Creatives have it easy when it comes to branding. Since YOU are your brand, what inspires you, what you create and even how you create are part of your brand identity. Where you have been and where you are going are all part of your ‘brand’ story.
The creative work you do every day gives you beautiful content to play with because, that is what you do. You create. So, if you spend some time sitting with your work. Your inspiration, research and client work, you will quickly see a brand identify is already there. And the more it evolves along with you, the more authentic it will be. You are never simply a font, logo and 5 hex colors, those are merely components of your business.
What is brand? I think Seth Godin’s definition is my favorite.
A brand is the set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another. If the consumer (whether it’s a business, a buyer, a voter or a donor) doesn’t pay a premium, make a selection or spread the word, then no brand value exists for that consumer.
– Seth Godin
I love this because it shares the importance of building relationships and connecting with ideal clients. Sharpening your craft to be a go to in your industry. That as a specialist you can charge a premium and create a unique experience for your clients that they will come back for again and again.
How do you want to be perceived in the industry? Who do you want to attract? What print styles do you want to be associated with? This is part of your brand. And the more consistent and unapologetic you show up, the stronger your brand!
If you are feeling stuck, give this exercise a try to connect with your existing brand:
What does your brand (you) do? This is basically the ‘who are you’ and ‘what do you do’? Ex. I create hand painted, bold florals that have my own unique spin. I stay on top of current market trends to ensure that my designs will align to the aesthetic of my client’s brand and support bringing their visions to life. (Help to achieve)
What three words can best describe your brand? Think, who do you want to attract, how do you want them to feel, what do you want them to associate you with? Ex. Trendy, bold, swimwear, or So Cal, beachy, bohemian, or chic, artistic, luxury
What experiences can you create/offer with your brand? When you work with me you can expect a. b. c. – and then list out what you offer. This can either be bullet points or you can dig in to the client journey a bit more. Ex. Exclusive designs updated monthly in my online shop, hand painted art that is created from a fusion of market and runway trends to ensure we bring your vision to life, price of my work, what that includes (For example, repeats or alt colorways), turnaround time for custom prints and the process they can expect if you offer that service….etc.
Ultimately, you being you with clarity and consistency will be what builds your brand over time.
It begins when you decide on your niche, choose a market focus (or two), create mood boards, deepen your craft, do your outreach…it is when we get back to the LOVE of what we do that we reconnect with that person inside. The one that wanted this. The one that had a dream. The one that still does. Once we give ourselves the space to breathe, we can breathe life into the ‘brand’ that we already are.
Additional resource to play with brand: The Branded Vision Board