Branding Talk with Stephanie Manuel (brandsmoothie.com)

Passionate Brand Stylist & Photographer eager to help entrepreneurs refresh and enhance their branding experience.

Top 3 Branding tips

1. Don’t skip the essential steps.

I see a lot of people rushing through the creative process when building their brand identity. They tend to think that the first thing to do is hire a graphic designer to create their logo and that’s it. In fact, the goal is to define what makes you unique, what will your logo represent and what is your authentic message? A brand consulting session will enable you to find these clear answers and you’ll learn to create the right elements to communicate about your business.

2. Do surround yourself with the right experts and resources to guide you along that discovery journey.

Each of us have that unique creative intention that differentiate us from others. When starting a new project, we can easily feel overwhelmed with the vast amount of information available online, making it hard to get started. Or we can come across people who don’t understand what we are trying to accomplish and their point of view can discourage us. During the brand consulting session, I can help you get clear on your intention and support you to enhance your communication so that it resonates with your potential clients.

3. So that all make sense.

Branding is about visual and text communication strategy, built with purpose and meaning so as to transmit the right message. You want to create the Wow impact with the right combination of elements.

Where does one begin the Branding process?

Brand Smoothie

Branding is the foundation of your visual identity, how you project yourself and want your target audience to get to know you, your business and what you offer.

You want to start a business or add a new service, the right branding process will help you communicate about it in a strategic way with power and meaning.

During a brainstorming session, you’ll define what makes you unique so as to be able to represent that through your brand identity and the way you market your business. We’ll dig deeper and I’ll guide you to discover aspects of your personality that you might not have considered as true strength but which in fact can create such a cohesive message to boost your confidence and interest your target clients.

Clarity, authenticity and consistency are keywords to a good verbal and visual communication. Each time you communicate about who you are and what you do, remember to ask yourself “Am I specific, focused and consistent?” Then put together the right ingredients to help you through this process.

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What are the main elements involved with Branding?

Brand Smoothie
A healthy brand can be created by combining the right ingredients, also considered as elements:  keywords, icons, colours, typeface, illustration, patterns, textures and photographs.
When correctly define, each of these ingredients can play a role on its own as well as all together. They are meant to evoke the senses and inspire an emotion linked to a core message.

> Keywords as guidelines for your verbal communication
> Icons to visually connect with your purpose
> Typefaces (right fonts pairing) to define your values and styles
> Colours that set the mood and transmit emotions
> Illustrations and patterns/textures that give depth to your message
> Photography to represent your services and products
All ingredients makes your brand stand out with a professional, authentic and cohesive look.

How important is colour when developing your Brand?

With my working experience in the Spa field, I’ve learned about colour therapy, how colours speak to ours senses and can evoke specific emotions. Combined with my photography skills where I’ve learned to be creative with light and colours in nature, I share that knowledge when advising on what colour palette will suit your brand.

A colour sets the mood of your brand identity and adds value to your message. Speaking with colours, even in a subtle way, brings cohesion and authenticity to your brand as a genuine continuity.

I create special combination of colour palettes inspired from nature, my main source of inspiration.

Here is an example of a colour palette and its meaning:

Brand Smoothie
Summer pastel Colour palette: Ideal for businesses that correspond to these categories: pastry, food blogger, baby & mum, feminine, health coach, wellness, wedding

> Green: fresh
> Pink: cocooning
> Light pink: sweet
> Pastel blue: elegant & soothing
> Coffee beige: grounded & intense

I know how the right combination of colours can either attract or repel the viewer, therefore at Brand Smoothie, I create hand-picked colour palette inspired from nature paying attention to the visual message. They work in parallel with my brand consulting service as these are exclusive colour palette from my photography collection.

What are your favourite brand design resources?

> creativemarket.com/BrandSmoothie
> Brand Smoothie Colour Palette: brandsmoothie.com/shop/colour-palettes
> Brand Smoothie readily-sized and nature-inspired stock photos: brandsmoothie.com/shop/social-media-stock-photos
> Designsta for graphic elements ideas, font pairing practice, moodboard creation and creative design tutorials: designsta.com
> Creative Market for creative fonts, patterns, textures and graphic elements: creativemarket.com/fonts

What advice would you give to someone who wants to learn more about Branding?

How do you want people to react when they see your brand on a website? What will you be happy to hear about your brand? Focusing on answering these specific questions will help to define a meaningful brand identity.

We are not supposed to please everybody. When you are working on your brand identity/building your brand identity and ask a general group of people about their feedback to help you choose which design they prefer, most of the time the comments might be irrelevant as each person tend to comment according to their own personal preferences and situation. If you want good feedback and support to make the right choice, a brand stylist is the person you need.

Find out more: www.brandsmoothie.com

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