One of the biggest mistakes I see leaders make when they’re in the starting phases of their movement is that they get fixated on creating the perfect website, logo, and brand BEFORE taking action.
Rather than doing the inner-work to get to know themselves, they (or a hired agency) will fabricate who they think they need to be by putting together a palette of colors, designs, and imagery to create a website, products, content, and offerings.
But at some point, they’ll realize that they feel disconnected from their brand–that their brand is actually starting to dictate their actions.
And maybe this is you…
Maybe you’ve realized that it’s YOU who is trying to fit your brand, rather than your brand fitting you.
Let’s get one thing straight…
Your brand is not a collection of colors, designs or imagery. Your brand is YOU.And your logo isn’t just an eye-catching image–it’s a way for you to visually communicate your brand (aka you).
You are the foundation for your business, your movement, and your legacy.
This is why it’s imperative for you to do the conscious inner-work needed to understand who you are, prior to locking down your branding and logo. And as you evolve, your brand and logo will also evolve. None of this is permanent.
Just think about some of the biggest brands you know…
Apple has had 5 different logos.
Nike has refined its logo over 3 times.
The biggest difference here is that your logo will actually represent YOU, and not a separate brand like Apple or Nike.
If you are a conscious leader who desires to create a conscious brand, you have to understand that your brand is YOU. And in order to define your brand, you have to get clear on the 4 components of creating a conscious brand: Your values, your voice, what you do and do not stand for, and your audience.
Know your values.
Think of your values as your the framework upon which you are built. They influence your choices, decisions, and the way in which you show up. Your core values are the things that are most important to you.
From my experience with clients, most people haven’t actually identified their values. They’re simply living their lives on auto-pilot, totally unaware of the things that are actually influencing their decisions.
If you aren’t aware of your values, it’s likely that you’re living by another person’s rules. Maybe you picked up your parents values, or your teachers, or your cultural society… but those values aren’t necessarily yours. It’s up to you to figure that out.
Start by creating a list of your top 10 values, and then narrow it down to your top 5. These top 5 values become your non-negotiables–these are the things that you refuse to sacrifice in your life, your business, and your movement.
For example, if you value giving-back, you would regularly give-back in your life, and you’d include a give-back component in your business and movement.
What’s important is that you do NOT judge yourself for what you value–instead, own it. Taking ownership of what’s most important to you will help you create aligned choices and decisions, and an aligned business with an aligned message and vision.
Get clear on your top 5 values so you can create a framework for your conscious brand.
Know your voice.
How do you choose to communicate your voice? What words do you naturally use? What tone feels best?
Your message is shared through your voice, and your voice is unique to you. Don’t try to mimic the voice of other leaders–instead, get clear on your voice.
Do you swear?
Do you crack jokes?
Do you cut-to-the-chase?
Do you speak with an inspirational tone?
Are you naturally outgoing with your voice? Or soft-spoken?
Are you blunt? Or tactful? Or a mix of both?
Your voice is how you communicate your message, and your message becomes caked into your brand.
Get clear on your voice to get clear on your brand.
Know what you do and do not stand for.
In addition to your values, what beliefs do you stand for? What causes do you stand for? And WHO do you stand for?
And along with knowing what you stand for, you’ve also got to know what you don’t stand for.
Knowing what you do and do not stand for will help you gain even more clarity on your voice, your presence, and your messaging.
Think about it…
Are you someone who will use your brand to speak up against political turmoil? Or injustices that you see in the world?
Are you someone who will stand up for communities of people?
It’s important that you get clear on this because it will impact the overall look and feel of your brand.
Know your audience.
We’ve all heard this one before, and yet many leaders don’t actually take the time to really get to know their audience.
Who are you speaking to? Who do you serve? Who is in your community?
What are their needs? Their desires? Their struggles?
What do they value? What do they believe?
Even if you feel you’ve done this research before… do it again. As you evolve, your audience will also evolve. And there’s always an opportunity to dive deeper with them.
You’ve got to get inside the heads of your audience, and the best way to do that is to CONNECT with them. Talk to them. Have conversations with them. Get to know them. Don’t act as if you’re too high on a pedestal to have a conversation with someone from your audience–connect with them.
The better you know your audience, the easier it becomes to design a brand that draws them in.
There you have it! The 4 components of creating a conscious brand.
Once you’ve gotten clear on these 4 components, you’re ready to run a design contest on 99designs. With their contest model, you’ll get multiple designers working with you to create your super aligned, conscious logo and designs.
When I created my recent logo redesign contest on 99designs, I received 184 logo entries from 44 different designers! It was an incredibly fun and seamless experience which allowed me to bring my audience into the process because of the option to create polls to vote on the designs. And because I was super clear on the 4 components, it was easy for me to effectively communicate what I wanted with the designers. PLUS… 99designs has a thorough on-boarding process where you’ll get to share your 4 components and so much more.
When you create a brand that doesn’t represent you, you’ll end up manipulating your truth to fit your brand.
You want your brand to represent you. So do the inner-work needed to get clear on the 4 components of creating a conscious brand, and then head over to 99designs to get your aligned AF designs.