photo courtesy of Better Than Stock
What I’ve learned about branding as a non-designer
From my last article, What It’s Like Working With The Betties, you now know that I’m a design snob and can brand it like it’s hot because I work for Business Betties. What you may not know is that the more you learn about branding the more you see it out in the world. It can inadvertently become a part of how you project your professional and personal brand to the world and how you make decisions based on the branding or lack of in everyday life.
People notice your personal brand even if you’re not trying
I was at the bank the other day and my banker commented on my bright pink dress. She also noticed the last time I saw her I was also wearing pink and asked if that was my thing. It is my thing, it’s my favorite color. I didn’t intentionally wear pink; it wasn’t a “on Wednesdays we wear pink” kind of thing. Like Johnny Cash was known as the man dressed in black, to my banker and friends who know me well I’m the woman dressed in pink. It’s part of my personal brand, one of my brand colors if you will.
Branding and the business doesn’t always line up
Even though I’m not a designer by trade I can see when a business and its branding aren’t on the same page. It may be out dated or maybe the business is in the middle of a transition. I’m not one for waste but if your business’ brand colors and fonts are completely different from the past branding – get rid of it. There is no reason to be using the old, outdated business cards, rack cards, flyers or anything you have printed when you’ve got a brand new one.
And when it doesn’t sync up it feels naïve and inexperienced as it looks. If your website is a hot mess and business card is 7 years old, I’m going to think twice about buying what your selling or taking your advice. I can think of such an organization that does great work for children but I can’t help but cringe at the website that doesn’t seem to have an identity or personality. You can be the most altruistic organization but I’m not going to donate or invest my time with your organization because your organization’s website doesn’t look legit.
Speaking of your online presence….
Nowadays the lines between professional and personal are becoming blurred, especially for entrepreneurs who not only promote their service or product but the lifestyle that goes along with it. I’m not saying that your personal and business social media accounts have to line up perfectly but if you’re working to save animals from abusive environments and then decide to buy a dog from a puppy mill, I’m probably thinking you’re not serious about your work or mission. So either separate your work from personal or keep those accounts private and for friends only or make sure you don’t contradict yourself and create questions from your customers about who you are and what you stand for and support.
Branding should be purposeful
It takes a lot of time and care to develop and execute a brand. Creating and maintaining your brand, personal or professional, is not an easy task. It requires effort and forethought but in the end your potential customers will appreciate all the hard work you put in to it and personally they can get to know a little bit more about the woman in pink.