Now you’re on board that you need more than a logo to make a brand, and you are curious about what actually makes up a brand? This is SUCH a big topic that as a brand strategist + designer is obviously close to my heart. I’ve distilled it down to the brand formula.
Brand = Clarity + Personality + Connection
Yes. On the surface this formula is incredibly high-level, but each of the components breaks down into specifics you can take action on to make a stronger brand.
Clarity is the foundation for everything. Think back to the basics of storytelling from language arts. Your brand is no different, you need to know the who, what, when, where, and why. The answers to these questions will determine the direction of the brand personality and brand connection.
The best way to make sure your clarity is nailed down is to have a brand strategy document or presentation. When I’m creating the brand strategy presentation for my clients I like to include sections about their internal goals/motivations, their external target clientele, and how their brand is best positioned to meet those internal and external factors.
If clarity is the foundation within the brand formula, personality is the building block for your brand. These are those items that once you have narrowed them down will be disseminated in everything your brand does.
Brand Visual Elements
The first building block is your brand’s visual elements. This includes your logos, submarks, patterns, typography, and color palette. Check out this blog post which goes in-depth about each of the visual elements. These encompass all of what I dub the “designed details” in my brand identity package.
Each of these visual elements should be based on the clarity (brand strategy) from the first part of the brand formula. This ensures that all of the details will be in alignment so your business can thrive.
Having the brand element building blocks nailed down, will make your job easier. The heavy lifting upfront will make it a breeze to pull together presentations and social media posts because you have a visual style to use throughout.
Photography is also an important visual element that will reflect your brand personality. Hiring a photographer to take brand photos and updated headshots is a perfect way to uplevel your brand building blocks. Once you have these photos, you’d be surprised at the number of places they come into play.
In addition to a brand photo session, you’ll also want to make sure that you’ve defined your brand editing style. Having a consistent set of edits that you use over and over helps keep a consistent visual style.
Another building block is your brand voice. To create a comprehensive personality your need to make sure how you are saying the message is in alignment with your brand strategy.
Defining your brand voice includes specifying your tone, defining specific words you use (or don’t use), and your pace of delivery. Since the brand voice and brand visual elements are built off of the same clarity, they will work together seamlessly to meet your target client.
Your brand personality building blocks come together to form your brand connection. Communication with the outside world is a big part of putting your brand out there to increase your level of “like, know, and trust”.
Brand Messaging + Marketing
One way to form a connection with your audience is through marketing. Don’t panic when you hear the word marketing- this simply means sharing your story.
You can share your brand story through all sorts of different mediums both digital and print. Everything from your website to your thank you cards will help your brand connection.
If you are following the brand formula, all of these touchpoints with (potential) clients will be based on a solid clear strategy and use the brand personality building blocks.
Often overlooked in your brand is your interaction with customers! The way you onboard and work with clients leaves a lasting impression. This impression will become a big part of your brand.
Think back to the last item you purchased from a small vendor who goes the extra mile. Was the wrapping customized to their brand? This collateral is built using the color palette and patterns from the brand personality. The customized thank you card included in the package is also in line with the brand visuals and the brand voice. These small touches go a long way towards creating a recognizable brand.
Summary Brand Formula
There are a lot of small details that add up to the overall brand formula. Don’t worry about getting wrapped up in the details. Think high level and remember : Your brand = clarity + personality + connection .
I offer one-on-one services to help you with your brand formula. Book a free consultation on how we can help you here by filling out our inquiry form here.