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What’s Baffling You About Your Brand?

What's Baffling About Your Brand?

Over the years I’ve spoken to many of you, and have heard about your struggles as you build a brand for your business.

Brand marketing or brand design: which one is more difficult?

As you know, I believe a successful brand happens when you combine strategic marketing and great design. Most of the struggles I see fall into one of these categories.

Marketing issues:

  • You struggle to find a good name or tagline for your business.
  • You aren’t sure how to talk about what you offer.
  • You don’t understand who your ideal customer is.
  • You can’t put your finger on what makes your business unique.

Design issues:

  • You can’t figure out which colors would work best for your business.
  • You have no idea how to choose fonts that communicate your brand.
  • You find it difficult to make your marketing materials look polished.
  • You work with a designer, but aren’t getting what you need from them.

Is your brand message working for you?

Your challenges at the beginning of the branding process are very different from those you may have 2, 5, and 10 years after you’ve been in business.

For example, at the beginning of the branding process, you may still be trying to figure out exactly who you serve. Identifying your ideal customer is crucial to building a successful brand, but how can you do that when your business is just coming into existence?

And then there’s the naming process. It’s difficult to find a name that will work today, tomorrow, and ten years from now, especially at the very beginning. And sometimes we outgrow our business names: we change direction, and our current name no longer reflects what we offer.

Is your brand design working for you?

Your marketing may be on track, but if the design elements that represent your visual brand aren’t in alignment with your marketing messages, your brand won’t resonate.

The two elements most people try to line up first are their colors and their fonts.

Sometimes these happen as the result of a logo design. The logo uses specific fonts and colors, and these become the brand colors.

But not all businesses start out with a logo. You don’t absolutely have to have a logo at first, and sometimes it’s better to tackle this after you’ve been in business for a while anyway.

You do, however, need to choose fonts and colors. These are basic building blocks for your visual brand. But they’re tough to choose. With millions of colors to choose from, and thousands of available fonts, many small business just opt for standard fonts and the first color scheme that comes to mind.

Over to you: what’s your story?

So, what brings you here? What is it about building a brand that’s challenging for you?

Let me know in the comments. I might be able to help you with whatever you’re finding challenging right now. And members of the Big Brand System community may chime in with resources, too.

Go ahead and cruise on down to the comment section and let me know what’s baffling you right now. See you there?

Pamela Wilson

Pamela Wilson

Pamela Wilson is an online educator, author, keynote speaker, and the founder of BIG Brand System. Read reviews of the tools used to run this site and business.

Pamela Wilson

I want to help you take the next step. Pick your free workshop topic and let’s do this!

16 thoughts on “What’s Baffling You About Your Brand?”

    • I agree, Charlene. That’s a tough one! Do you have a good feel for who your ideal customer is? Depending on who you’re targeting, you can make an educated guess about which social media platform will work best.

  1. Thanks for all your valuable info around branding and design. I recently bought Visual Buzz 101 and I find your course about using visuals in my business tremendously inspiring and helpful. My challenge or rather my question right now is wether I have to stick to my branding color scheme and fonts when doing visuals for facebook and the other social platforms or if I can feel free to elaborate with other colors and fonts as well. My branding colors and fonts are somewhat strict and elegant (blue/gold/grey/red together with gill sans and humanist) and even if I like them I on my website they almost appear to boring on the social platforms. I would appreciate your opinion Pamela. Thanks.

    • That is a fantastic question, Marie! And you’re right: social media images need to “pop” in order to get noticed. On your own site you don’t have as much visual competition.

      If you can incorporate some elements of your current branding in social media images you create, that would be ideal.

      For example, you could use your fonts for the text sometimes. Other times, you might incorporate a colored bar across the top or bottom that features one of your brand colors.

      Always, always include your website name somewhere on the image: that’s important in case the image ever gets “separated” from the link.

      I hope that helps!

  2. I’m in the process of creating my 2nd online store selling a line of health and beauty products that are applicable to a wide variety of target audiences, as the ingredient is effective for wrinkles, rashes, burns (including chemo burns), dry skin, scars, stretch marks, new tattoos/piercings and joint pain. I’m trying to figure out how to brand it with such divergent targets. Any suggestions?

    • Hi Carole,

      In this case, you’ll probably be most successful if you develop sections of your site for the different audiences you hope to attract. The main home page can talk about all the uses for the product, and the separate sections can go into detail for your different audiences.

      You could probably group some of these uses together: for example, I could see how the same demographic group (middle-aged and up women) would be interested in wrinkles, dry skin, stretch marks and scars, and joint pain. Then younger women might be interested in rashes, burns, scars, stretch marks and tattoos/piercings.

      Dividing up your presentation like this will allow you to target these groups separately, and drive different groups of people to information specifically tailored for them.

      Does that makes sense?

  3. I am preparing my branding. Core to my product – a herbal tea – is, it has a fragrance and produces an inner body desire that drives customers crazy. The fragrance hits the brain immediately and produces a smile in the face of most people.They light up instantaneously. This is want I have to translate into the rebranding.The difficulty is everybody loves it: women and men, old and young, rich and not rich. But generally women (mothes) buy it first, and then the rest of the family follows which makes it a perfect modern family tea. At the same time it is precious and exclusive. People who bought my product will never again buy from another company.
    What a challenge for the rebranding. Up to now I used a combination of the leaf and a semi-abstract bird (symbolizing the condor as the plant originates in the Andes) and the colors red and green. But now I am thinking more to express the energy which it generates to the customer. My graphic designer started something using the color lighter green, pink and black. But is is not so visible. The two stiff leaves are also no thrill. Often I associate dance, light swaying silken cloth or mixed-colored fibres dancing semi-wild. A strong pink looks good, but to find the right green tone is extremely difficult. Personally I love art and want to inject a bit of that into it.

    • Hi Gabriele,

      Generally it works best if you market to the people who will most likely buy the product, even if they buy it for others.

      So if you aim your marketing at the women who will make the purchase, that should work. That means your marketing language and visuals should all target this buyer.

      Good luck!

  4. I started my private R&D firm for the poor man (ie, college students and others with barely any money to speak of) a few years ago as a concept. As I’m putting it into practise, though, I’m finding what we offer hard to put into words. The company, as a whole, can be a few things to different target groups. We have an R&D section where the inventors come to borrow equipment and design their hearts out, a publications division to publish the research, and an education division to teach and mentor like minded people. It’s working — not something I thought would happen 5 years ago when it was just a random thought in an desperate engineer’s head. Putting all this into a pitch for prospective customers and clients is very, very difficult.

    • Hi Grace,

      Is there an analogy you could use, perhaps? Maybe “We’re like a university for inventors: we give them the tools, publish their work, and teach them to grow.”

      Something like that?

      If you can relate what you do to something people already understand, it might help them grasp what you offer in just a few sentences.

      • That is freakin’ brilliant! Simple, elegant, and actually describes it in a sentence. … No wonder I couldn’t think of it — I over engineered it! 🙂

        I’m also borrowing from Gabriele, above, because there are a few different types of customers. Hopefully they’ll be drawn in by one and stay around to explore the rest.

  5. I agree with Grace above, your answer was “brilliant”. And your answer to Gabrielle helped me with targeting the people who make the purchase (versus the kids in my case). My dilemma is not knowing what product to market since I neither create nor manufacture one (except for the FREE BuzzLetter… a newsletter that can be distributed). I started out with an “information” site for parents and kids about kids and evolved into a “hybrid” site by adding affiliates; however, no one has ever bought from any affiliate except a few minute purchases through Amazon… and that wasn’t until I explained how on my FAQs page. I have dropped all affiliates except Amazon. My content is broad in scope; I’ve tried to narrow it by focusing on middle and high school ages… and siphoned off one category to create a 2nd site. Google Analytics says my audience is now 55% male/45% female (it used to be reversed); top category Sports & Fitness… The FREE BuzzLetter is 2nd. What product should I market and how?

    P.S. Your monthly Brown Bag Webs are fantastic; so are your other webs. However, as much as I’d like to, I just can’t afford to buy into anymore courses, etc. until I find a way to make my existing site/s profitable. Or am I beating a dead horse?

    • Hi Marie,

      Thanks for the kind words. 🙂 It’s difficult to tell what your site is about at first glance. Maybe simplifying would help?

      It seems to me that if you tighten up who you’re aiming for that will help, too. Think about who you’d really like to attract to your site, and what you’d like to sell to them. Ideally, it would solve a problem they have, and be something that they’d pay to get the solution for.

      And I agree 100%: figure out what you can offer that people will pay for first before you spend money on your business. That’s a good plan!

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