Welcome to part two of Brand new you, last week I talked a little bit about the importance of branding and how I set up the Fe-line brand. Today I want to take the concept of branding a little further and talk about my top tips for branding and some of my favourite brands.
Branding doesn’t have be something to be scared of or brushed off and thought of as not important. If your business is important your online and physical presence needs to reflect what you do and it is worth spending some time to think about what you want your business to represent. This needs to be reflected in all you do, website, print material, business cards, social media, even down to what you wear.
Top tips for getting your brand right:
Play with your brand until you find something that feels right for you and conveys the message that you want.
Be true to what you do rather than what you think you should be.
Set yourself a brand guide that outlines your mission statement, your brand colours and the fonts you are going to use. Refer back to this when you have anything produced.
Embrace the brand, I wear cat t-shirts, cat ears and brand colours because I want others to believe and embrace the Fe-line Women brand.
Create brand advocates in your staff, train them and tell them what your brand represents, get them to wear the t-shirt. Oh and make sure they have a copy of your brand guide.
Companies that work their brands really well:
Soap and Glory – I love this cosmetics brand and will always buy their cosmetics over others, because their brand talks to me. I like the quirky visuals and funny packaging. It is girly but it is a little bit naughty. I am a massive fan of the naming of their products, e.g. Some like it hot, their body scrub that heats up when you put it on your skin! It is amazing.
Company Magazine – I think the rebrand of Company Magazine is fantastic. I used to think Company was a bit trashy but now it is the only publication I have a subscription to. It talks about blogging, fashion and music, not celebrity gossip and how fat people are. There are a lot of inspirational articles and it makes me feel good reading it.
Tatty Devine – Tatty Devine are an independant British jewellery company that produce unusual perspex jewellery. What I love about their brand is when I wear their jewellery people know instantly that it is a piece of Tatty Devine. Their product and brand is so unique it is instantly recognisable. Harriet and Rosie who run Tatty Devine are a shining example of how to dress for your brand! If you are looking for a great necklace that goes with almost anything I can recommend their gold parakeet.
Fresh in Canada – Fresh is a chain of vegetarian restaurants in Canada that I love and miss. Fresh for me is an all round amazing brand, I love their look and I love what they do. The look of their website, restaurants, packaging and cook books says to me fresh and modern, which works so well because their name is Fresh, their products are really fresh and their mission is to be: “the source of modern vegetarian food.” So their branding represents exactly what their product is! Oh and their food is AMAZING, if you think veggie food is boring, then think again. Can someone please ship me a thai burger with sweet potato fries please!!
Love and logos,
P.S I have not been paid by these companies to put them on the blog, they are my genuine favourite brands that I have collected over the years.
I speak to a lot of people running small businesses and writing their own blogs and they often ask me about the importance of branding. I have been a branding advocate since 2004 when I worked on my first rebrand for my student radio station, since then I have found one of the things I like to do best is create or recreate brands.
A lot of people think that a brand is just a logo but it is much more than that, it is the whole feeling that goes along with a company/ brand. What do you want your brand to feel like? Serious, fun, professional? Who is your brand aimed at children, adults, students, men, women? All of these things will make a difference when you create your brand.
One thing I like to ask people if they think that branding isn’t relevant for their company is to think about what they think about when they see the following logos:
Love them or hate them, you know a lot about the company just because of their logo. This my friends is branding.
So how do you go about creating a brand? Well I can tell you a little bit about how I started to create the Fe-line Women brand.
I knew that Fe-line Women was primarily going to be aimed at women and that because of the name there would be a cat involved. The first incarnation of the Fe-line logo was quite basic, I didn’t really know myself what Fe-line was or what it was going to be.
Since the beginning it has emerged that Fe-line Women is about music, fashion and inspiration but it is also about me. It is a lot about my life adventure, why I want to inspire women, how I have been inspired and therefore the Fe-line Women brand had to change to represent this. I wanted something fun, fresh and a little bit quirky that would match my personality.
I started my brand development work with a Pinterest board of things that I love and from there mint green and glitter seemed to be two of my favourite things. I found a colour palette using Design Seeds® which is a great resource for picking colours. I was able to share the palette, the Pinterest board and the design brief with my designer and the new Fe-line Women logo was born.
From here I was able to create the new website, including deciding on fonts, using Google fonts, sourcing imagery using my own photographs, friends photographs (asking permission of course) and a few stock images. What also goes into the brand is your writing style for your brand, I like a nice chatty personal style, because it says hello this is Jo speaking! Again that is because Fe-line Women really is an extension of me, but this will be different depending on what you are creating.
Recently my brand has really come alive and this is because I have embraced it as an extension of myself. If I am completely honest I didn’t love the first version of the Fe-line Women brand, it was too serious and jared with my personality. This meant I spent more time writing my personal blog than I did the Fe-line Women blog. A lot of people told me they would like to know more about me in relation to Fe-line Women and I thought they were kidding. Then I went to The Blogcademy and in big letters their review of my blog said it needs more “YOU.” I couldn’t argue with Gala Darling, Rock N Roll Bride and Nubby Twiglet could I?!
Since then the Fe-line Women brand has really taken on a life of its own and I don’t know where I end and Fe-line Women begins. Whenever I do anything that is Fe-line Women related I talk about ‘me and the cat’ doing something. This makes my brand really come alive and the cat is no longer just part of my logo, it is something I take with me wherever I go. I always knew I would become a crazy cat lady I just didn’t know this was how it was going to happen.
Branding doesn’t have be something to be scared of or brushed off and thought of as not important. If your business is important your online and physical presence needs to reflect what you do and it is worth spending some time to think about what you want to be. This needs to be reflected in all you do, website, print material, business cards, social media even down to what you wear.
More about branding next week with my top tips and some of my favourite brands,
Love and pretty logos,