I admit that I don’t know much about “branding”. As I have journeyed towards my goal of becoming a published author, I have had several pitstops along the way. The Branding Process Wayside Inn is a layover I was not expecting; one that I naively hoped might be a short and easy visit. I was wrong. There’s much to see here, and it takes some time to really glean as much as possible from the stop-over. Here are several things I have learned:
What is “branding”?
Branding is the process by which a business delivers a consistent message to a target audience in order to achieve a desired result.
In order to have successful branding, I need to consider several factors:
- How do I want to be perceived?
– When my customers have finished using my product or service, how do I want them to feel?
– What do I want to be known for?
– What is the message I want my customers to remember?
– What are the values I hold as central to my message?
- Who is my target audience?
– Who are the people who might want to view this content?
– Why would someone click on this link?
– What are the felt needs I can address with my product?
- How can I organize my business based on my message?
– Are any of my products distracting from my primary goal and message?
– Is my primary message communicated clearly and consistently throughout all facets of my business?
- Does my Visual Branding communicate my message?
– Is my product visually appealing?
– Are there any glaring inconsistencies or visual clashes?
- Have I chosen or designed a logo and slogan that is consistent with my message and Visual Branding?
How do I want to be perceived?
Okay, let’s work through that list. How do I want to be perceived? I want to be an encourager. When my customers – that’s you, BTW – use my product (visit my website, read my blogs and poetry, look through my galleries of my artwork, etc), my goal is that you leave encouraged and inspired to overcome struggles in your own lives.
Who is my target audience?
Who do I want to click on my webpage, read my blogs, buy my books, and enjoy my artwork? I guess “everyone” isn’t a valid answer. I’d love for my friends and family to be encouraged. My goal is to offer hope and inspiration to people who may have lost hope; those walking through grief; people struggling to find anything positive in a dismally negative circumstance; anyone dealing with terminal diagnoses; those feeling discouraged; anyone needing help hanging on to hope.
What is my message?
That was a harder question to answer, and it’s taken time to figure it all out. It’s all tied up with my mission, my purpose, my personality, my values and my faith.
I believe that I was created to bring God glory. To that end, He has given me gifts and talents, and has provided paths by which I have built my skills and knowledge. My upbringing, my family, my education, my community, my struggles and victories – all combine to make me who I am today. God has been so faithful through all of it. My history is HIS story. And so my purpose is to encourage and inspire others.
My goal is that through my stories, poetry and artwork, people will see the hope and light that is in me, and want it for themselves. If I can share even a little of the hope God has given me, then I have done what I was created to do.
The process of Visual Branding includes picking colors, fonts, graphics and logos, all to deliver the same message. My company website, business cards, social media platforms and email communications all must tell the same story.
Picking my colors is simple. Turquoise, navy blue, royal blue, hot pink and deep red. Those are my colors. Just open my closet – those are the colors you will see. Easy peasy.
Do my logo and my slogan communicate my mission?
“Focusing on God’s faithfulness in all circumstances” – that’s my logo, my slogan. That’s my heart’s desire, my mission. As I pursue this goal, I pray that YOU – my audience – will be encouraged and inspired to shift your gaze from the trials around you to focus on Him, the One Who Saves. My message is this: God is faithful in all circumstances. Sometimes it may not look like it. Sometimes you may feel like He’s nowhere to be seen. But I promise you that He is working through all the HARD stuff. When we lean into Him during the hard, He makes us HOLY. Little by little, He is weaving His redemptive story through all of our circumstances. That’s my message.
Has my direction been clarified by this Branding Process?
In the end, this little sojourn has taken me several months. I have developed my logo, solidified my mission, employed professional help to build my website, and worked on my social media platform. I hope that this brief tour-guide of my journey through The Branding Process is helpful. Please leave comments below – tell me about your experiences travelling through The Branding Process, and let me know if my guide notes are helpful and still relevant. Enjoy your trip!