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Make A Statement - Brand Challenge Week #3

I’m going to ask a question upfront. Promise to be honest?

Does your business have a mission statement?

A mission statement gives you a framework for evaluating opportunities and making decisions. It helps you determine whether or not something fits your core business model and strategy. If yes, pass go and collect $200. If no, head directly to jail. (Monopoly reference)

Simply put, this crucial statement can help you focus efforts and pursue ideas that fit with what you’re trying to do.

You shouldn’t operate your business without a mission statement.
But what does your mission statement have to do with your branding?

 
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WEEK 3 ACTION STEP

WRITE (or rewrite) YOUR MISSION STATEMENT.


The purpose of branding is to communicate the right message through your business’s visuals and other intangible brand components (like tone and terminology).

If you communicate that message well, you’ll increase the likelihood of attracting the right kind of clients and customers.

That message is often summed up best by creating a thoughtful and meaningful mission statement. #NoFluff

A mission statement (I often refer to the shorter versions as a Value Proposition Statement) is a succinct summary of your business that tells others what you do, who you help, and how you help them.

Here’s a template (doesn’t have to be exact):

“[Name of your business] does [specific action] to help [ideal client/customer] do [desired result].”

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Artistry Studios Mission Statement:

Ashlee Nicole Artistry, LLC exists to provide businesses and brands with dynamic and vibrant visuals, strategy, and materials that are identifiable and subjective to each business in order to help them build brand equity and experience.

Ashlee’s Value Proposition Statement:

I’m Ashlee Nicole, Visual Designer and Strategist. I help entrepreneurs shape strong, visual brands by designing custom-fit brand identities, images, and online homes centered around strategy and growth.

Google’s Mission Statement:

Organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.

Note: This mission statement is clear but not too specific which leaves room for the company to branch out into other ventures.

Nike’s Mission Statement:

To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world.

Adobe’s Mission Statement:

To change the world through digital experiences.

These are all different but all work.
Remember, clear and concise is the goal!

 

Once you’ve arrived at a clear and concise mission statement, head over to the Artistry Academy Facebook group or leave me a comment on this post and share one or more of your goals with me.

 

Goal Planning - Brand Challenge Week #2

Let’s be honest …

Most of us are just taking it day by day. But the problem with doing that with your brand is that it will look and feel pieced together.

Your brand requires planning. What’s the end goal?

You don’t need to be planning courses if you don’t want to teach.
You don’t need to be offering strategy calls if you don’t want to coach.
You don’t need to be offering resume designs if you don’t want to help people plan careers.
You don’t need to be offering lash extensions if you’re not going into the esthetician field.

You have to consider where you want to be in order to put the steps in place to get there.

Now, I’m not saying these things to be shady but your decisions and lack of planning are contributing to your BRAND CONFUSION.

Your decisions and lack of planning are contributing to your BRAND CONFUSION.

You have to make it make sense and that starts with goal planning.

 
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WEEK 2 ACTION STEP

WRITE DOWN YOUR GOALS.


Despite trying to keep up with the every changing trends, we need to be thinking about your brand 5 years from now. This is not to say things won’t change, but that does not mean you don’t need to be planning.

Your brand should be helping you attract the IDEAL clients you want to have and at the IDEAL prices that will help you meet your future goals.

You might not want to hear this but this means a couple things:

1 | You should NOT be switching your brand up every year or two. How often are you hearing people saying “Be right back. We’re rebranding. And one of three things happened: either they come back and the rebrand is bomb and obviously intentional or they build up this relaunch and it’s disappointing or they never comeback because they’re stuck focusing on the vanity of branding. Don’t let this be you. It’s important to maintain consistency with your brand so people begin to recognize it, remember it, and form a connection with it.

2 | You need to know what your goals are in order to create a brand that helps you reach your goals. Again, you have to consider where you want to be in order to create a brand that helps you get there.

So today’s action step is to outline those goals.

Write down your 1-year business goals and 5-year business goals.

Consider these questions to help you make your goals more specific:

  • What type of clients do you hope to work with? What kind of customers do you want to have?

  • Will you have a team? What does that look like?

  • How much income do you hope to earn?

  • Are there any new products or services that you hope to launch?

  • WHAT’S THE END GOAL? WHAT DOES SUCCESS LOOK LIKE?

 

Once you’ve completed this action step, head over to the Artistry Academy Facebook group or leave me a comment on this post and share one or more of your goals with me.

Take Inventory - Brand Challenge Week #1

"I need ... before I can …"
"I can't because I don't have ..."
"I haven't had time to ..."
"I need to rebrand because ..."

I hear these statements (and more) when I talk to people about their business branding. This is speaking from a place of lack instead of proactively building a brand.

It's might be true that you need a rebrand. It might be true that you don't have the budget to afford the professional help BUT you don't know what you need. I guarantee you don't because you haven't taken inventory n order to do all of the necessary research.

Before you can 'fix' something you must take an inventory of all the work that needs to be done.

If you needed a house, you wouldn't just go out and get a fixer-upper without knowing exactly how much work needed to be done and what type of work, right? Let’s say you thought the transmission in your car went out but you’re not 100% sure. You wouldn’t just go buy a transmission and hope for the best. You need to go accurately identify the problem.

The same is true when you “renovate” and revamp your brand.

Before you can dive into the obvious details like fonts and colors, you have to evaluate what is and isn’t working with your current brand.

 

For those with existing brands, it’s important for you to pinpoint what you’re doing right and what you’re doing wrong with your current brand. For those just getting started, I encourage you to work through this evaluation, too. You might not be able to answer every question, but this step will provide some helpful things to consider as you build your brand throughout the next few weeks.

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WEEK 1 ACTION STEP

CONDUCT A CURRENT BRAND EVALUATION.


“A brand is no longer what we tell the consumer it is -
it is what consumers tell each other it is.

— Scott Cook


YOUR BRAND IS MORE THAN A LOGO OR A MISSION STATEMENT.

Your brand is your reputation -- the perception of you held by the external world.
It’s important to take the time to identify the message you’re trying to communicate to your audience and evaluate the effectiveness of your current brand.

  1. What kind of clients/customers have I been attracting? Are they my ideal clients/customers? If not, what type of clients/customers do I want to attract?

  2. What are my brand’s core values and beliefs? On a scale of 1-10, how well do I think these beliefs are being communicated to your audience?

  3. What problem does my business solve? On a scale of 1-10, how well do I think I’m communicating this to my audience?

  4. What promises do I make to my clients/customers? On a scale of 1-10, how well do I think I’m communicating these promises to your audience?

  5. Why do my current clients/customers choose my business over other businesses in my industry?

  6. Why do certain prospects choose other businesses in my industry over yours?

  7. What do my clients/customers say when they recommend my brand to others? What do I want them to say when my business is recommended to potential clients/customers?

  8. On a scale of 1-10, how loyal are my current and past clients/customers?

  9. How is my business different from my competitors? On a scale of 1-10, how well do I think I’m highlighting these differences in my brand?

  10. What do I personally bring to the table that strengthens and/or weakens my brand?


NOTE: IT CAN BE HARD TO TAKE AN OBJECTIVE LOOK AT HOW YOUR BRAND IS PERFORMING BUT BE REAL AND HONEST WITH YOURSELF.


So once you’ve answered the questions above, I want you to ask three people who are familiar with your business and your industry to answer the following questions:

  1. Who am I and what do I do?

  2. What are my brand’s core values and beliefs?

  3. What problem does my business solve?

  4. Based on my brand, website, and marketing efforts, what promises does my business seem to be making to potential clients/customers?

  5. Why would clients/customers choose my business over other businesses in my industry?

  6. What words would you use to describe my business to others?

  7. How is my brand different from others in the industry?

  8. What does my personality add to or take away from my brand?

REMEMBER: THE GOAL OF THIS EVALUATION IS TO REVEAL AREAS THAT NEED TO BE IMPROVED. DON’T TAKE ANY OF THE FEEDBACK PERSONALLY! INSTEAD, LOOK AT IT AS A LEARNING OPPORTUNITY AND LET ANY WEAK SPOTS DRIVE YOU TO MAKE IMPROVEMENTS THROUGHOUT THESE NEXT FEW WEEKS.