Are you ready for that Brand You Start?
I found a way to fulfill my passion for helping others, as an integrated left and right brain thinker. I have been fortunate to have had a successful professional career and am ready to give back to others. I am especially drawn to those who are realizing dreams or have a desire to make a positive social impact. My expertise with marketing was a product of 15 years working with some talented, brilliant sales teams and my experiences the last 4 years building my own brand. I have been all about authenticity and being genuine before it became mainstream! So when we moved into the era of social marketing and business, I finally found my place.
There is a tsunami of information out there on building one’s brand, but I decided to focus on those in need of a starter brand strategy or re-brand which allowed me to simplify the process. In my Brand You Start program, I boiled down the key fundamentals to launching a brand. After the 4-stage program, you will have all you need to get started in a brand launch or re-launch. It’ll be as simple as handing someone your brand package/portfolio.
The “big business” value that my clients receive cannot be undervalued but I understand the tight budgets of entrepreneurs and small business owners. With that in mind, I created an program investment plan that allows for only the length of the program to be the variable. My payment monthly plans begin at $500/month and program can be as long as one year or short as 3 months. Only time and money will dictate. That is why, it’s important for me to work with individuals who are serious about turning a “hobby” into a “business legacy” and understand the value of a return on investment.
You had me at “Brand YOU” Maryrose… I’m ready to go!
4 Stages of Branding
In stage one, I will support you in completing a personal assessment, followed by discovery of your business brand value. A personal assessment is critical to ensure that the brand developed is in alignment to your core being and guiding principles. If you’re thinking, “I don’t want to mix personal with business,” then I am here to tell you that you have set yourself up to fail with that perspective. Today, consumers can find any product or service online which includes a price comparison. It’s not about being the cheapest anymore so much as communicating a brand lifestyle or culture that relates to an audience. They are craving to be sold a story, a mission or a way of living and to do this with any authenticity, requires getting to know YOU as a person.
According to Entrepreneur.com, Customers Demand 2 Fundamental Aspects from Authentic Brands with one of them being PURPOSE: “As an entrepreneur, you know you need to stand for something more than just making money or grabbing fame. You need to put a higher order to your business and have a greater reason for being, aside from just selling your product or service.”
As you may or may not know, there are 4 P’s to Marketing – product, price, place and promotion and well there’s a new P in the mix! According to Entrepreneur.com there is also another – Protection. One that also triggers emotional drivers with consumers who want to select a brand. We’ll explore both during discovery and as we define your brand.
Ultimately, this is the stage where we dig deep within and also do some surveying and research. It’s an opportunity to get a clearer sense of your brand and the brand that will relate to a specific audience. Our outcomes will include:
- Your short and long term personal and business goals
- Starting Target Audience and/or or Niche
- SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) Analysis
- Competitive Advantages and Unique Value Proposition
OK, now I’m ready Maryrose… Let’s Connect!
In stage two, we’ll take our discovery results and articulate the core brand messages that seem to surface at the top. This will help us in defining your brand in such a way that appeals to the starting target audience and/or niche we have decided on. This is where your business begins to really take shape! In this stage, we explore what your competitors are doing and some of the top brands when it comes to messaging and branding.
For example, top brands such as Dove, Coca-Cola and McDonald’s have recently focused brand marketing to the Millennial generation using the “happiness” appeal: “These big brand marketers are using various campaigns to make the world a kinder, happier place—whether that’s combating hate online or making consumers smile with a new love-inspired currency. Though the brands’ motives aren’t entirely altruistic, the overall happiness goal will help position these brands for better engagement with the much sought-after millennial segment.” – via Ad Week.
So yes we will be diving into the world of sociology and psychology by defining not just the right words to brand but also the emotional triggers and drivers of your target audience. Our outcomes, at the end of this stage, will include:
- Unique Value Proposition
- Positioning Statement
- Brand Style / Essence Description
- Starter Brand Copy (tagline, hook, elevator pitch)
I deserve this program Maryrose… Let’s Connect!
In stage three, we begin the visual designing. This is usually the step most entrepreneurs and small business owners jump to because it’s considered more fun. If you are a creative person and/or an artist, then absolutely is more fun but it’s more than that.
We cannot even begin to visualize the brand if we haven’t defined it. Clarity of one’s brand goes beyond what your target audience will see; it complements what they read. Our goal, in this stage, is to conceptualize, visually, what we have captured in words. As left and right brain thinker, I find this the most exciting part of the branding process. The entire time that I am working through the stages, I am not just hearing the brand both in words and pictures. I believe if a brand can successfully appeal to both verbal and visual learners, then the business is off to a great start.
The brand visual elements such as logo, typography and color palette are the starting points. They must align with the brand’s voice/style that we defined. We often get hung up on what we find “cool” or “pretty” and forget that there is a psychology and sociology behind even the visual elements of one’s brand. For example, there are different types of logos to consider: iconic/symbolic, logotype/watermark and combination marks. According to LogoDesignSource.com: “A logo is a perspicuous glyph or symbolic, identifying mark that conveys origin, identity, or ownership.” Sounds complex, right? Well it should be. Not so much so that you are paralyzed in deciding on what logo to brand but enough that you realize that it’s more than arbitrarily selecting one. You will come to quickly realize that the more specific details you have about your audience (gender, socioeconomic status, etc.) you have, the more defined your brand copy and visual elements can be.
According to Sagi Haviv, partner at New York graphic design firm Chermayeff & Geismer & Haviv (CGH): “It’s never love at first sight. A good logo, a good trademark, gains meaning and power over time.” In BBC.com’s article, “How Important is it to Have a Great Logo?”, Haviv also shares how some of the world’s best logos today were accepted after a bit of kicking and screaming!
In a nutshell, be prepared to spend a considerable amount of time in this stage but don’t worry we’ll also come to a consensus of a “good brand start” that we can see evolving over time. Our outcomes, in this stage include:
- A Copywriting Brief
- A Creative/Visual Brief
- Graphic Elements Options
- Seasonal and Holiday Options
Not sure what I’ve read but I’m ready to learn! Let’s go!
Once that’s done, then it’s all about the execution by way of a brand launch or brand re-launch depending on your current context. I will share samples or recommendations on different strategies for delivering your brand to your target audience.
The outcomes, from this stage, will include:
- The Final Brand Package
- Go-to-Market Brand Launch Campaign Sample
- Business Development and Networking Strategy Examples
- Online Marketing Plan Example
“Embrace the method to the creative branding madness.”
As much as I’ve embraced my creative side these last four years, I remain constant in the need to produce results and having a methodology that works to ensure that we get those results. With that said, your completing the program requires your commitment too. We will implement project management in this process so expect lists of deliverables and their deadlines. I like to make sure that we develop a timeline that is achievable so every single of these programs is customized to your current life status. I want to ensure your return on investment and that means allowing or “life to happen” but at the same time exercising discipline and accountability for us both.