Five Ways that Branding Has Changed My Business

Starting next week we will begin Wife Life Wednesday!  For this week, I am celebrating the launch of my new brand, website, and blog!  Celebrate with me!

When I began the official re-branding process I had no idea of what to expect.  I came to the table with a business that had been open for a little more than a year and had seen some success, an old lady looking website (according to my husband) with an even crazier web address that I had to memorize, and a single logo that my husband's co-worker made for free when I first decided to make this dream into a business.  My website and logo were not cohesive at all.  I did not have a brand really, so technically this wasn't re-branding, it was branding.

1. The official process started with several questionnaires.  Lauren of Elle & Co. asked some tough questions about my business and what I wanted people to think when they saw my brand or heard about my business, etc.  Stop right there.  I had never thought about my business in the way she was asking me to.  This was my first change.  I began to not just do my business but think about what I wanted for my business and the process that my business takes in daily affairs.  I began taking Southern Charm more seriously.  

2.  We talked about things and I shared my inspiration board on pinterest.  But, there was a problem.  What I was saying that I wanted for my business and what I was wanting it to look like were completely opposite.  Thank goodness Lauren was able to muddle through the madness and come up with this beautiful inspiration board.  I missed not having purple and teal but what she came up with just really spoke up and fit the look that I was unknowingly going for.  These colors are fun and flirty but are still cohesive when put together.  I was missing cohesiveness and now I had it.

SouthernCharm_InspirationBoard

3. From this inspiration board, Lauren was able to come up with three different designs that I could choose from.  Instead of just picking the one that stood out to me the most, I decided to tell her what I liked and didn't like about each one.  With that, she was able to get ideas for my secondary logo in addition to my primary logo!  Obviously I picked concept two and she was able to tweak concept one for a secondary logo.  I have a logo!!!  But really I have two!!!  And they look appropriate for the name Southern Charm.  So now my logo is truly a reflection of what my business name is.  Potential clients and vendors get their first glimpse of Southern Charm as a business through this logo.

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4. These processes were fairly simple yet very meaningful.  My logo got a whole family of logos to go with it.  All of these logos go well together and could quickly be identified as belonging to me.  And then came the icons.  Oh the icons are so incredibly cute.  They are all little staples in a Southern lady's life.  My most popular package is the Dogwood Package so it was very appropriate to have a dogwood flower as one of the icons.  It started as just an icon but has really transformed into a major part of my brand.  Can you see it in the tab on this website?  I mean really.  How cute is that?  It also graces the bottom of my Facebook Cover Photo as well as my business cards.  Just by looking at the symbol, without any words, my business can be quickly identified.  It is simple, pretty, and it makes sense.  My business is more than a logo, its a brand.

SouthernCharm_BrandBoard

5. Together Lauren and I worked on collateral pieces.  The outcome has been amazing.  One of them is still in the works because it was a lot more to take on than I expected.  When it is done however, it will be mine, and you will know where it came from.  It won't be random things I printed out and threw together, it will have meaning and purpose.  Branding my business has made me and it more intentional.   Intentional, that seems to be the buzzword among creatives lately but it's more than just a word, its an action.  Have you seen this gorgeous website?!  I didn't spend a few hours using someone else's colors and templates and coming up with something quick to say and hoping that people liked it.  Lauren and I, mostly Lauren, went through and hand picked each picture on each page.  I wrote out on paper what I wanted each piece to say and I ran it by her to see if it made sense.  Lauren spent several days building this site and showed me how to use it and allowed me to explore independently.  We were intentional with how everything was laid out and put together.   My business has a renewed purpose and is intentional.

Branding wasn't just about my business logo, it was about me as a person and a business owner and how I run my business and the thought that I put into it.  It was such a personal experience, I was unable to separate me from the business, but I don't think that that is necessarily a bad thing.  My friend and fellow creative Nikki Santerre always tells me, "You are a reflection of your business."  Likewise, my business is a reflection of me.  I hope you enjoy!

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Don't forget to enter the giveaway!  The winner will be announced on Friday!  Simply, comment below with your favorite pieces of the new site.  You could win either a Starbucks Gift Card or something pretty from The Monogramming Teacher!