Usually when I blog, I take a business approach to the message I am trying to share. But in my effort to be professional, I forget to just be me; Kelli, the good humored, easy going perfectionist who loves to talk to anyone and is a huge cheerleader for the success of others (who also happens to be a savvy business person...well, I think I am :)).
I have decided for the New Year I will be a new blogging 'me,' and write as if I am writing to a friend (which you are), to give all my readers the opportunity to get to know the true me. Here goes...
My topic this week: branding. But not just branding - MY experience with branding. For those who know me and for those who don't, my branding experience began when I was a little girl. I, myself, was branded if you will, as the 'good girl'. The girl with good grades, good manners, good at sports, a good daughter, has good friends, and good morals. Awesome, right? Yes! But, branded in this way, I could never be anything but 'good'. I was always expected to always meet that standard - to never make mistakes, or well, be human. Guess what? I've discovered over the years that I AM indeed human. I’ve made plenty of mistakes and have learned; despite my branding, that that's okay. You know what I'm talking about.
What was/is your brand? Was there a brand/label you were given that you either love or can't shake? Do you feel your branding reflects you or reflects how you would like to be viewed today? The same way we get branded and perceived by others, by reputation and first glance, is the way a product gets branded.
When I first started my baby product company years ago, it was really easy to brand. I picked a great logo, had a great designer, my packaging was killer and most importantly, I was memorable. I received accolades for my look which was half the battle in selling my product. That seemed like a piece of cake. I was selling a product I was passionate about, that people loved and needed and I wasn't talking about myself. I have worked with so many product companies over the years and helping sell them to the market is second nature now. But, branding ME and selling ME is not quite as easy especially as someone who doesn't naturally feel comfortable talking about themselves.
With my business, I am faced with the challenge of selling myself (clarification: my consulting services, Kelli Ivie, aka K. Ivie Consulting :)) and I constantly question "what is the best way to brand 'me'?" There are so many ways I can portray myself, what I do, and what my team offers, while letting people know that we are super fun to work with at the same time. Verbally, demonstrating a personality and cultivating a feeling of trust, safety and caring along with expertise is something you can’t get and feel unless you engage in conversation with someone. I'm a "let's grab our virtual coffee, shoot the breeze for a few and let's get down to doing some awesome work 'kinda gal'. I like people and I build great relationships. So how do you convey this with your visual branding? How do you, with a graphic, photo and written word, let someone know that they can put their dream in your hands and feel confident that we will care about your idea and nurture it is as much as they would? Branding! Branding! Branding!
So for 2015 I will think of all branding in this way: Can I tell people what my clients sell or what I do to create and sell a product in one sentence or less? Can I say trust us, we care and we can help make this happen in one look? If yes, well done. If not, back to the drawing board to make sure that what our branding says is an accurate representation of what we do and who we want to be known as publicly. If you don’t feel that your branding reflects who you are or what your product is, recreate your message and reintroduce yourself for the new year… with a new look. After all, your branding is the first impression and hopefully the last one people remember. Talk again soon….