I like to focus on the story behind the brand first.
When we take the time to get our story straight and clear, bringing the story to life through marketing and branding is SO MUCH EASIER and thoughtfully connected in all respects.
I know it's tempting to jump into the fun stuff (I think they're fun).
Things like websites and photography absolutely help us sell and market our products and services. I too felt a desire to do this (and did some of it) when I first launched W&S.
Yet, after working with clients over the years, I've realized that taking the time to put words to the purpose and reason for why you are creating this business is incredibly helpful to do first.
Well, for starters, the experts you hire to help you with all the marketing things are not in your head.
If you can put words to the essence of your business, your team, your experts and your customers will understand what you're all about without a lengthy conversation with you on the phone or in person.
However, many of my clients are like me.
We wanted to just get out there and tweak while we went along. That's totally fine and honestly sometimes you need to test the waters to know what you love about what you do to know why you do it.
The awesome part about our digital world is that we can make changes pretty easily.
I invite you to try our quick and easy Brand Story Audit Exercise to see if your story and marketing are out of alignment.
Once you have the awareness about what isn't jiving, you can take the necessary to steps to adjust your story or your marketing or both.
Part 2 of Brand Story Development with Chelsea Von Mach
As we dive into the continuation of our series to explore developing a brand story for fashion stylist Chelsea Von Mach, we share how a combination of both a written explanation and visual examples will help get you closer to what you want, much faster. Thus, saving time, money and avoiding unnecessary confusion and frustration.
If you'd like to learn more about Chelsea and the overall project, read Part 1.
Once it was determined that Chelsea's goal was to share her story through a unique video series, we determined a media kit would be a great way to go. Our focus would be to share her story, the series concept and how potential collaborators could partner with her.
I brought in Art Director and Designer, Mandi Gum to help us visually bring Chelsea's ideas to life. Mandi designed our logo as well as all of our branded forms, templates and marketing collateral. However, I've been working with Mandi for years within in-house marketing roles, way before launching W&S.
Currently based in Minneapolis, Mandi began her design career in Los Angeles where she orchestrated digital marketing campaigns for premium entertainment clients such as Disney, Showtime, HBO and more. Today, in addition to developing design related projects for us, she focuses on helping small businesses establish and grow their identity across a multitude of platforms.
Along with the Brand Story Questionnaire from the beginning of the process that we shared in Part 1, I asked Chelsea to pull together images that would help us create a mood for her story, her past work and the video series.
Visual examples always help - it's not all that different from getting your hair done. :)
Tip: We like to create and work within Google Docs because everyone can easily share files and edit content.
Here is a little snapshot of the awesome visuals Chelsea provided to help convey the essence of the video series.
"Chelsea's brand story questionnaire and reference imagery allowed me to really get to the heart of who she is, her perspective and desires as a stylist and businesswoman, the ways in which she hopes to impact the fashion community, and the overall mood and aesthetic she is hoping to portray. These items were incredibly thorough and strategic, and because of them, we were able to quickly establish a design direction that is so uniquely Chelsea!" - Mandi Gum
After absorbing everything, Mandi designed a set of 5 different options that Chelsea could pick from to help inform the aesthetic direction.
You can click on the thumbnail images below to scroll through the options.
We tried a few combinations of the various designs, but ultimately landed on the very first option that Mandi designed.
It's funny, I will usually ask Mandi for a couple of additional options when working on projects, but I would say about 98% of the time I end up choosing Mandi's first concept. It feels so great to be in such capable hands!
While Mandi worked on the visuals, I dove into Chelsea's bio and a written explanation of the video series concept which I'll be sharing in the next part of the series!