Four years ago, my now husband embarked on our own epic adventure. We were married in a castle by Gandalf the Grey (we were very fortunate and surprised to find a castle in Texas! That’s a whole story in and of itself). Gandalf clapped two coconuts together for my husband as he galloped down the aisle in his best John Cleese Monty Python and the Holy Grail impression. With a straight face, mind you!
Our wedding party dressed in medieval attire and I was in a giant red wedding dress because a traditional white gown just wouldn’t do. We walked down the aisle to various songs from Lord of the Rings. And Gandalf started off our ceremony in true Princess Bride pomp with… “Mawage is what bwings us togevah today.”
We had a dragon wedding that would make Smaug proud cake along with a cookie cake to accompany it. We even created a family crest to represent House Pritchard complete with a dragon kitty, an homage to cat Caboose, because when he slumbers, he resembles a sleeping dragon. Especially when he opens one eye to look at you as if to say, “who dares interrupt my slumber?” It also includes two crossing swords with scorpions on the hilt because we’re both enlightened / evolved Scorpios… that’s how we work so well together.
What was especially fun and interesting was to see that more than 50% of our guests dressed up in medieval attire too! We all had a great, silly time and our beloved, sweet uncle Eddie who was in his 90s said it was the most memorable wedding he’s ever attended. Mission accomplished.
What’s all this have to do with branding you say?
When we began planning our wedding, we wanted it to be as unique as us.
And your brand should be the same way.
THREE ATTRIBUTES OF AN AUTHENTIC BRAND:
- It aligns with your values, your cause, and your purpose
- Reflects your personality
- Reflects how you want your clients to feel
An authentic brand aligns with your values, your cause, and your purpose
While this may not be evident in the colors, fonts, and logo itself, where the alignment is obvious is in your messaging, your copy, and in your tone of voice. It’s in all the ways you communicate with your audience and how you show up on and offline.
Some examples of what this would look like:
- Are there ways to assign meaning through color or words to your values, cause, or purpose by relating it to visuals or voice?
- Ex: Do specific characteristics of the chakras hold specific meaning to you and perhaps that color can inform the color of your brand?
- What are you passionate about that you share with your audience (or that you want to)?
- Ex: If you do, is your message more gentle or loud on a scale of 1 to 5? (1 = gentle)
- Ex: Would you score your brand more formal or playful on a scale of 1 to 5? (1 = formal)
- Ex: Is your brand mellow or energetic on a scale of 1 to 5? (1 = mellow)
An authentic brand reflects your personality
I’m a believer that your brand should definitely be infused with your magic, your differentiator, and your personality. While there’s nothing wrong with starting with your favorite color, I like to push the envelope a bit more by going a little deeper… what lights you up? What truly brings that big ol’ magical grin to your face that makes you feel alive?
Some examples of what this could look like:
- Consider your favorite places in the world that bring you peace:
- Ex: Are you grounded, feel at home, and at peace in the woods in the Autumn and perhaps the warm, fiery colors of fall are dear to your heart?
- Ex: Or perhaps the ocean or the sand calls to your soul? Those blues could be just the starting point to make your brand feel like you.
- Are there some pop culture or travel goodness that speak to your soul?
- Ex: Are you a Potter Head or a Lord of the Rings Nerd? Perhaps you can incorporate elements of your favorite as a subtle nod (without breaking any copyright laws!)
- Ex: Does a specific part of the planet speak to your soul? For example if Paris is always on your heart, you could include a subtle touch of the Eiffel Tower in your logo perhaps if it’s aligned to what you do.
An authentic brand reflects how you want your clients to feel
Because your brand encompasses so much more than just your logo, some colors, and fonts, it’s mission critical to consider how you want your clients to feel throughout every touchpoint as they interact with your business. Afterall, they’re going through a client journey to discover you, learn more about you, become your client, and become super fans… keeping their feelings top of mind is mucho importante.
Some examples of what this could look like:
- Is there some common ground or common elements that bring your star clients together that they could all relate to and appreciate?
- Choose a few keywords that resonate with you that you’d like your star clients to feel and you know they’d like to feel as well.
- Pair those keywords with a few visual words and perform a quick search on Google or Pinterest to see what comes up. If you need help with this, I walk you through this in my free guide here.
The result of an authentic brand: memorable.
When all this goodness aligns, it creates the Goldilocks effect. It feels juuuuuust right. It aligns with your heart, your soul, your star clients, and it makes you memorable. Now that’s not to say your brand doesn’t ever evolve, because we are ever evolving beautiful creatures.
But much like our beloved Uncle Eddie told us many-a-time with a glimmer in his eye and bright smile on his face, it was memorable. And that’s what’s important. Especially when we have that calling, that message to get out into the world. We need to get noticed and stand out. And our brand is just that vessel to get it there.
So go on, Sweet Friend! Take a look at your brand. Is it memorable? Does it stand out? Does it bring a twinkle to your star clients eyes and big ol’ cheesy grin to their face as they interact with it?
Oh… and if you’d like… here’s a video clip from my wedding where I got to marry my best friend surrounded by over a hundred friends and family where over 50% played dress up with us. How cool is that?!?! Enjoy!