Watch This Episode of MwahTV About Creating A Good Looking Brand
In order to talk about. creating a good looking brand, I had to call upon some further expertise this week by having Anna Brand on the show.
ANNA: On this episode of Mwah TV it’s me Anna Brand from Anna Brand Creative! Laura has asked me to be her guest cocktail correspondent this week and we’re doing a fully virtual episode recorded from here in Rothbury, Northumberland.
LAURA: To here in Jarrow, South Tyneside!
ANNA: Stick around to see me sharing my advice about Creating a Good-Looking Brand. ESPECIALLY if you’re a Solopreneur.
LAURA: Let’s begin with a quick intro Anna! Please tell everyone a little bit more about you.
Meet Anna Brand
ANNA: If you have always wondered how to make your brand really good looking then by the end of this episode you will know how I do this for my 121 Clients and the people in my Programme here at Anna Brand Creative.
I’ve been in business for over 10 years now. One of the reasons we get on Laura is because we have quite parallel stories in that we were both diligent students in our creative specialisms you in photography, me in Graphic Design. With both of us than being rather intentional about really earning our stripes for a number of years BEFORE shouting about being true pros and striking out on our own.
In the last year, I’ve begun a really exciting online brand and visibility programme aimed at the solopreneur who wants to have a really good-looking personal brand, that actually works in getting the business. The programme is called The Brand Advantage Programme. And you’ll pop a link to it here won’t you Laura?
LAURA: I surely will!
How We Met
ANNA: Well, we first met in person at an ATOMIC Event a few years ago, and since then have been regularly in touch with each other for a catch up online.
LAURA: Ah Yes! I remember that! You had that lovely faux fur coat on.
The Principles of Aesthetics
LAURA: Now I think it’s quite tricky to discuss the principles of aesthetics and design in detail. That would take a really long time. Instead, can you give us some simple indicators that the less-trained eye can understand about what makes a brand a good looking one?
ANNA: What makes a brand a really good looking one is for me,
- Number One, keeping it simple: The more colours, typefaces, and different styles of images you have, the less memorable and recognisable you're going to become.
And that goes for messages too.
- Number two is the substance: And what I mean by that is to base it on actual substance. So, the design is meant to communicate. It's meant to communicate the right message to the right audience.
So, you need to be working on your brand and what that stands for before you decide on the visuals that are going to support that.
- Number three is consistency: The most underrated aspect of all, in my opinion. One of the simplest things to do but one of the things that most businesses fail at. Consistently showing up in your way, with your views, and using that same visual style consistently across the board.
Anna's Cocktail - A Cubre Libre
LAURA: Anna, as an official Cocktail Correspondent here on Mwah TV, you have picked out a favourite cocktail to accompany us. Which cocktail did you pick and why?
ANNA: One of my favourites is a Classic Cubra Libre. I like to serve this up in a tall glass with ice.
- You cannot go heavy enough on the fresh lime juice, that’s the trick.
- So plenty of lime juice and then if you can rub the lime around the inside of the glass as well.
- Then you need a generous glug of white rum. It has to be white rum.
- And top it up with coke. Then serve with an eco straw and another fresh slice of lime.
LAURA: This is a great choice! I am also a big fan of rum. I’ve made the same!
ANNA: Cheers me dears!
LAURA: Here’s to you!
The Concept of Direct Competition
LAURA: We’ve talked around the concept of competition a lot together since we first met. I think you’d agree in my saying that we both feel pretty strongly about the notion of having exactly direct competition is impossible. Do you want to talk a little bit more about this to explain it to the folks at home?
ANNA: Oh, I'm genuinely so pleased you've picked this to chat about because it's one of the things I share a lot in my programme, but you know how passionately I feel about this.
I know I keep banging on about how you are your greatest potential, but it really is true. But it's only true if you do things in your way, with your views and opinions, your way of doing things, in your voice, with your personality, your values, your identity your way of explaining things, your introvert, extrovert or anything in-between self.
This is why personal branding is so important. I'm always saying that nobody does it better than you, but only if you do it in your way, and you're not trying to mimic anybody else out there. Once you stop mimicking people and you do it in your way then you really don't have any competition because nobody can do your thing in your way.
There's only one of you.
And once you do this, you can start loving the other people in your field and stop seeing them as competition and instead be cheering them on and celebrating what they do too.
I truly believe this.
And in fact, I know this to be true.
LAURA: I knew you’d put it better than I could. Thanks for that, a beautiful way to look at it. We spoke about the idea of direct competition on this episode recently, so if this is a subject on your mind right now, please do go and take a look at it after this episode is finished.
Getting Strategic About Your Indirect Competition
I go even deeper on the topic of competition in this solo episode. This takes into account facing the fear beyond developing this initial confidence in your uniqueness and getting into the best way of understanding your market in more detail to support how you make strategic decisions about which part of your uniqueness you want to amplify in order to stand out in the right way to a customer who will weight up how you seem to them in comparison to your indirect competitors when they make their buying decision.
LAURA: It’s important to pay attention to the idea of what is a good idea versus what is a more lazy or naff idea here. I think knowing more about idea generation and creative refinement is hugely overlooked these days. Don’t you?
ANNA: HELL YES!
Anna's View on Idea Generation
This is something we both feel very strongly about Laura. Isn't it? After all, we’ve both spent a hell of a lot of time and money investing in the art of this. As a creative, this is the bit that we always struggle to explain to our clients. It's hard to quantify. Coming up with an idea takes a lot of time and practice.
In my work, I have this thing where I always get rid of all the crappy ideas first, get them all out, visualise them on paper, and then you're kind of making space for the good stuff to happen.
It's sort of like clearing out the idea factory inside your mind, so you can make space for that really great idea. I think every creative struggles a lot with the fear that this idea might not happen.
On the other side of the coin, when you are the client who's invested their confidence and money into a creative, it can feel like that moment in time when you've put your money into a vending machine, and you've pushed the button and you're waiting for that item to drop.
Those few seconds before you see that spiral moving can feel like an eternity.
LAURA: YES! We are the creative vending machines. Vending machines with occasional low confidence.
ANNA: I actually really loved the way you break this down for anybody with differing skill levels in idea generation and refinement. You did this in such a fun way in your How To Sex Up Your Creativity Playbook Laura. Have you shared this with the world yet, or are you still sitting on it?
LAURA: Whoops! BUSTED! We have plans to roll this out in the coming months, but I love that you just spilt the cocktails on this. Shall we run a cheesy advert segment about it?
ANNA: Yeah, go on, run the ad!
How to Sex Up Your Creativity - The Playbook
You can find out more about this if you are looking to level up your creativity.
Anna's Examples on Creating A Good Looking Brand
LAURA: Do you have any examples that people can go and take a look at when it comes to having a really good looking brand that is also REALLY effective Anna?
ANNA: That’s a good idea! Of course, I do!
Yeah, that's a great idea and yeah, of course, I have. Now I've specifically picked some that people can really relate to because not everybody's got thousands of professional photographs.
that they can turn to, to fill up their feed.
And actually, people want to know the real you anyway. Now I think being really polished is killing creativity anyway. How can you be real and spontaneous if you have to quickly make yourself up and set the scene before you say anything?
But there's no point having consistent visuals if you're not standing for anything.
Good Looking Brand Example 1: Rachael Kay Albers
My first good looking brand example is Rachael Kay Albers. I've recently started following her. And what's really interesting is she's actually just transitioned from being that really made up and polished, good-looking brand to being more spontaneous and real.
Now she's still got this amazingly interesting Instagram feed, which is still visually consistent and visually branded, but she's got tonnes of real video on there of her being real and true and not made up at all.
But she still managed to keep a consistent visual brand. She's really disrupting the market but in a real and visually consistent way.
Good Looking Brand Example 2: Gary Vee
My second good-looking brand example is Gary Vee. Now you may be wondering what's really good looking branded-wise about Gary Vee?
But I just wanted to point out that visual branding isn't just the logo and colour palette. He does one thing visually consistent every single day. And that's him. What's visual about it? He poses in that exact same way in every single shot, in every single video, he has that same utter passion and enthusiasm for what he does.
You cannot get that with a made-up, fake, and very posey style brand. What makes it good looking is his authenticity and consistency.
Good Looking Brand Example 3: Altrius Living
Now I've picked this one because as it's one of the ones that I created, I can tell you 100% that it came from the gut of that brand, as in exactly what they were all about, what they wanted it to convey, and how they wanted to convey it, and who their audience was.
These are the things that are so important when designing and defining your visual brand.
LAURA: Seeing examples really helps to understand this better. Thanks so much for that Anna! Before we sign off, can you let people know how to find out more about you and your programme?
Anna's Brand Advantage Programme
ANNA: Yes people can come and hang out with me on Instagram. Then if they’d like to find out more about my Branding & Visibility Programme they can head here.
ANNA: And I’ve been your cocktail correspondent Anna Brand! If you’ve enjoyed learning about Good Looking Brands with me today then you should take a look at these episodes from Mwah TV.
And! Don’t forget to come and see me over on Instagram too. Mwah!
LAURA: Thank you ANNA! Mwah!
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