Q: What is branding?
This is such a great question, because if you ask a thousand people, you’ll get 1375 answers. The famous quote from one of my least favourite people, Jeff Bezos, is, “Your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room.” I happily disagree with that glib soundbite.
My imperfect and personal answer is that branding is the representation and reverberation of the personality of your business. It’s your business out in the world. (I love that image: Lil’ biz out there with a suitcase and big dreams!)
I see it this way: Your business and its personality (which of course you’ve clearly defined with a Brand Filter, creative strategy, marketing strategy and so on, ideally with me!) are the nucleus at the centre of your branding. Emanating from that are all of the ways you choose to communicate and market them. This includes your logo and corporate identity, website, social media accounts, blog posts, newsletters, email signature, signage, event materials, and so on.
Reliable and relatable branding is a series of concentric ripples, imperfect and steady.
I see broken circles a lot in situations where a solopreneur has hired social media handlers, for example; while the message may be steady, the personality is not quite authentic, and the communication feels off. I find myself thinking, 'There is no way she actually uses that many exclamation points,' and that conflict interferes with my interaction with the brand.
Chaotic branding comes when you have too many messages, too many styles, too many cooks. For example, you’re posting #lifegoals on Instagram, punchy and sarcastic quips on Twitter, and attempts at comedy on TikTok. You’re cold-calling folks with one message, while your email newsletters have another, and your website spins folks off elsewhere entirely.
If you get the nucleus (the business and its personality) clearly sorted, the ripples (the branding) can come along quite naturally—like creating a theme for a party (zombies vs pirates!), or a colour palette for your home.
My goal with ImpNet is to help you get your business and its personality so utterly clear that your branding comes along easily, naturally, and enthusiastically—and reliably.