Let’s talk about everything branding (or, more accurately, your brand). If you previously invested in a photographer, website, or branding and you have not seen an ROI, you are likely not the problem; your order of operations is likely the problem. Let’s talk about how we are going to fix that.
If you’re cultivating your brand, you’ve likely been hit with all the things; brand photos, a new website, compelling copywriting for your offers, email marketing, everything branding… the list goes on.
The fact is, if you want the best ROI on any or ALL of these, you need to first understand that there is an order of operations to everything branding. A process anytime you need to rebrand or pivot your company.
Building something cohesive doesn’t happen by accident.– Bethany McCamish, your host
Here’s what you can expect to hear in this episode:
- What is a re-brand and do you need one?
- Why brand strategy comes first
- Key indicators you didn’t follow the branding order of operations and what to do now
Free Brand Personality Quiz
What Is A Re-brand? Do I Need One?
Before diving into that process, I want to quickly touch on the idea of a re-brand; what the hell is it? And do you need one?
Yes, at some point in your business growth, you will likely need a rebrand – but this is especially true if:
- If you’ve drastically grown
- DIY’d everything
- you want to pivot your targets in biz – then it’s likely time for a rebrand – or the strategy to shift perceptions of your brand
What does a rebrand look like?
A rebrand looks like your business getting to the point where all of your touch points need to shift to grow with your brand. This can be one or two things – like fresh copy, for example, or it can be the whole ‘brand spanking new’ makeover (see what I did there?).
If you want to do everything branding right and get it looking good but more importantly feeling good – aka aligned- then you need to follow a specific order of operations, and you will see a much better ROI (providing you did your part of taking action with the brand).
Everything Branding: The Order of Operations
The process always starts with a brand strategist and with the caveat that if you need extra clarity – as in you’re not sure what’s not working or you want to restructure your offer suite, then invest in a business coach first – but one who actually values your brand -and whose brand is solid as well.
From there… Here is the flow:
This is what defines your business, what you promise, your messaging, how you profit, and your backbone; if you don’t have this in place, you’re literally pulling things out of thin air or your “favorites” for your brands.
Branding (logos etc.)
This is the sexy part and the phase that most people just jump right into. But the brand strategy in step one actually informs the branding. These are your logos, your stock photos, your imagery, your font system, all of that. If you jump into this not informed or not intentional, or having any sort of strategy for the direction of their business, it oftentimes will fall flat or have to be changed sooner rather than later, which is something we really don’t want at all.
Here’s what I see all the time: jumping straight into brand photos with no branding and then having your designer try to fit into a box you haphazardly built based on a Pinterest board. That’s just really a big mistake for building your brand for cultivating your brand. Because not only is it a rapid decision, but then your brand designer is going to have to try and fit these photos into some box.
Like maybe you didn’t use the right colors, or the locations wrong, or it’s just not the right field. But now their creative energy is seriously stunted in serving you because they’re having to work with the photos you already took and try and haphazardly build it based on what you had done in your photo shoot. So if you went and jumped into brand photos before the other things and you’re trying to make them work, know that you might need to redo a photo shoot that is informed by your strategy and your branding so that everything flows and is cohesive.
Copywriting and Website Strategy (UI/UX, overlaps with copywriting)
Typically website strategy and copywriting are done with your copywriter. And it’s not just taking the time to do your copywriting but also making sure it’s infused with SEO.
The website strategy is also important For example, through my agency, we set up a sitemap we make sure the sitemap is approved. We talk about customer journey, customer flow, like what are the three simple steps to working with you, how are people making a custom order, all of that is part of your website strategy.
And that gets packaged up and sent to the copywriter, who then usually also has a clarity call to go over that solidify it, touch on the messaging that was established and your brand strategy, and build your copy that is compelling, has SEO, but also make sure that you are guiding intentionally guiding everyone who lands on your site.
Website design can be broken into two components which gets a little bit into nitty-gritty territory, but website design and website development are different. The website design is the mock-up or wireframe in Adobe XD, which just means you get to see the full page layout and you get to see how all of these pieces come together and are brought to life in an overall journey and experience for your clients or customers. You approve it and make sure it all looks good.
The development part is where we’re taking those mock-ups and designs and actually developing them on whatever platform you choose to develop your site on, whether that’s Shopify, Squarespace, Showit, or WordPress. The development stage is where that’s all coming to life; things are being integrated, like your email marketing, checkout cart, etc.
Launch Planning & launch
I always encourage anyone I’m talking to just take a minute towards the end of your website design and development and consider what the launch is going to look like for your clients. I provide them with a launch calendar so they know different ideas of what to share on social media and how to tease a potential upcoming rebrand.
We discuss some options for building excitement and interest when they’re bringing it to their new market. This is especially important if you’re pivoting who you’re targeting; you really do want to tease and build excitement and make sure it’s clear, like why you’re doing this, who you’re targeting, make sure you’re bringing those people into your circle, so it’s not just going to fall flat.
As long as you’re doing your part and taking action when you launch, you’re gonna create momentum, and that leads to success overall.
Does this apply to me? Can’t I just skip some of it?
If you’re wondering how this applies to you, but you have made it this far, then it probably does.
But here are some KEY indicators that you didn’t follow the order of operations, didn’t see a ROI and and are still:
- Telling yourself you need a new website
- Saying I’m embarrassed by my visuals.
- Telling yourself ‘I don’t know if everything looks good on social media’
- I have brand photos, but now what?
These are all indications that something is happening with your brand, and you probably need a rebrand.
Or the other thing that often happens is that your company is making a pivot or has seen massive growth. Maybe you’re moving from solopreneur to agency; you’re changing the type of clientele you serve, or you’re changing a major offer; all of those things mean you’re going to reconsider your brand and everything branding in some way and should follow that flow in your review of your brand.