Branding is about more than appearance. Your brand is your face—the face of your business—to the world. Branding is how people will identify you, find you and relate to you. Brand yourself. Don’t be shy of marketing your business or yourself. The branding process is simply about sharing yourself and your story with the world.
Branding is the narrative you want to tell.
Marketing is how you tell that story.
Dress Your Brand for the Occasion
Creating a brand is analogous to dressing for an occasion. We decide what attire to wear based on what best fits that occasion. If you’re hoping to acquire corporate clients then your branding may be more muted than if you were serving musicians as a videographer. If you’re selling wedding photography as your primary focus, then your branding and website decor and colors probably won’t be chains and punk.
This analogy also portrays how flexible the branding can be. I.e., there are a whole range of attire options we could choose for most things, but clearly, a tux would be out of sync at the football game, and likewise, sweatpants, out of alignment at a wedding.
When you’re creating you don’t need to spend too much time on the actual attire, especially since there are many options, AND we can add or remove “garments” (layers; accessories) along the way, as needed.
The branding process is about dressing for the occasion. But the occasion is not about the dress.
How to Dress for Brand Success?
Start with purpose. What is the purpose of your company? If your business exists to sell your art, or a book or a product, then consider who you created it for. Sure… you wrote it for yourself, but you also made it to share with folks like you who will enjoy it. Start with your ‘Why’ and you’ll find more of your ‘Who’.
If your purpose is to represent all things Costa Rica, then of course, you’re not bringing out your parka. But what if your brand also serves people in Alaska? Then you focus not on where your clients are so much as who they are and what they want.
If your goal is to reach millennials, then your brand needs to look and feel young and vibrant. Your projects, books and creations need to each have their mission (mutable), which supports your deeper purpose, which is constant.
These are obvious things, but surprisingly often missed. These things are especially missed if your brand is not also about who you really are as a person.
The Brand of You
Above all else, as a creative, your brand is you and you are your brand. Wear what you wear. Don’t worry about the critics. Do you, be who you are and the rest will follow. After all, you want to attract those who will love your work as it is, and you as you are.
For more on branding made simple, this should help.
It’s Your Brand, Keep it Simple… Keep it You
So your brand, beginning with your bio, should tell a story. It’s your story, dressed in whatever attire you choose for presenting it to the world.
- Be you wherever you go
- Do you whatever you do
- Do your work
- Share it with the world
- Serve your fans
And remember, as we started out saying, share your story by sharing your work. It all starts there. You. Your work.
“If you’re not in the arena also getting your butt kicked, I’m not interested in your feedback.”
Sage Branding Advice from Gary Vaynerchuk
For more on personal branding, these clips by Gary Vaynerchuk are elucidating.
Warning: most of the time Gary uses tons of expletives, though these were much less than usual. However, his marketing and brand-building knowledge are spot on.
And this one on personal branding:
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