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Dr Julie Gibbons is a Brand Strategist who joins me to talk about the language of branding in this podcast episode.

Julie explains that your brand is about how you present yourself. Every time you present yourself to someone, it’s either reinforcing or undermining your brand.

Two key aspects to consider that go into making up a brand is:

  1. What our audience is looking for. The things they are looking for are the values you need to demonstrate in your branding.
  2. If you’re a Solopreneur, your brand needs to present your personality.

What you’re selling is secondary.

Choosing the right fonts for your business is one of the aspects of how you reflect your brand. For example, a calligraphy style font that is very fluid and rounded would be great for something where you’re trying to convey a sense of calm and peace. However, if you have a font like Impact that is heavy, narrow, tall, is really like a thick stroke, then it is more masculine, demands attention and is quite authoritative.  

Julie shares the example of Harley Davidson and Disney to illustrate this. They have built up their persona’s in a way that people immediately know who they are and what they stand for.

A brand strategists job is to translate your words into visuals. They do this by:

  1. Asking you questions to determine things like who your target market is, why do you like working with them, what they are looking for etc.
  2. Getting to know you as a person, including background information about your general aesthetic approach to life (e.g. do you like close-ups or the middle ground in photos, what movies you like, etc.)

Julie’s approach may be a little different from others because she believes that aesthetics has a lot of different expressions, but at the end of the day, it’s all part of the same kind of energy. She believes that the process is quite complex but fascinating because you speak to the subconscious of your clients.

Documented guidelines of your branding is important too. It puts together the story of your corporate identity and ensures consistency. A strong brand creates something memorable in someone’s mind. The reason you do branding is also to create a memory that people remember you. Ideally, it’s best not to rely on using your face to create the memorability. Using your face doesn’t give the person much info about your business or the problems that you solve. Julie uses Tash Corbin’s brand to illustrate how her brand speaks to people.

Here are four things you could be doing that is damaging your brand:

  1. Using no colour and more than two fonts.  
  2. Mixing centre and left/right-aligned text objects on a graphic. 
  3. Crowdsourcing opinions from people who are not your ideal clients. 
  4. Not getting clear on your niche or focusing on your brand.

It’s never a good idea to waste time or money on your brand until you are clear on your niche because, in the startup phase or your business, you’re experimenting, shifting and evolving. Generally, you should be checking in on your branding annually to look back and see what you’ve written about your brand; and consider a refresh of your brand every 3 to 5 years because like all things we do evolve.  

You can connect with Julie at www.brandiwork.com, or Facebook https://www.facebook.com/brandiworkbyjulie

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