So far this month we’ve discussed what branding means for your blog, and Betty Red Design helped you prepare a brand board to guide your visual identity and keep it consistent. But as I mentioned in the beginning, your brand will grow and evolve. So I thought this week I would share some of the questions I ask my clients when beginning the design process in order to understand their brand. These questions can also help you continually evaluate your brand as it grows, and help you maintain consistency so you can teach people what they need to know about your brand.
1. What do you do, and why do you do it?
As I shared last week, part of your brand is sharing what you do and making people feel a certain way about what you do. So what exactly is it that you do? You have to know the value you offer in order to build your brand. But, what you do is not unique — it’s your motivation behind it that makes you unique, and the way you make people feel as a result of that.
2. What is your mission?
A mission statement is very similar to answering what you do and why you do it, but think of it as a summary. It’s what you tell people when they ask what you do. Where the brand board guides your visuals, your mission statement guides everything — how you write your post, how you interact on social media, etc. Whenever you put something out there that represents your brand, ask yourself if it supports your mission, which will help you stay consistent and be known for what you do best.
3. How do you want people to feel when they visit your site?
As I mentioned, part of your brand is how you make people feel. Maybe you write about beauty products and want your readers to feel like you’re their best friend who’s always dishing the best picks. Or maybe you write technical tutorials and want people to feel like they can do it even if they aren’t very good with technical stuff. Think about when you go out to eat — every restaurant has a certain ambiance from various factors like lighting, noise, and decor. A lot of people can make Italian food, but the restaurant you go to depends on how you’re feeling — you wouldn’t go to a fancy restaurant with a romantic ambience for a casual dinner with friends. What kind of ambiance do you want to create on your site?
4. What adjectives would you want people to use when describing your site?
In the same way that your mission statement summarizes what you do and why, your brand words summarize how you want people to feel. So think about what you want people to feel when they visit your site, then try to narrow that down to three adjectives for your brand. Again, whenever you put something out there that represents your brand, ask yourself if it embodies those three adjectives. Your mission statement is what you want people to say about the purpose of your site, and your brand words are what you want people to say about why they love it.
5. Who are your readers, and why do they read your blog?
Before you can make people feel anything about your brand, you have to know who your brand is for. If your brand is for people who love luxury, then you’re going to approach them differently than people who want a good deal. Think about your own personality, and your brand is probably going resonate most with people who are a lot like you. What kind of visuals and tone make you think of your brand words? That’s probably how your audience feels also.
How would you answer these brand questions? What would you add?