The Threads of Your Brand | Braid Creative & Consulting

Last week we took a bird’s eye view of branding and defining the function your brand serves in your business. You can read that here.

So now let’s zoom in a little and look at the different threads of your brand and business that make up who you are and the work you do. These threads can pose a challenge when they feel tangled and jumbled, but when you can connect the dots and weave the different aspects of your brand into every platform, interaction, and presence you will build trust, impact, and credibility with your potential customers and peers. You’re able to create a rich and layered story that makes sense (P.S. We’re called Braid Creative because it’s our job to help our clients and students take the threads of their business and weave them together in one cohesive brand story.)


Your clarity of purpose

When you know your mission, what you offer, why your dream customer needs you, and the problems you solve… you’ve got clarity of purpose. This crystal clear perspective of who you are and what you do and why might feel like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised at how many businesses have overlooked this part of their brand and business vision. And that clarity of purpose can take you far when it comes to how you position and differentiate yourself in your market. The confidence that comes with knowing who you are will attract dream customers.

What’s your mission? What do you offer and for whom? What problems are you solving? And why?


Your personal style

Most branding experts will tell you that your brand begins with your customer… but we think the best place to start is with yourself. We believe that when you can blend more of who you are into the work you do, you will be more fulfilled in your job. A lot of creatives think that having a personal brand means taking lots of selfies and posting them to Instagram, and while we think that’s okay, that’s not the point. The point of a personal brand is allowing your values, intentions, and personal expression to have a place in your business. It’s letting personal experience and story have a place at the table just as much as your talent, skills, and business model. Because the truth is – no matter how big your business grows at the end of the day, people hire people. Your customers are looking to connect with something human.

How is your personal style reflected in your business and outward facing brand?


Your dream customer

While we like to start with you, we know (and you know) that your brand isn’t just about you. It’s about how you communicate what you do and for whom in a style that resonates with your dream customer. A disconnect between who you think you are and who your dream customer thinks you are can be detrimental to your success. Plus, it’s not just about them liking who you are – it’s about reassuring that you’re for them by articulating what you offer without confusion.

Do you know who your dream customer is? Do they know who you are and what you offer?


Your expertise

Expertise can be a loaded word that doesn’t land with everyone in the same way, but it’s as simple as staking a claim for what you want to be known for. Becoming a reliable guide and “go-to” for the thing you offer will elevate you beyond a commodity and position you as a sought-after problem-solver.

What do you want to be known for? What’s your expertise?


Your offering

Your brand is how you tie the story and emotion of what you do to the nuts-and-bolts deliverables you offer. If you lean too heavy on the emotional side of how you connect to your dream customer, you risk confusing your clients as to how you’re actually helping them … which leads to hesitation when it comes to closing the deal. When it comes to your deliverables, use branding language with a light touch and just say what you mean.

When it comes to your offering, what do you deliver? If it’s not tangible, try to paint a before-and-after picture of your client before and after they work with you.


Your content

Your content—whether that’s a blog, a podcast, a YouTube channel, or a social media presence—is one of the best ways to establish your expertise, share your story, and attract dream customers. It’s also a place where you can explore and evolve your brand. What you create along the way shapes who you become in your brand and business vision.

Does the content you create support your expertise with the tone and style of your brand?

So here we’ve shared a few of the threads that create the bigger picture of your brand and business vision. No one thread is more important than the other – they all work together to tell a cohesive and clear story about who you are and the work you do.

Want to dive in a little deeper? Download our free 7 Ways to Brand You and What You Do eBook:

DOWNLOAD THE FREE EBOOK for tips, exercises, scripts, and worksheets

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What Exactly Is Branding? | Braid Creative & Consulting

I think we all know what the word “branding” means at-a-glance, but have you ever really tried to define it? It’s a little tricky to nail down an exact meaning of what a brand is—which can be complicated for you as an entrepreneur, small business, or marketer when a big part of your success depends on having a good brand. So in this article, we’re going to share a few of our definitions of what a brand really is.

Your brand is the first impression you make

One of the biggest pitfalls we see from our clients is when they try to fit too much of everything they are into that very first impression. Information overload can be confusing and overwhelming to your dream customer. So when it comes to the first impression you make, consider how you can set the tone and style for what you do and for whom in as little words as possible. This means making an impression with the look and feel of your brand, a short tagline, and a concise “elevator pitch” or positioning statement.

Your brand is what makes you different

Believe it or not, competition is a good thing for your business! When businesses have similar offerings it means there is a thriving market for what you have to sell. However, the more competition you have, the more you have to differentiate yourself within the market. Your brand is how you communicate what makes you different and why that makes you a perfect fit for your dream customer.

Your brand sets the expectation of what’s next

If your brand is the first impression someone receives, it also sets the stage for what they can expect as they begin to move from simply being aware of your presence to becoming engaged with your business. Brand disconnects happen when a potential client expects one thing and receives another. But when your brand is cohesive, consistent, and totally aligned on all levels, you are delivering on the expectation and promise you set from the first time someone set eyes on you.

What is the first impression you make? What differentiates you from the competition? Is your brand consistent as your dream customer moves deeper into your business model?

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Three Things That Threaten Your Brand | Braid Creative & Consulting

three threats to your brand

If I had a rallying cry, it would be something along the lines of “Just be who you are 100% of the time!” I can’t help but believe that blending your true personality into the work that you do will make the world a better place—or at the very least make the desk you work at a better place.

But the problem with bringing authenticity to your brand is if you don’t really know who you are, that will be reflected in your business as vague, confusing, and bland.

Know who you are

Vague, confusing, and bland don’t instill a lot of confidence or trust in your dream customer—and that’s the whole point of a brand. Now, I feel like “vague,” “confusing,” and “bland” are my own worst nightmares, but they can also pose a big threat to your brand. Let’s dig into these monsters a little more and start to unpack how we can keep them out of our brands.

Three words that threaten your brand

VAGUE: You might describe Vague to a friend as, “You know the one! With the hair. And the mouth! You know!” (Your friend doesn’t know.) Our monster Vague is just too… vague.

CONFUSING: At first glance, Confusing is the opposite of Vague. They’re wearing something very fashion forward that you either absolutely love … or love to hate. Now, this is actually a really great branding tactic and an outward display of authenticity and being who you are. But Confusing’s problem isn’t his outward style—it’s how he talks about how he affords all the clothes (not to mention vacations to Dubai) he buys. Nobody knows how Confusing makes a living even though he’s constantly networking and saying things like, “Call me! We’ll disrupt something together!”

BLAND: Bland is a lot like Vague. If you get seated next to Vague at a dinner party, you might get one-word answers to your brilliant questions or a long-winded work story with all the wrong details and dead-end plot lines. The difference between Bland and Vague is that you’re never trying to describe Bland to your friend. You just never think about them again.

The antidote to all three of these brand boogeymen:

Get specific with your brand

Get specific. One of my favorite ways to get specific in business is to paint a before and after picture of my dream customer. What were their problems before they hired me? How were they describing these problems to a friend? What do they think they need help with? But where do they actually need help? And after working with me what results did they achieve? What will they do next?

Say what you mean in your brand

Say what you mean. Being authentic boils down to saying exactly what you mean in your style. We see far too many professional creatives hiding behind vague jargon or the same corporate speak everyone else is saying. We see creative entrepreneurs espousing big ideals without really saying anything at all. Try starting your conversations or blog posts with “What I’m really trying to say is…” for a while to bring real conversations to the surface.

Be consistent in your brand

Be consistent. When you consistently show up as who you are with your style, specificity, and authenticity, people will begin to trust you. Consistency is what will keep them coming back and evangelizing your brand to their friends.

P.S. In The Braid Method Branding ECourse we share all of our best branding tips, philosophies, and tactics so you can better articulate what you do to attract more dream customers eager to buy. This self-guided online course is now open to new students. Learn more and see if it’s a fit here.

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