- You’re a year or two into business and you feel as if you’re still evolving.
- You have an ‘off-the-peg’ website and ideas for products, but you want something more professional and unique to stand out.
- You catch yourself comparing your brand with other peers who may be at different stages in their business journey.
- You want to bridge the gap between amateur and a fully defined brand.
Yes, I have been there and I completely resonate with your plight.
You could even go on to say that there is an imperative expectation that I should already have a distinct brand identity, as my work is Illustration and Website Creation.
Here’s the thing, I am 18 months into my business and I still feel that I am growing and evolving with no definite brand identity. Yep!
Yet, you arrive at my website and perhaps like its style and hopefully feel at home and comfortable.
How do I create a unique brand identity?
Well, I will let you in to my secret.
I have thrown out the idea of a formulaic approach to branding. After all, there is plenty of information out there on how to get it right and how to get it wrong–often conflicting, right?
Well, personally, it sends my head into a spin and stops my creativity in it’s tracks.
Why on earth do we put pressure on ourselves to know exactly what our brand identity is when we are so new in business?
So I ditched the formulas.
I feel the more nourishing way to look at branding (Why I don’t like this word anyway) is by thinking like a plant! Yes, a plant! I am so in love with the idea of ‘A Living Brand’ that I have just finished producing a Deck of 52 Plant Ally Cards for daily inspiration and support.
For example (based on the explanation by the plant expert Craig Holdrege):
“A plant growing up through a crack in the pavement is embedded in a world of relations where it’s roots grow downward toward the centre of the earth. They explore and transform the soil while drinking up water and a fine array of minerals. The shoot and leaves grow in the opposite direction upward into the air and light. The leaves open themselves to these elements and take them in. The plant brings the stream of water and minerals from the soil together with the air and light, and in its unassuming way does something miraculous– it creates its own living substance…Living out of this embeddedness in the environment, the plant grows and transforms according to its own inner pattern and yet adjusts itself at all times to what it takes from the environment.”
Even though the plant is not mobile in the sense that a human is, it is dynamic, connected, resilient and, in its ever-changing life, always in relation to the world into which it grows and evolves.
Why can’t we be like that?
Why can’t our brand identity be like that?
Food for thought…
3 tips to help get you started:
- We ebb and flow in our business and we are constantly adapting and evolving depending on our context. Become a plant-like thinker. Let go of the idea of formulaic advice about logos, set typography and colour psychology. Imagine the flexibility of thought gained if our ideas were no longer rigid and static, but were boldly expected to grow, transform and, when necessary, die away. What if our branding grew out of context-sensitive relations to the world we inhabit? How liberating is that!!!
- Think of, say, your website design as a basic blank canvas foundation. Keep headers clean and simple and set up your website or resources with an emphasis on user experience.
- Think about the visuals/ornamentals of your website or e-resource as pictures hanging on your walls. Put in images that capture your mood and thinking as it is right now. Of course, they can be swapped around and changed as you evolve. You have A Living Brand! Perhaps think about some original pieces of artwork/illustrations that feel resonant with you…;)
So, think like a plant!! A Living Brand…
Over to you
How does that sound?
Does the idea of A Living Brand feel more uniquely expansive, than a typical formulaic brand identity? I would love to know what you think.
Oh and also
If you like the idea of being supported by Plants, then perhaps my 52 Plant Ally Deck is a nice little adjunct to help you think more like a plant and tap into their wisdom. The sample cards have gone to the printers, so if you would like to be informed when they are available to buy, then click on this link to register your interest.
Let’s start a Plant Living Brand Revolution!