Create a Authentic Brand that is Above the Clutter
There’s an overload of information out there about personal branding. In this field, like in any other, you get both solicited and unsolicited advice from both experts and amateurs.
Everyone has something to say about how to write your copy, design your logo, choose brand colors, and drink your coffee. You’re drowning in checklists, mini-courses, e-books, and training that offer you a formula on how to build your business and brand. We should be grateful: It’s fantastic to have so much incredible information out there and so many leaders to show us the way.
All of this information is well and good but can cause a deadly disorder called analysis paralysis. It is a condition in which we are paralyzed with inaction, perfectionism, and stagnation. Confusion and immobility overshadow our creativity and our innate imperfect beauty. Be warned: Analysis paralysis causes death to businesses and creativity.
In the end, as creative leaders, visionaries, and entrepreneurs, the antidote to analysis paralysis is to listen carefully, filter what resonates with our most inner core and then create our own version, pave our own way, honor our voice within. One of a kind. Priceless!
You’re ready for your next step, growing your business, reach more people, make more connections regularly, so humanity sees and feel what you’re up to on a regular basis.
You know that you must have a consistent brand, visually and verbally, you take the necessary steps to make it a reality. Okay, after planning and strategy your brand, the time comes to put your visuals together, and you start with a mood-board. As a sucker for self-expression, I must confess, I love the mood-board phase of the design process. My heart fills up with excitement and joy when seeing the creative juices flowing.
Nowadays, more frequent than ever, the process usually includes a mood board on Pinterest to visually display the mood you hope to convey with your brand.
This helps you explore your vision and, if you are co-creating with a designer, she can understand better your style and aesthetics.
At Branding Collective, we believe in a three-stage process: un-rule, rule out, rule it. You know, this is a gut feeling driven process, the one involving your crocodile/reptilian brain: if it’s boring, ignore it; if it’s not safe – run. But, if it’s interesting … let’s start building an emotional connection. Ultimately, isn’t that what you want for your brand? So why not start designing your brand with the same natural reactions is mind?
Let’s start with the un-rule. First, leave the other successful brands in your field at the door. They are not going to make you any good at the beginning just because they have a cute logo. If we pay too much attention to what others are doing, we risk of ending up looking just like them. Ouch!
Second, your brand style doesn’t only come or rely upon Pinterest or digital gathering or even magazine cut-outs, although those are part of the process too. You must bring the variety, texture, personality, and energy into the process. You can add anything to your board, from empty soda bottles to old shoes. What shapes you like, triangle, hexagon, a square? Wallpaper clippings, bottle tops, and even stones or sticks from nature would all work well. Everything counts if it inspires you and connects with your message.
And speaking about messaging, write keywords that came to mind and resonate with your vision. Do you have symbols, words, or pictures from your life? Think about shifting moments in your journey and what visuals, sounds, lyrics, music, that represent them. Bring that over too. Write your signature to your designer; maybe she can use it in your logo. Be as messy as you can at this stage.
Perhaps it sounds crazy but the flow and a no-rules process it helps flesh out your ideas in an objective manner in the end. Most importantly, your unique creative expression can not be applied or used with any other person, you own it, and that’s power … yours.
And, never forget: “The most courageous act is still to think for yourself. Aloud.” ― Coco Chanel”
The rule out part is also a journey within to find clarity. From what you create in the un-rule part, starting speaking to your heart, and keep only the ones that generate strong emotions. These will move forward to the next stage when you integrate it on your new brand. In the last step, you must think about your own journey, your gifts and what resonates with your audience. This is a genuine and empowering connection, no lies, no gimmicks, pure!