Building Brand 1

Building a Brand 101

We have arrived at a point in time where everyone’s building something for themselves– which is rad, don’t get me wrong. But, let me ask you, what is going to make what you’re building any different? Everyone’s passionate, everyone’s creative, everyone’s got soul, so that kind of leaves everyone at a plateau, right? Wrong. That won’t be me; that won’t be us.

I’ve been around the block in terms of trying to cultivate a brand, whether it be jewelry or a blog, at the end of the day, it’s an art form. A brand is who you are, who you want to be, and who you want to inspire, so creating the look doesn’t happen over night and doesn’t stay the same for long.

I mean, just look how I started out: all the way from a Word Document to this bad ass logo I had created and recreated custom for me by @LittleLiasArt.

Getting a little taste of what I’m getting at here? Cool, let’s begin.

Step one is to envision.

Make a vision board for your brand. I did this for my class; we made a one to five year plan vision board and it honestly lit such a fire under my butt.

It may sound silly, but it gives you a tangible item that motivates you. You can insert pictures and take them off until you find just the right vibe that suits you.

Step two is important, you have to remember that everyone has a beginning, even you.

Don’t be so hard on yourself in the beginning. You’ll get a creative block or you feel like no one understands your vision– I know, it totally sucks. But at the end of the day, you’re the only one you have to please. You’re going to grow professionally and personally. It may seem like it, but nothing happens overnight.

Corey Wrenn, Ph.D., Director of Gender Studies and lecturer of sociology said, “Building a brand, from a sociological perspective, means thinking about the importance of shared meanings and tapping into cultural symbols that resonate. It’s also relevant to consider that some symbols have different meanings, so it is important to think intersectionally about how race, gender, class, ability, and sexual orientation shape how someone interacts with your content.”

“As a social psychological matter, there are a lot of tips for building a brand, such as tapping into social media, posting consistently and paying attention to google/facebook analytics to hone in on the particular demographic that constitutes your audience. Using a professional image and using the same image consistently is known to be useful,” she continued.

Step three is secrecy.

I recommend only telling a select few, if that, what your vision is. People are nosy–they will play it off like they don’t care and then turn around and turn your idea into his/hers. We don’t have time for that. Just keep hustlin’.

Step four is confidence.

Building Brand 2Somebody asked me the other day if I enjoyed blogging and my major. If you would have told me this is what I’d be doing in my free time freshman year, I’d be mortified. I’d never let anybody read my work; I wasn’t confident enough in my own skin to thrive just by being me.

As I grew up, I slowly got a taste of what it was like rearranging the alphabet, creating a reaction, and learned how to embrace the compliments about it. If you don’t believe in yourself or your brand, nobody will. Keep your head up and everything you need will follow. 

Step five is to narrow your target audience.

Things will get very messy, very quickly if you try to reach all audiences and please all your consumers. There are thousands of bands, TV shows, sports, etc., that all compete in the realm of entertainment but are all independently successful because they generate different audiences per genre. Remember that when making your brand. If your content is too broad, you will never reach a loyal, growing following.

Step six: teamwork makes the dream work.

You should consider collaborating any chance you get. But, I found such a community in people who are cultivating themselves and their brand–it’s so empowering and comforting to know that everyone is trying to build their own empire, just like you.

Step seven is tricky, accepting that imitation is the best form of flattery is hard.

When you do something really awesome and begin getting public feedback, people come out of the woodwork and all of the sudden think they’ve found their calling just by seeing your brand/product. It’s annoying, but what are you gonna do?

Diypse Duman, a junior marketing student said, “Don’t get ready to get ready, just make the first move and don’t ever doubt yourself.”

IMAGES TAKEN from Marble and Mascara Instagram