What is the soul of your brand?
Your brand’s soul or DNA is the culmination of the deepest, most meaningful parts of who you are as the founder and as a business. Your reason for being and what you are striving towards.
• Your intangible essence.
• Your character
• Your values
• Your thoughts and feelings.
• Your purpose – the reason your business exists beyond just making a profit.
• The things that you’re passionate about.
• Your personality, vibe and energy
Why does finding the soul of your brand matter?
Firstly, if you’re building a personal brand wouldn’t you want to make your branding a reflection of who you really are?
If you’re a coach, a therapist, an artist, an educator, a consultant and so on, building your brand as a subject matter expert, you want your brand to reflect the real you. That way the impression they get about you online and the real experience of working with you will align and be congruent.
It is said that your brand is a promise you deliver to clients conveying what they’ll get and how they’ll feel when they experience what you offer. With that in mind, you don’t want to promise something you can’t authentically and wholeheartedly follow through on (perhaps because you’ve created a personality/voice for your brand that is not in your nature or you talk about values that sound great but don’t really play out in your business). It’s all about ensuring when you talk the talk, you walk the walk. It is also quite meaningful for you as the business owner to know that you are building something deeply aligned to your soul, like a piece of you on the page or the screen.
Secondly, is it a powerful way to connect with your audience.
Imagine if you could transform your business from being seen as selling a commodity product/service where people just want to haggle over price to get the best possible deal to having a clear value BEYOND PRICE. Consumers seek out businesses/brands who have shared values, beliefs and a deeper purpose they want to get behind. Then the act of buying from you and consuming your content is an act of affirming who they are. By using your service or product it speaks to who they are (or who they aspire to be) and signals their identity to others. That is powerful. More and more people are choosing to consciously buy from businesses that align. with their values and boycotting ones that don’t.
‘People don’t buy brands.They join brands.
Brands that reflect what they believe in and what they aspire towards’.
This is all part of the process of building brand trust. It is hard to trust someone when you don’t know what you stand for.
It’s also been found that purpose-driven companies…
• make more money
• have more engaged employees
• more loyal customers; and
• are even better at innovation and transformational change.
Thirdly, it gives you clarity and ensures everything you do is in alignment.
Consistency is one of the most important aspects to being remembered and trusted as a brand. But you also want to ensure the consistent image/message you’re putting out there is deeply aligned to who you are. As demonstrated in the diagram below, you want your brand’s soul to sit in the centre of your brand, informing all the decisions you make like your guiding light or pillars/foundation that hold everything up and give you a platform to expand. Everything from your logo and visual branding to your website and other design applications to your marketing and sales process to what opportunities you say yes to should be informed by your brand’s soul. Having a central focus gives you that clarity you need to decide if something is aligned and ‘on-brand’ for you or not.
The process of finding your brand soul requires deep excavation and unpeeling of the layers of who you are and what you do.
What aspects of who you are and why you do this meaningful work can you speak to, which will make people want to join you?
These are some core statements you brainstorm to help articulate your brand’s soul…
1. What is your purpose/why? – Your core reason for being
2. What is your brand’s essence? Your single intangible attribute you want to be known for which differentiates you (aim for 1-3 words)
3. What’s your vision for your business? What legacy do you want to level behind?
4. What’s your mission? The actions you’re going to take to achieve that vision?
5. What are your values (Your North Star guiding you)? Aim for around 6 and explain how they are put into action in your business.
6. What are the beliefs that inform your business?
7. What is your brand promise? Make it one line that you want customers/clients to expect of you. Branding is fundamentally the promise you deliver to clients (expressed in many different ways from what you write to the visuals you use in your brand to convey a specific impression), so this is important to clarify!
I go through all these points in-depth in my upcoming branding course “Aligned & Embodied” which steps you through my signature branding process that has helped hundreds of clients! Stay tuned for more details on when it will launch!