No, we are not just picking out a color palette here. Brand identity is so much more than that.
You know something is mysterious and complicated when even the experts in the field can’t agree on a single definition of something.
The problem is that it’s hard to explain something that is totally woven into everything that is in your business and it’s not easy to explain how to create your brand identity when you can explain what brand identity is!
I like to think of creating your brand identity as building a person that your clients interact with. How they look, how they speak, their personality, their values, their actions, all of that.
Your brand is the face of your business and it’s what your clients fall in love with.
If you’re running a heart-centered, passion filled business as an entrepreneur YOU are that brand and your brand identity is built off all of those traits that I described.
A brand identity is something that you have whether you build it intentionally or not.
So that creates a challenge –
is the brand you have the brand you need to get the clients you want, to reach the goals you set, and to reach the level of success you set out for yourself?
What a brand identity, exactly?
Your brand identity is the representation of your business that people interact with.
So, if you think of your brand as a person we can easily identify the different parts.
- There is everyone’s favorite part, the visuals. I mean, this is what we usually notice right away being mostly sight dominant. This is also where it stops for some people and they think a brand is only visual (which it’s not, just like there’s more to a person than looks).
- Then there is the personality. This is the special sauce that makes a brand. Just like people have different personalities, brands have personalities. This is shown in how they talk, their actions, all of that.
- Then there are the values. Just like you want to be friends with people who have similar values, you tend to do business with brands that have your same values.
The tricky part comes when you have to figure out all of these things for yourself and then create your brand identity from it.
If your brand is based off of you as a person, this is some serious soul searching. You’re taking a deep look into your own personality, visual style, and values and it can seem like a lot.
Thankfully there are some things that make this a little easier, and no, I’m not going to give you a DIY branding how-to…
It’s all about mindset and knowing yourselves, friends.
If you are the face of your business, and you are your brand, then how you feel about yourself is going to bleed through when you create your brand identity.
If you’re having trouble with brand identity, the first step is looking inward and diving into what’s there and how you feel about yourself.
Why is brand identity important in growing your business?
Creating your brand identity is deciding the face that builds a relationship with your people.
We are all familiar with know/like/trust. This is the magic equation that brings all the clients to the yard.
Again, just like people who are meeting, you build relationships with brands that you know, like, and trust.
To start building know/like/trust can feel daunting, but let’s make it simple (because no one has time for bs).
- First comes the know. People have to KNOW you to buy from you. You have to show up and be visible for them to know you.
- Then it’s like. Just like you’re not going to like all people you meet, people looking for your services are not all going to like you, and that’s totally cool. What you want is for people that are you dream client to like you. And they decide if they like you or not by…. Wait for it…. Interacting with your brand!
- Then comes the trust. That is a little harder to build with people but lucky for you, it’s built on things like values and your actions. People trust you because they share your values. People trust you because they see you showing up and helping others. People trust you because of what people say about you when you’re not present.
It’s hard sometimes to see the forrest through the trees and get out of the bubble of our own business to see this from another perspective.
So maybe enlist some help from a biz friend for this. They will be able to help you get an outside perspective on these things.
Know/like/trust is how your brand builds fans and develops a relationship with your clients.
When you do this in an authentic way that’s totally you is when you create the most solid business relationships and can really start to move the needle in your business.
How to build your brand foundation.
So, enough of the feel good brand persona talk, you want to dive into how to actually do this stuff, right?
You can do this, because it’s stuff you already have it in place! Woo!
You have all of these things already, whether you planned it or not, so let’s focus on how you get intentional about it.
Answer two questions.
- If you were looking for a business best friend, how would you describe their personality, style, and values?
- What of those things overlap with your own personality, style, and values?
The answers to these questions make a little baby that builds the messaging that is your brand identity foundation!
The magic happens where you can find common ground with your clients AND you’re able to be authentically yourself!
This is not “Ooooo, let me pick these trendy colors and grab this very now style.”
This is being able to build something that you’re crazy confident in sharing, because you’re growing confidence in yourself.
Your brand can enhance your business or hold it back.
Your brand identity is everything that makes you, you.
There might be some things that are awesome, some things that you maybe want to work on, but your essence doesn’t change and that’s where we can find brand magic.
When you have a brand built of your essence it attracts all the right people who you want to be in a business relationship with. It sets out a beacon that says “Hey guys, I’m over here, let’s party!”
Done right, when you figure out how to create your brand identity it’s like jet fuel to your solopreneur business.
And done right, means done authentically you.