Your brand strategy is like a secret weapon for your business — it defines the value you offer, who needs it, and why they should pick you over your competition.
In this episode, we cover the basics (what exactly IS brand strategy?), as well as how to define yours.
We also talk about how branding is a surprisingly emotional journey, the difference between you & your brand, and how to know if your branding is effective.
Oh, and we also created a free Brand Positioning Statement template for you to download.
After you listen to the episode, make sure to download our free Brand Positioning Statement Template! It’ll help you get clear on the value you offer, who needs it, and why they should pick you over your competition.
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Hello and welcome to Seriously Creative. I’m Jess.
And I’m Gwen.
And today we’re gonna talk about branding!
Branding, our favorite thing.
Our favorite thing though, we did say the Passive Income podcast was one of our favorite things, but this is our actual favorite thing. Until the next episode when we talk about something else and we think maybe that might be our favorite.
We have lots of favorite things, but branding is probably the thing you’re gonna hear us talk about over and over and over. Can I also say that my favorite thing is exaggerating and saying everything is my favorite.
Okay, so in this episode we go through the most basic questions like, what the heck is branding?
Like define it for me, and then go into what makes branding good or effective, some mistakes that we see, we go through how to actually establish your brand strategy. So there’s three different pieces that we walk our own clients and students through, and we give you all three of those pieces in here.
And also a little freebie worksheet that you can download so that you can work through your own. All right guys. Go listen to branding and tell us what you think. And leave us comments! Enjoy.
Okay. How about we talk about branding?
That seems like a really good idea considering what we do. It’s what we talk about all the time.
Let’s talk about it while being recorded. Okay, So just so everybody knows, we’re branding and website designers in case you haven’t listened to this podcast before.
Hey, someone may have sent them this podcast and they have no idea who we are. We specialize in helping female, usually service providers, though we’re getting a little bit into some product brands as well, but which is really exciting.
It is really exciting and also terrifying.
But we really love helping other women, helping lift other women up.
And we talk a lot about how even though we need to be at a price point that allows us to sustain our business, we really try to keep it low enough to be accessible for like the solo per, because that is who we really adore working with. And then we also have a course. For branding and in the future it might look different, but that is our passion.
It’s really just like giving people the confidence to promote their business because they love their brand and they feel like it accurately represents them. Okay, so the number one thing I wanted to talk about when it comes to branding, because I feel like this is something that doesn’t get brought up a lot, is that branding is almost always like a personal and emotional thing.
It’s super emotional for everyone who does. But there’s a little bit of a almost stigma like, well, it’s something that’s business, so it should be. , like a little bit more black and white, or you shouldn’t let your emotions get tied up in it. But for most people who come up with like a business idea, they’re excited about what they’re gonna create.
It’s like close to their heart, maybe comes from, you know, passion. It’s like that’s gonna be, that’s like your baby that you’re putting out into the world, that you’re gonna have to feel confident to sell. And so it. And you’re like, Is this a good idea? Is this a bad idea? Is this terrible? Is this great?
Well, you can think about any large company, anytime they do their branding or rebrand, think how long it takes because it’s still emotional and you also have to have an entire group buy into it. And also they need to make sure their existing consumer base is not gonna be. like super turned off by it, right?
Yeah. Like wasn’t it Tropicana when they like release Sarah? Everyone’s like, I hate it. Oh, I don’t remember that. I remember that happened with the Gap though. Remember the Gap? People were very upset at the Gap. It’s several brands have gone through. I remember it was Tropicana, they came out with new branding and like they release all this product and all the bottles and people hated it.
So they had to take all the product off the shelf. Oh God. They like and redo it. Okay. Yeah. Yeah. I do. I I think that’s happened a couple of times with brands, so that’s a good point cuz it’s like even it’s emotional on the person who’s creating the brand. Mm-hmm. that’s also emotional potentially on the consumer.
And we get that a lot when somebody comes to us to help them rebrand in they’re an existing brand or they have a. Brand recognition is like, how can we help them build a bridge between their current brand and the customers that recognize that and the new brand so they don’t feel alienated, that they still feel like it’s the same brand they know and love, even though it looks a little bit different, it looks, you know, hopefully more modern and updated or evolved also in just like connects with the, the customer base that they’re wanting to reach.
Like almost always they aren. Quite reaching the people that they want to, and they’re like, It’s holding me back and I wanna get this other group over here. And so, you know, we’re trying to speak to them. So I think if you can just accept when you go into the branding process that it’s going to be tough and it’s gonna be a little emotional and you’re gonna like, feel like you’re spinning a lot, that it can make it easier so that you’re not like, caught off guard or you think you’re doing it wrong.
But also if it happens and it happens quickly and easily, that doesn’t mean that you. Bad job a hundred percent. Sometimes it’s hard and sometimes it takes a lot of work and just accepting, and sometimes it just like comes and you’re like, Okay, this is it. I feel good about it. Or certain things will take forever.
Like we took forever to decide on our name and then once we did, I just like, Pooped a logo out one day and I was like, that’s great, and we’re still using it today. So different parts can take different amounts of time. And I can I just say really quickly for the audience, we can poop logos out sometimes because we’re experts.
is that not the actual term I’m supposed to use as a professional branding designer? to all our clients out there. . Yeah. I just pooped out your logo today. Okay. Our logo was one of the only logos that has been pooped out. Most of our client logos stay, I mean it just a good week, two weeks to it work through, just came together really easily.
Like yes, we struggled over the name and then all of a sudden we were like, because of the fonts we like, and I think it just worked. Yeah. And so it came together super easy and not, they usually don’t, but yeah. The other thing that we always say is like, just start, like the biggest problem that we see is people just holding themselves back and like not even taking the first step to, to walk into it out of fear.
And I think we’ve talked to a lot of people about this and I do think that there’s like, Something around if you don’t start and you can’t fail. Mm-hmm. , And it’s not conscious, but I know I’ve done it before where I’m like, I have like an idea brewing in my head and it’s like I’m putting it off, I’m putting it off, and then I’m finally like, Why am I putting it off?
It’s because I’m like scared. You know? It’s like, it’s scared, It’s just deep down. So you’re really just like letting yourself start knowing you’ll evolve as you go. And most of all that, like your brand is gonna be a living, breathing thing, so like, You don’t have to feel like because you put something out in the world that it has to be like that forever.
It’s like, it’s probably gonna be where, you know, halfway through a year you’re like, Oh, I don’t really like this color. I use, like, maybe I need to just like start using a different one or cut this outta my palette. Or maybe I need like some alternative graphics that I didn’t know I needed in the first place.
It’s like, yeah, that stuff can all come. I think it’s just the brand is so important in establishing all the basics, but at the same time, like if you’re just starting out, just expect that you’re gonna have to shift things. Once you nailed down what your offering is, what you do, and it’s okay. People who believe in what you do are gonna be along for the ride.
Right. You know, as long as your brand still speaks to who you are and hey, a rebrand is a great marketing story too. So yes, it’s a great reason to like talk about yourself. Hey, content, content tan is everywhere. The other question that we get, a lot that I wanted to bring up is the idea of you versus your brand.
And I think this comes into play most often when we’re working with solo entrepreneurs or you know, we’re often working with. The founder, the CEO of a company. Mm-hmm. , we’re not working with like, you know, a marketing person. So we’re working with the person who is. Has come up with the idea and who has, you know, birthed this thing into the world.
I’ve said birthed twice in this podcast episode. You’ve talked about pooping in , . I mean, both things happen when you birth a human. Sorry guys. But I think like the lines between you and your values and the reason why you decided to. The business in the first place and your brand, those lines are just gonna blur and that’s to be expected.
It would be, I think it would be so much harder if they didn’t blur, if you had to like try to be this other person when you’re in business mode. That also just gives me like, Ugh. Feels corporate. Yeah, it does. Feels like you’re trying to be someone else. I also shouldn’t like shit on that. On corporate.
Yeah. Just like what if people are like, I like being this other person for my brand. Like if that’s my alternate personality. Oh, well, okay. So that is what I was gonna say is I do think that you can play both sides and you can decide when you want it to be you because it makes sense. And when you want to.
Be a little bit more selective or intentional about exactly what you put out in the world or that you focus on in your branding. So I think there’s like a little bit of power in that to be able to be selective, but not to feel like you have to be. So I know one time we were working on branding and someone said, You know, I feel like the brand voice is just my voice.
Like it was a problem and it’s like, yeah, if you don’t want the brand voice to be your voice because it sounds too friendly or because it sounds too cold or whatever the thing is, that one yeah, doesn’t, doesn’t connect with your person. Right. But if it’s just because you feel like it’s wrong, because it’s your voice, there’s no problem with that.
It’s like you get to decide what you want to be blurred with you and what you wanna really like stand apart. I think. I love that you get to just like break a bunch of rules, or at least that’s what we get to do. We get to break a bunch of rules for people. Like, No, you can do. I love giving people permission.
I know. Me too. Okay, so in a recent like workshop or something, we ask people. We were in a Facebook group and we said, What are your biggest questions about branding? And someone goes, What is branding ? Which I think that’s a great question. It’s an amazing first question. It’s like, Yep. Okay, let’s start there.
So I think there are like, A million different definitions for the word brand. Mm-hmm. . But essentially it’s just like how your customers recognize and perceive your business. So that can mean everything from like your logo to your customer service, to your website. It can be all of those things. But when we refer to branding and like the type of branding that we design or that we help other people create is really based.
Eight things that I’m gonna quickly list off that are going to go over your head, because when you listen to a podcast, hearing a list of things isn’t always helpful. But I mean, get out your notebooks while you’re driving in the car. Get out your notebooks. I mean, I just assume most people listen to podcasts while they’re driving in the car doing something else.
AK not doing anything where they’re saying that with a notebook. If you’re jogging next time, bring chalk so you can jot down your neighbor’s driveway. Okay, so when we refer to branding, we’re talking about your strategy. , your style overall visuals, your voice. So the way you talk and the way your copy is, your logo of course, which is the main identifier of your business.
Your color palette, your photos, your fonts, and your graphics. So that’s sort of taking, we always start with strategy and then building on it in both the visual and the editorial sort of lanes. And then making sure that you have this. Consistent suite of things that are always representing your brand so that people start to get familiar with it.
And obviously that’s what builds brand awareness. So from there, how do you know if your brand’s any good? Oh my God, Gwen, thank you for asking. I actually have a really easy to remember what’s the word called? I never remember words. When you ask me specifically, you’re like, What’s that word? And I’m like, My brain immediately is like, I will never think of it.
An anagram, an anagram. That’s what, No. Is that right? I think so. When it’s like the four letters that are the beginning words. I have Googled right at my finger chat. , Let me look it up. Somebody’s screaming at us. Okay. I’m gonna keep going though. So we like really early on we’re like, how do we break down?
Like what is a good brand so that we can, even when we’re doing like brand audits for someone, if we can look at it like, what are we actually evaluating? Because it’s like, it’s not just like, is it pretty? It’s like there has to be something more. So we have a, what I believe to be an anagram and we wanted, It’s not actually totally clear by the Google definition, what does it say?
So a word, phrase or named, formed by rearranging the letters of another, such as cinema formed from ice. No, that’s an anagram. That’s what the definition says. Okay. It’s not that, Oh my God, we’ve wasted way too much time trying to figure out this word, . But anyway, so we had these like four words and they spelled out cups and it was perfect.
And then we were like, Oh, but strategy has to be first because it just has to be first. So we had to rearrange it. So now it. I forgot abouts. It’s been, it’s been a hot second since we see, since we talked about suck. So just, you know, next time you’re thinking about branding, just see if that pops. I mean, it’s just roll right off the tongue.
It’s such an easy one. . Okay, so the four words that make up this not anagram is being strategic. So it’s super important that your brand has clear brand position. and who you know, who you’re serving. So it’s like, who is the person who’s getting value? What kind of value are they getting and why would they pick you over your competition?
And that is like, you’re gonna hear us say a bajillion times if you listen to this podcast. Like strategy for a strategy for it just makes everything a bajillion times easier. So much easier. The second part of it is being unique. , we call this your special sauce. And I’ll talk a little bit more about this later when we go more into the strategy piece, but everybody has a special sauce.
It’s like the way that you do what you do, whether it’s because of your personality or your approach, or your experiences, or. Just your voice. It is unique and there’s going to be people who are going to appreciate that, and it can help you stand out from everybody else who’s doing what you’re doing, but you really need to know how to hone in and understand what that thing is so that you can.
Talk about it and market it and proudly and confidently say, This is what’s really great about me. Because if you can’t do that, you’re not gonna be able to differentiate yourself. And then you just sort of blend in with everybody else. The P in sub is polished visuals, so being polished is just like signaling legitimacy, making yourself look like your business is professional and you are, you know, legitimate in your industry and something that’s worth paying for.
That you take yourself seriously too. Yeah. So that other people. Yep. It’s not just a hobby that you’re doing on the side. Yes, and that is a big piece that I do think when people move up from like their maybe intro branding that they did just to get up and going to like legit branding, they’re like, Oh, people are not asking me to do favors anymore.
This feels awesome. I think once you have like a polished look, And once you have like an elevator pitch of what you do, that was a game changer for me. Yeah. I feel like when I could talk like, Oh, this is exactly what I do and it’s not like, Oh you did, you make little logos for people except your parents still get like super confused about what you do.
Cuz mine are not, Do you make billboards? Is that you like not even a little bit. Yeah, I just stopped trying to explain it to them. And then the fourth piece that’s really important is consistency. So using the same visuals and messaging everywhere, this is the big piece that like after a while you start to have people recognize you more easily.
You have them remember you, your marketing costs go down. It just gets way easier. So you don’t want to miss out on consistency. I think there’s a stat that. It takes like eight to 13 touches with a brand online before someone becomes a customer. So it’s like you don’t wanna miss out on one of those because you changed your look up again for the, you know, 70th time and nobody can recognize you.
Yeah. But I think it’s important to say that. Having consistent visuals doesn’t necessarily mean your logo has to be on everything. Oh, please don’t put your logo on everything. Yeah. That’s why I wanted to say that think back to like when people first started making Instagram graphics for their business logo on everything, that there was a period of time where that made sense because you’re like, But what if it gets separated from Instagram?
What if it gets pinned on Pinterest and they’ll never be able to track it back? Mm-hmm. people have gotten a lot better. Linking it to where it belongs , but like using consistent color palette using consistent fonts. Does it mean you have to use one font all the time? No. Maybe you have a selection of two to three, and then you have some like variety, but showing up in a consistent way that people can start to recognize it.
Yep. Super important. If you haven’t heard yet, we have a new totally free workshop that’s happening right now. It’s called How to Create a Brand People Love. If you wanna join us, we’re gonna talk about how to create a killer brand on a budget without hiring a designer. We’re gonna show you our proven framework for attracting more of the right customers and we’ll tell you our designer secrets that’ll push your brand forward to the next level and break through the noise.
You can register right now for firstname.lastname@example.org. Slash brand.
So just to summarize those four, really, if you’re looking at your brand and you wanna know if it’s good, if it’s effective, if it’s working making sure that it’s strategic, it’s unique, it’s polished, and you’re using it consistently. But going back to strategy, specifically, the word strategy and brand strategy is, Okay, sure.
That sounds great. I don’t have no idea what that means. Yes, so let’s talk about it. The way that we define brand strategy is it’s the value you offer. It’s who needs it, and it’s why they should pick you over your competition. And it really is the foundation that your entire brand is built on top of, and it ends up making everything way easier.
Because what people often try to do is they’re like, I’m gonna start with color, or like fonts and they just like jump in at like step seven of the branding process. And then they’re like, Why is this so hard? Why can’t I decide between all these options? Or like, why is everything not working together?
And it’s like, cuz you went in way too far down the line, You gotta start at one because that is what’s gonna be your guidepost for how you choose everything else in your brand. And just it just, Life’s so simple. It does. Yeah. I mean, choosing colors is still hard and emotional thing, but at least you’ll have something to check back on and be like, Okay, I am a friendly brand.
So what colors are friendly? Like look into color psychology and Yeah. You know, happy, Like there’s all these things to connect the dots. To make it easier to make those decisions. So it’s not having to be this completely emotional thing. Like these are the colors I like and, but they don’t work together, you know?
So like inside our course, a Haiti brand where we help people with their branding, there’s like seven big red messages everywhere that’s like, don’t skip this module. You have to do this part. You think you can skip it, but please don’t skip it. Yeah. For the strategy. Yeah. Yeah. Cuz a lot of people will say too, like, we’ll say like, Do you have a brand strategy?
And they’ll be like, Yeah. We’re like, Okay, can we see it? And they’re like, Oh, it’s just in my head that is not write it down. If you have it in your head, write it down because, and really articulate it and make sure we’re gonna go through what the pieces are, but really make sure that you can like, check each of them off and you feel confident in what the answers are because yeah, if you just think you have it in your head that.
Nothing in our heads are clear and structured, so it really needs to be written down. And often what happens when you try to write it down is you notice that you’re missing some pieces and then that can help you like identify what you need to. Get clarity on and spoiler, we’ve done that before. We skipped strategy with one of our former businesses.
who needs strategy when you’re a branding agency? Okay, so brand strategy can be a really robust exercise to go through, and when we bring on custom clients, we go through a discovery session. We have, you know, a pretty lengthy brand book that we use to describe all of the different aspects of their brand.
A big part of the service that we offer. Letting them brain dump on us and then repeating back to them the most salient, important nuggets of what we got from them, which can be a little bit trickier to do it on your own, but we’re gonna try to break it down here to just like the most important part. So if you just wanna get started with your brand strategy, this is something that you can like kind of dive in and try to do for yourself.
Okay. So as a starting place, the elements that you want to try to define are one, your mission. Which is sometimes called like your purpose or your vision. Two is your ideal customer avatar, which could also be your target audience, or we just abbreviate it as ica. And then three is what we call your special sauce, and this is your differentiators.
Why people are gonna choose you over everyone else. And then typically we like to bring all of that together in what we call a brand positioning statement, which can also be sometimes referred to as a value proposition. But that is the thing that like can summarize the most important parts of your business.
And we always tell people like, Hang it up. Where you work so you can see it every day. Cuz it’s a great checkpoint to be like, is it? Especially if you’re a creative person as we are and you get like a lot of ideas to check yourself and go like, does this actually align with what I’m trying to do and who I’m trying to serve?
I can just be a really good reminder. Okay. And that doesn’t have to be a consumer facing statement. It probably shouldn’t be a consumer facing statement. Yeah. So like you can have like your tagline or whatever that’s gonna like face a consumer. But this thing, so like you don’t fall down into the weeds of I have to make this so perfect because other people are gonna see it.
The other people that are gonna say it are like you or anyone that’s helping you work on your business. So as long as they understand your business, it’s great. So don’t stress too much about like, Ooh, this word feels a little bit too something over here that’s not clear. I’m like using my hands and trying to talk and like, it doesn’t work on a podcast, but like, it’s not quite on the head.
But you can’t figure out what the right word is. Like don’t stress up too much over it, as long as it gets the the best idea across to someone else or to you when you’re like needing to reflect, like, what exactly am I about? Because maybe you’re spinning right about what your next move is. I think that’s why it’s so important to take the voice or the copywriting out of it for this part.
Mm-hmm. and just have it be like very functional. Yes. What do they call that? Brass tax. Probably. Okay. But functional is like a great word too. Okay. Just it’s, it’s functional. It doesn’t have to be. Pretty right. Flowery. Flowery. Okay, so we’re just gonna quickly go through each of these three elements. So the first one is your mission, or your purpose, or your vision.
And we call this finding your why. And it’s one of the very first things if you are in any of our programs, if you’ve ever gone through, like anything that we’ve done as it relates to brands. This is one of the first things that we ask because it’s the reason that your. Exists in the first place and it kind of grounds you in something beyond profit.
A lot of times, you know, if people have trouble figuring out what this is, it’s like, why do you wake up in the morning? Like, what excites you to do this? And money is going to be one of the things that excites some people and gets them up in the morning. But for us, The real reason that we do this is because we know how amazing entrepreneurship is.
We know what it has felt like as creatives to feel stuck in a box or be typecast in corporate as a certain type of person, and just to be able to like flower and be free and build a business that works for us. We love it so much and we want other women to experience that, and there aren’t a lot of great resources.
This is a really long mission statement. This is not a mission statement. This is my explanation of our mission . But there aren’t a lot of resources out there for women that are really approachable, and so that is like our mission. That’s why we do what we do, is for other women to experience the joy of entrepreneurship.
The other thing that the mission can do for you is it’s a really powerful differentiator and it helps you attract and connect with like minded clients and customers. So if I have two like brands that I might shop from and one of them has a mission that I believe in, or something that I wanna be a part of, or I identify with or wanna help with, I’m gonna choose that brand over not having one.
And so most everyone has some sort of reason why they exist. But not everybody markets it. Not everybody uses it as part of their brand identity. And if that’s something that you’re comfortable with doing, it can. It can attract people and it can also make them more loyal to your brand over time. So it’s, it is just a really powerful tool.
And then again, it just helps you stay focused on why you’re doing what you’re doing. You can run a new idea through that as a filter and say, Does this really line up with why I. Do what I do. And if it doesn’t, then maybe there’s a better way you could be spending your time and energy. So if you are struggling to identify what your mission is, because we know it is not an easy thing to do, a fun exercise to go through is the five whys.
And basically the idea of that is you just keep asking why and why and why until you get down to a really core reason. Because a lot of the things we think are mission are very surface level. Yeah. Okay, So here’s an example. Say I need a frame. Why do I need a. I want to put art on my wall. Why do you wanna put art on your wall?
Because I want to decorate my home. Is that what it is? Decorate my house. Why do you wanna decorate your house? Because I want my house to feel like a home. I can remember like the first part in the last part. I’m right there for you in the middle, sometimes in the middle of the be the cream to your Oreo.
Thank you. That’s another weird word to mix in, man. This is getting a little outta control. I know. Oh, but the, the whole idea is like, You might think that you’re a company that sells frames. Okay, how many e-commerce store, and I wanna sell frames. But like, the thing that you actually are gonna be able to speak to that’s gonna connect with people is like making their house a home.
And like then you can get through your marketing and through your copy and through everything that you do to connect with people that just will resonate a. More deeply. And the reason I like that example too is because a lot of people think that your mission has to be like to save the world or just something that is involved with charity or just like some big massive thing.
And it doesn’t always have to be that every business solves some sort of problem. And the problem that you’re solving may not be super deep, but if you can find the emotional component in it that makes your messaging and everything a lot. I mean, that one might be a little bit easier to get to the emotional depth of it, but just keep asking why to get to the.
Deeper thing. Yep. There’s some brand therapy for you. Brand therapy, . Okay, so then the second thing is identifying your ideal customer avatar, or we always abbreviate, this is just your ica and it’s basically like a, a persona that helps you. Understand who you’re serving so that you can find them and relate to them, and then like better serve them ultimately.
And the purpose of it isn’t that everyone in your audience would fit into this mold, but the answers can start to give you a general idea of who you’re speaking to, what’s important to them, and where you would find them. So like, . If I know that generally my ICA is in a higher income bracket, then that might let me know what kind of activities they’d be involved in or what area of my town they might live in.
Things like that, that it’s not like you’re saying nobody who. doesn’t live in this town or fit in this income bracket, can shop at my store. But having some idea who you’re talking to just lets you tailor everything in a way that feels a lot more like you’re talking directly to someone. Yeah. A lot of people sometimes just go about this with the demographics, so it’s like, This age range, this income bracket is married, has kids, and those are helpful to know.
But the other helpful thing that we like to touch on is what is the thing that they need? Like what are they desiring? Because then you have the specific problem that you can help them with. So that’s what brings all of them together. So you could have like an 80 year old woman who has the same thing as this 35 year old woman.
And, you know, one’s outside of your range, but you can still help both with the one problem. And that’s when we, when people talk about nicheing down or like what a niche is, we like to point out that a niche doesn’t necessarily, it can be defined by demographics, but it’s more helpful if you define it by a problem that needs solved.
So people who feel this way, or people who need this problem solved, it’s gonna be easier to figure out how to connect with them. And what’s gonna resonate with them if you understand their problem versus you just understand like how old they are. Cuz people can vary so much as, you know, in life stages, depending on lots of different Yeah factors.
But the thing that can be helpful about having the target audience and like giving that person a name is when, if you’re struggling to figure out what to say to them, you can have this like person who you’ve imagined who you can have a conversation with, like who, what would you say to them? And that’s.
makes that part easier. Right? So when we think about getting into someone’s head and like figuring out what problem, like unites the people who you serve, we like thinking about it like where they are now and where they wanna be. Mm-hmm. and your products or service is the path from A to B. What was the one thing I said?
It’s not about the plane, it’s about the destination. That’s for something else.
like I had a quote one time and I just wanna drop it right here. , guys. My brain does not work. Having two young kids is really rough on some things. No, that does fit here because when you are writing copy, So again, I’m gonna say what I said before again, just to make sure it made sense. , you think of where they are now.
That’s like point A where they want to be in the future. That’s point B. Your solution is the thing that gets them from a to. . So if you’re writing copy, it’s much more powerful to talk to them about the destination that they wanna go, where they wanna end up. Then to talk to them about the process to get there.
So the plane ride thing is a good analogy cuz it’s like a. I could tell you about like how good the peanuts are on the plane to Hawaii, or I could tell you about how pretty Hawaii is and you’re probably gonna wanna go to Hawaii. If I tell you how pretty Hawaii is not if I tell you about the peanuts on the plane, I knew that it was crazy.
You’re so smart. Sometimes the grain is like, this works . And then I say, and I’m like, Oh shoot. That didn’t work. No, you did work. . You did great job. Yay. Good. Me. Great. , good on me. Go me. And then hopefully, if you can understand each of those elements about your ideal customer avatar, then you can speak directly to them in a way that resonates more with them.
And then number three, our favorite. Your special sauce. Your special sauce. I don’t know why I wanna do that, just because of how I sounded when I said it. , it’s like kind of creepy word. If you say it wrong, it does sound kind of creepy. Yeah. Sometimes someone will go, Oh, what’s that? That you talk about your secret sauce?
And then I’m like, Don’t say that. That makes it worse. If it’s secret, let’s just . It’s not a secret. Secrets are not good. Right. Okay. So
I was about to be like, Well, you know, my kids starting to get to the age where we have to talk about what the difference between secrets and lies and lies and surprises or jokes. Yeah. . Like all lot of those things. And it’s like, well, we don’t keep secrets. There are things that are surprises that are fun, you know, and it can go off in a whole thing anyway.
Okay, so your special sauce is, Basically a combination of things that make you and your brand incredibly unique. So it is the reason why people will wait months to work with certain service providers, or they’ll wait in line and pay a premium for certain products. In their mind, there’s just no comparable trade off, and it is like the reason that your brand can become unr.
Like there’s no competitive price or just trade off or whatever that will replace what that person sees in what you offer. And if you can identify that, it makes marketing what you do so much easier. And often you’ll start attracting more people who are attracted to that thing and then you’ll hear back from them, Oh my God, I knew as soon as I found you that I wanted to work with you, or I wanted to buy your products or whatever, because.
X. And like usually you’re like, Yes, that’s the thing I was hoping that you would connect with. And that’s when you can start to build a really loyal audience. Yeah. And if you’re anything like me, your gut reaction might be, but I don’t have one, because figuring out your special sauce on your own is really hard.
Especially if someone was just be like, What’s your special sauce? Immediately I’m like, Nothing. . You’re a special quny. Thanks. But it’s not true because everyone has their own unique experiences. So if you’re struggling to figure out what your special sauce is, go ask like your spouse or your best friend or your parents or whatever like or like a customer client, Yeah.
That really loved you. Yes. But if you’re just starting out, maybe you don’t have a customer client. What’s the thing that I do differently? Or what’s the thing that you like about me working with me? Whatever the thing is. Yep. So just to give you an idea of what this can look like, the way we define our special sauce is that one element is that we’re.
A two for meaning. Two for one or a bogo BOGO offer is one of us. Discounted
It depends on the day. today, I think it might be me based on the things that I’ve been saying. Wait, God never. But so there’s two of us, so we always are bringing two different. Ideas and concepts to the table, it helps us get to something even better. We’re always giving each other feedback. It really helps us elevate our work, and we’ve heard that from people who will say, I can tell that your work’s a lot more refined.
And a lot of that does come from, I mean, Lots and lots of years of design experience, obviously, but also being really comfortable with each other and being able to give feedback and take that feedback and make things better. Sorry, that was a really long way to say. The first part is a, we’re a duo. We base everything in strategy, as you’ve heard many times as say, already on this podcast, but we wanna make it fun.
A lot of designers are very, we always say like very beige sometimes with some hunter green and they’re like, It’s very beautiful, very beautiful. Sometimes I love, I wanna be them, wanna roll around in their branding, but for someone who isn’t a designer, it can be really intimidating and so that’s why.
Part of our branding, and this is why you do strategy first, because then you can build the creative around it. Our creative is bright and fun, and it has lots of color, and we look silly in photos because we want you to feel like the process is gonna be fun. We don’t want you to stress out. We. Focus on relationships.
All of our like clients and students become our friends. We check in with them like, we’re just taking a different approach to branding and maybe yours look different. Maybe it’s not about your personality, or maybe it’s not about the fact that there’s two of you, but there’s some experience or perspective or approach or something that is unique to you.
And again, it’s hard to see it if it’s yourself. So it can be really helpful to ask somebody. And then last we like bringing everything again together in a brand positioning statement. It just keeps it really clean and we have a, a template that we like to use that basically like gives you the, like a fill in the blank sentence that makes it a little bit easier.
Again, this is not customer facing, it’s just for you to have, for strategy and. We wanna give it to you for free to download, for listening and staying with us through this episode. So go to hey, hello.studio/strategy to download the brand positioning statement worksheet. And then the key, the really, really important part is don’t finish it and then just put it in a drawer.
You have to use it. Think of it like having, going back to secrets. Think of it as having a secret that no one else knows. That will help you connect with your ideal customer and create content, write copy for your website, and connect in a more meaningful way, like you have this little gem of information that you’ve sat down and thought through, and it’s gonna help every part of your business.
So don’t forget to. So print it out, put it on your wall, or just scribble it on a piece of paper and put it on your wall. It doesn’t have to be pretty doesn. Need to be, It just needs to be there and be a constant reminder of what you’re doing. Yep. I think we want to wrap up this episode by reminding everyone again that this whole process does not have to be perfect and wherever you end up, don’t think that that has to.
the rest of time for your business, like you can evolve and change. So just really get out there and get started is what we would encourage you to do. That’s our best advice. All right, love you guys. Thanks for being here. Love you. Bye.
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