I like listening to podcasts on my walks. Sometimes I tune out from them as my own thoughts wander, but there’ll often be one or two points that I take out of them for my own practice.
Last week I was listening to this podcast from Tiffany Han, interviewing Emily McDowell. Tiffany is a business coach who I first heard of when listening to another one of her podcasts, and Emily is a gifts, stationery and greeting card designer. They are poignant, funny and relatable – see them here.
Emily has a background in advertising, and at one point in the podcast was talking about cohesive branding. I pricked my ears up at this, because I have a tendency of letting myself try new things. Which is awesome, but exactly not what you’re supposed to do for consistent branding. Which is what you’re supposed to need for a successful business.
The exercise Emily suggested is coming up with three words that define your brand, for example: whimsical, colourful, and bold. Then, when you have a shiny new idea, you run it past those three words to decide whether the product (or event, or logo, or blog post…) will fit with your brand.
I haven’t come to any conclusions yet, but I have started thinking about it. Here are some things that are helping me find my three words:
- Quizzes! Brand personality, personal personality, whatever. They help me find words I may not have thought of myself.
- Specificity. Being too broad means too many things will slip through and that completely beats the purpose.
- Future-proofing. There’s always a place for reflecting and changing, but these words should be able to last through the evolution of your business. Like, if I didn’t publish any books for a few years, would the words still hold for painting? Poetry? Teaching? Something-else-I-haven’t-thought-of-yet?