Creating A Brand Identity: 3 Simple Steps to Mega Clarity

Image source: Pinterest

Clarity. That big AH-HA moment when you’ve got all your shit figured out, you know exactly what you want and everything makes total sense. *Sigh* don’t ya just LOVE those moments? Even if they’re few and far in between?!

Developing a beauty brand requires just that – clarity – and lots of it. Why?! Because with all the other fish in the sea, it’s hard as hell not to swayed and distracted by what the other guys are doing. And when you start down that road, it can be a downward spiral to comparison-itus. YUCK!

So what you DO want is to create a brand story that oozes personality and pizzazz that makes your dream customer pick up what you’re puttin’ down! In the branding process, getting clear is square one. I’m sure you’ve heard it several times that you need to get clear about your brand. But what the fiddlesticks does that mean exactly? How do you go about this and where do you even start?!

Don’t fret, friends! Here are three simple ways you can get your juices flowing. No previous branding know-how required:

WHAT DO YOU STAND FOR?

Even just typing that sentence conjures a deep Morgan Freeman-esque powerful voice to play in my head LOL! Sounds like some grandiose call for a mission statement right? Well, yeah sort of! When it comes to developing your brand, hashing out what you’re all about and what you want to be known for is super important.

What is your big why? What are your values? What soapbox do you stand on? This is the crux of your brand story.

Of course, the origin of your beauty brand probably started from some amazing ideas you had for new products you didn’t see in the marketplace yet – or perhaps you saw a way you could make an existing product even better. But beyond your awesome beauty concoctions, there’s probably a bigger reason as to WHY you do what you do. And creating a mission statement that really speaks to the why roots you deeper into the what you do.

WHO ARE YOUR PEEPS?

Defining your target customer is a HUGE part of the equation when developing your brand story – ‘cause you gotta know who the heck you’re selling to! Truly understanding who your ideal customer is and really getting into their head and their heart is the secret sauce to creating an authentic emotional connection, my friends.

What are they looking for when shopping for beauty products? What problems do they have that your products could solve? What are their values? Their likes and dislikes? What other lifestyle brands do they love to shop?

These can be kinda tough questions to answer if you’re just starting out with a little to no client base, but you probably have friends or family members who could provide you with some great insight as a start. Maybe they’ve just turned the corner where late-night booze fests and sun-damaged skin just ‘ain’t their thang anymore (thank God!), and anti-aging is really on their radar. Or they love spending time in stores like Anthropologie and Free People where the dreamy environment makes shopping that much more enjoyable (am I the only one tempted to buy a $68 ring dish just because it’s so darn cute? Everything just seems that much prettier!)

As your business grows and you get to know your customers more, you’ll be able to dive deeper and gain more specifics and insight into who your peeps are so you can really speak to them through your brand story.

WHAT’S YOUR STYLE?

Oh yeah baby, all the looks and feels! As a visual creative (and chances are you’re the same cup of tea!), my favourite part of the branding process is bringing everything together into one visual happy land!

When your dream peeps interact with your brand and products, how do you want them to feel? How do you want them to describe you in specific words? What kinda vibe do you want to put out when people see your products in store or check out your Instagram page?

This is where you want to find the magical sweet spot where your unique flava flave intersects with your ideal customer’s values and lifestyle. For example, perhaps you have an organic skin care line that offers products for both mom and baby. Your target customer loves to take her sweet little one for a stroller ride in the park every day and wouldn’t even think to use synthetic chemicals on her baby’s skin. And as a fellow nature lover yourself, you’re all about sustainable and eco-conscious ingredients that can be sourced from dear Mother Earth – plus getting outside just really makes you freakin’ happy! These are all elements you can meld together to help shape a brand story that speaks both your language and bring those shared values to life visually.

So what’s a good next step?

Put that shit on paper, girl! All these thoughts and ideas can be swirling inside that gorgeous head of yours, but I believe there’s real power in putting pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) so that you can actually SEE all those thoughts and ideas. Like, out there…in the real world!

Personally, I have a giant mood board up in my office that includes all my brand themes, tone word, details, and manifesto as an everyday reminder and inspirational touchstone whenever I’m developing any new in my business. Use Post-It notes, jot in a journal, or create a digital mood board (hello, Pinterest!) – whatever works best for you. I’d love to hear what you come up with – leave a comment below!

Positive vibes and high-fives,

Ashley

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