By Carey Buys | Salty C Studio
Alchemy – a seemingly magical process of transformation, creation, or combination.
Branding is a sort of alchemy; in the branding process, I take something that really is a mix of ideas, passion and sometimes even confusion and transform it into something that is impactful, purposeful and aligned. Branding may not be something my clients begin with valuing but while working with me they soon shift their minds and end up placing great value on the work we do. So much so, that it seems almost magical and the transformation it brings to their business is unimaginable.
Branding is the combination of the unseen and seen elements. Think of them as ingredients, each ingredient has a purpose and when you combine them together to create an unbelievable elixir the final result brings confidence, credibility and community.
The seen ingredients of branding are the logo variants, brand icons, fonts, brand patterns and imagery but what are the unseen ingredients that the aesthetic of the brand is built on and inspired by? Today I share with you some of these key ingredients that when used together create a purposeful, connective and enchanting brand.
Begin with your base ingredient
It all begins with the foundations of your business, the physiological heartbeat behind your business and who is the soul ( aka you ) behind the business. It is so important to have done this foundational work before you continue on your branding journey and this is the base ingredient. To touch on this briefly let’s keep it simple, finding clarity on your foundations requires you to dig deep and connect with yourself. It begins with the why, the deep inner why that I call the root why. That then flows into your mission. Your mission deals with now and then lastly your vision which deals with the future of your business. Within these, you will also discover your brand values, your unique magic, your purpose. I recently did a blog post on the foundations which you can read here to give you some more insight.
Journal prompt: What is the experience you want to create for your clients?
Get to really know your soul-aligned clients
The next ingredient is your audience aka your soul-aligned clients that you want to work with. This is much deeper work than your ideal client avatar, in fact, I would go as far to say throw out that client avatar of yours and go a little deeper. Truly understanding your client on a deeper level will help you connect with them and also know how to serve them. This is a whole section in my brand discovery workshop because having this knowledge allows you to empathically connect with your ideal client and also makes sure you are truly serving them, meeting their needs, offering them a solution and inspiring them to work with you. Having your brand messaging down is crucial because it is all about how you will communicate to your audience but before you know how you need to communicate to them you need to understand the who, you need to understand the people you are serving.
Journal prompt: What are some of the things your clients would like to change or improve in their life?
Discover your unique selling proposition
The work you did with your foundations and getting to know your soul-aligned client will aid you in discovering your unique selling position as you will be seeing a common golden thread come through. Discover it, acknowledge it and use it so that you can harness its power of it. This will be what makes you different from others in your industry and will be the reason why your clients choose to work with you or buy your product. Knowing what makes you unique gives you leverage, and gives you clarity and confidence.
Journal prompt: What do I do that no one else does in my industry?
Craft your brand story
Your brand story is your signature story about your brand. This is the time when storytelling and strategy meet. Your brand story should not be written to tell the whole history of your brand but instead written with your ideal client in mind. Your brand story should communicate to them how you can help them, how you see and understand them. Share your experiences, share your why so that they can relate to the person behind the brand just keep this golden rule in mind which is: It should always identify the problem your dream clients are having and how you have the solution for them. That will help them feel connected to you and in turn trust you.
Journal prompt: What experience have you been through that allows you to understand your audience on an empathic level?
Get some personality
I love this section in my brand discovery workshop because this is where I require my clients to think out of the box and visualise their brand in a more abstract and expansive way. Your brand personality is essentially formed around your brand’s purpose, values, and understanding of your soul-aligned client and brand position which is why we do all that work before we get to this. It is important that your brand personality is not created based on your personal preferences but instead is aligned with your foundations and with who your soul signed clients are. Most of all it should be authentic and consistent. Your brand personality is shown throughout your business such as in your visual elements, your brand voice & storytelling, your processes, client gifting, office or retail space and the events you run etc. Think of your brand as a person, everything that a person would do in their life would be reflective of their values, character and of course their personality would shine through and so your brand should be doing the same.
Journal prompt: If my brand was a piece of furniture what would it be and why?
Finally the aesthetics…
Now that we have combined the unseen ingredients, it is time to add on the seen ingredients. The seen ingredients are all the aesthetic elements such as logo variants, brand icons, fonts, brand patterns and imagery. Choosing your fonts and brand colours is not a random guess or about personal preference instead it is a mindful one based on your brand strategy. There is whole psychology around colours and fonts but that is another whole post in itself. The fonts and colours you choose can subliminally communicate a whole different vibe if they have not been selected mindfully. Choosing your colours and fonts is such an important part of your branding process because they evoke certain emotions. Fonts and colours can completely change the whole vibe and add personality because people have thoughts, feelings, and associations with different font types and colours. They can and should be used to convey your brand messaging and emotions you want to inspire.
Journal prompt: What are some of the emotions you hope to evoke with your brand and what colours do you relate them to
This is why I don’t simply just design a logo, instead as a strategist and designer I combine the unseen and seen ingredients to create a phenomenal elixir for your business. This process is a transformative one because not only does it transform your business but it also transforms you, the soul behind it. The process requires you to go deeper and uncover the gold within you, it requires you to connect with yourself so that you may connect with others so that you can do what you have been called to do, to make the impact you are meant to.
About the author:
Carey is the soul and creative catalyst behind Salty C Studio. She is here to hold your hand on your branding journey and become your new business bestie. Carey has intentionally created her services so that they will not only elevate and align your business but also continue to support you. Her services included brand strategy, brand and website design, creative direction and lastly brand coaching for the curious heart-led female entrepreneurs. She also offers extra support through accountability and intentional planning practices to her clients by becoming their guide, sounding board and supporter in her Alchemy Program.
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