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I'm Jessica: wife, mom, photographer, educator
I'm a creative girl boss, obsessed with wedding photography and videography. I have a degree in education and want to bring that into the creative industry by teaching other bosses how to make their dreams come true! When I'm not working, my days are filled with long walks down every aisle of Target while sipping my Pink Drink and listening to my newest playlist. It's the small things!
March 20, 2020
If you missed Part One, The Right Way to Design a Brand, of the Branding Blueprint series, check it out here.
Often times branding is considered a color palette and logo– and it is, but it’s also so much more. Building a strong brand takes a lot of reflection and planning before you can get to the “pretty part.”
Branding is the heart, soul and spirit of a business in visual form. It invites viewers into a story and allows them to feel something they can connect with.
While branding can be complicated, this series is breaking down the basics so you can get started with a brand for your business and do it right the first time.
Branding isn’t just products or services. Done right, it’s an entire experience. Think of my favorite brand: Starbucks. While at the core they are just selling coffee, Starbucks is a champ at inviting customers into an experience and making them feel something when they interact. Their loyal customers *ahem, me* have come to recognize, know, and trust the Starbucks brand over time. I mean, we can’t just hold up any coffee in our selfies…we have to hold up a Starbucks cup, amiright?
So how do women entrepreneurs establish this type of trust and connection? Through building a brand the right way – on top of a solid and well thought out foundation.
A strong brand foundation is made up of three pieces:
A vision is a mental image of what you want your business to be at some point in the future, based on your goals and aspirations. Having a vision will give your business a clear focus, and can stop you heading in the wrong direction. A vision statement captures the core of where you want to take your business, communicates your long term business goals, and establishes how you view your business’ relationship to the industry.
Your vision statement might be inspired by certain aspects of your business, such as:
Mission and vision can be a bit difficult to distinguish. First, the definition of a mission statement is: a sentence describing a company’s function, markets and competitive advantages; a short written statement of your business goals and philosophies.
The main difference here is that your vision statement is your outlook for the long-term future of your business. Whereas your mission statement is basically a formal summary of what you do, how you do it, and why you do it.
Let’s look back at my example of Starbucks. As of 2019, the brand mission statement was “To inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time.” This is stating what they do, how they do it and why they do it.
In addition, their vision statement is “To establish Starbucks as the premier purveyor of the finest coffee in the world while maintaining our uncompromising principles while we grow.” Here they are touching on how they want the company to grow and adapt into the future while maintaining their main goals.
Now, you’re hopefully starting to get a solid understanding of what your business is and what you want it to grow to be. Before we call it a day with that work, let’s add one more important piece to your brand foundation: your core values.
Your core brand values are the beliefs that you, as a company, stand for. They serve as the compass that guides your brand story, actions, language, and decision-making. You want to make sure that your core values are recognizable all the way throughout your brand, from your iconography to your social media captions.
Brand values are 3-5 traits that make up who you are, what your brand stands for, and how you want to guide your business actions. For a list of 200 examples, check out this post here: https://lisafurze.com/blog/brand-values-list/
If you’ve taken the time to reflect on these three ideas, make sure you put them in writing. The written word commits ideas to memory in a concrete way. It’ll be like saying THIS IS OFFICIAL as you launch your brand (or re-brand).
If you’re enjoying this Branding Series, and looking to launch (or re-launch) your brand, you’ll love THE ULTIMATE BRAND LAUNCH CHECKLIST freebie!