Hi, Lisa here from Wheelie Creative, bringing another round of Nerdspeak 101.
I'm sitting in my backyard in Montana, typing on my laptop and listening to my Golden Retriever snore in the grass near my feet. It's 5:30 in the morning, and the clouds look incredibly badass as the sun wakes them up. Good job, Planet Earth. I grab my phone and snap a picture of the purple sky, telling myself that it's probably worth posting on Instagram.
I love Instagram.
It's by far my favorite form of social media, and one that drives a lot of traffic to my website, so I find it very useful for my business, as well a creative good time. I encourage most of my clients to use Instagram to build their brand. Instagram has over 200 million monthly active users with 75 million people on Instagram daily. The potential for exposure is insane. Here are some tips for making the most of Instagram.
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Hi, Lisa here from Wheelie Creative.
Here's another nerd session for your Sunday. Today it's about one of my very favorite topics: brand development. This is just a bit of a buzz word, but it's a good one, and one that is really important to your business.
Brand development is so much more than just a good logo and a stack of matching business cards. It's everything that happens to your customers as they buy and use your products. It's how your employees feel when they walk in the door to work in the morning. It's how you talk to potential clients. It's your reputation, both good and bad. It's your pictures on Instagram. Brand development is literally everything that involves your company and your customers.
The simplest explanation of this is that your brand is what people say about your company when you're not in the room.
Boom. Soak that in for a second.
To take this to the next level, here is one massive secret to building a strong brand. Literally, it's one word: consistency.
In a lot of ways, brands are like people. People whose actions are consistent build a strong identity for both themselves and the public. Consistent people become known by the reliability of their actions-- i.e., their commitments. Think about celebrities--whether flattering (Jennifer Lawrence) or faltering (Lindsey Lohan), people are able to easily identify consistent behavior. Brands are the same way-- they are built based on their willingness to commit and their ability to follow through.
Failure to commit is one of the strongest ways to weaken a brand.
Who knew owning a business and building a brand was an exercise in commitment?
Here are three tips for keeping your brand consistent:
1. When it comes to design, don't fake it. I'm huge into authenticity when I brand a company. When it comes to design, don't fake it. Don't be something you're not. I'm not going to make a company a logo and visual identity that doesn't represent them accurately and that they can't grow with. My goal in branding is to accurately portray a company through idealism, originality, and authenticity. I like to do this with the use of story-- visually showing the world why you and your company are awesome. I'm passionate about getting this right.
You are your brand. Just be yourself. You can't try to be your competitor. You can't try to be your favorite company. But you can be yourself. So rock it.
2. If you don't know who you are, how is anyone else supposed to, either?
There's a sweet Carl Jung quote that stuck with me: “The world will ask who you are, and if you cannot answer, the world will tell you.” -Carl Jung
This is pretty much the essence of branding. Good design helps show the world what your company looks like. You get to show the world what your company acts like.
Which brings me to branding tip number three:
3. Be kind.
If you're going to do one thing over and over, it might as well be acts of kindness to your customers, your employees, and the world at large. Tom's Shoes is a prime example of a brand built on heart and integrity, and people support them because of that alone. The awesome shoes are almost a bonus, even though they are, indeed, a for-profit shoe company. (Their graphic design is simple and gorgeous as well, which helped them get noticed initially.)
And today, that's all I've got. Next week, read about how to use Instagram to build your company's brand.
Enjoy the rest of your Sunday.
If you'd like to sit down and talk to us about design and improving your company's brand, we would love to geek out with you about it. Just hit the orange button below:
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By: Lisa Slagle (I know it's July, but Logan Pass just opened, so in the spirit of that, here is a post with a lot of snowboarding references.)
One of my favorite feelings in the world is when I'm strapped into my snowboard, standing on top of a cliff, getting ready to launch off of it.
I'm comfortable in exposure like that, but I'm also just a little bit scared, and it's exciting. I'm about to let gravity and velocity take over, and all I can do is set myself up to clear any rocks in the landing, point it, enjoy the ride, and try to land on my feet, or as my brocabulary would call it: stomp it.
If I stand there too long, thinking, worrying, analyzing, psyching myself out, I almost always chicken out and don't hit the cliff, or I ride too stiffly and crash. Conversely, if I don't pay attention to what I'm doing, I almost always misjudge the landing and hit rocks or crash, tomahawking down the mountain, hoping there aren't any trees in my path of destruction. I love steep terrain. You get to see what you're made of.
Here's the thing-- I work with a lot of business owners. They put their hearts into their businesses, and I love working with them because of it.
The funny thing is, a lot of times, they seem to be waiting for the perfect moment, standing at the top of a cliff, waiting for the clouds to open up, the sun to come out, and the snow to be perfectly bottomless.
Let me explain.
I frequently hear things such as, "Let's launch the website when the time is exactly right" or "I want to offer the perfect packages. They have to be perfect." Or my personal favorite, "I'm coming up with something no one has ever done before. When it's perfect, we can design the marketing and put it out there."
Let go of perfection.
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