today's guest post is from our regular contributor, kim timothy of boutique by design
“Put your lips on!”
It’s a nostalgic statement that echoes often in my head. We all have them, those special little tips our mothers offered over our youth that still resonate in our adult lives. This particular phrase suggested I apply a layer of lipstick prior to leaving the house.
As a member of the baby boomers, my Mother was taught that a lady’s appearance should always be perfectly polished and coiffed before putting herself forth into the world. And, by “putting my lips on”, I would magically transform my image into one that would be acceptable by all. Maybe its a little bit silly and, most likely many feminists would baulk, but I love the concept it represents.
Today, as a graphic designer, it’s fun to apply this idea to branding. We all understand that image is important – just one image is actually worth a thousand words “they” say! A brand is the image or perception the world has of your business. It communicates your personality and influences your buyers’ opinion of who you are and whether they want to do business with you. A good brand communicates clearly and creates credibility. It is solid, consistent and memorable.
Remember that if your business is in the public eye it already has a brand. Branding is not just about having a logo; it’s about how your business looks to others. Whether you intended it or not, your business has a look, a graphic system, a concept and a personality. But, is it one you are proud of and one that will bring you success?
Achieving the perfect brand is not always easy…
If you were like me, the first time you applied lipstick the result was uneven and incredibly wobbly. It was frustrating, as the lips you had envisioned did not look like the ones applied. A new brand will most likely have the same outcome. A new visual system will take time to perfect and apply on all the elements your business uses. Persevere and keep that goal of balance and consistency in mind.
In my early years I explored colour. Often tacky vibrant hues that did not always do justice to my overall image. The same will be true as you explore, develop and grow your brand. Perfecting colour, graphics, message and tone does not happen overnight. Expect a period of “tacky” as your entire business image comes together.
Staying Inside the Lines
Finally the day comes when experience, skill and a steady hand combine to execute lip perfection. We can rock any look and wear it all with confidence. Branding works in a similar manner. When the evolution is almost complete, a natural formula is put in place and you will understand the exact process it takes to ensure the perfect image and obtain brand success.
A Natural Shine
Now, at the end of my cosmetic journey my preference is for a shiny clear gloss. Throughout the years I’ve explored every shade and, in the end, the one that best suits me is the colour I had all along – my authentic self. Your business is your passion, your dream and an extension of yourself. Your brand should reflect this. While the journey of discovery is important, satisfaction and success will always result if you keep your brand as genuine and true to the vision and passion that fueled its creation.
Always remember that branding is an evolution. It should be a process of exploration and discovery with a result of clarity, consistency and an authentic image you are proud to call your own.
Now, go and “put your lips on!”