your branding is “so you!”
In fact, when some clients meet you after seeing your website they say they’re surprised how different you come across online. That shows there is a clear disconnect in the alignment of your brand.
- You thought you needed to look a certain way to be taken seriously in business, to the detriment to your authenticity. Maybe your brand is more corporate than you would like.
If any of these things are ringing true for you, it might be time to take a step back from the day-to-day over your Christmas break and get in touch with the “heart and soul” of your business.
This is an important first step in brand development that is often overlooked. Most people jump straight to creating a logo and website without much of a thought process behind their visual or written decisions. But we need to remember that every visual style (colour, line, shape, font, photo, layout) tells a story. If you’re not in control of that story and have an intention behind it, then you’re leaving it open to your audience to draw their own conclusion, and it may not be very favourable.
Step away from what your feeling your branding SHOULD look like, and start to tap into your intuition. What feels true, meaningful, special and authentic to you? Once you can figure that out, your whole brand will start to shine!