Brand Brag! BerryPom & James

Meet Shelby!  Our gal Lily had the opportunity to work with Shelby of BerryPom & James recently.  BerryPom & James is a party planning + decor company based in Forth Worth, TX.

Tell us a bit about how you got started with your business / blog / venture that we branded.

I have always had a passion for parties, from planning to decorating. After being on the hunt for months to find the perfect party decorations for my kids first birthday parties, I decided I wanted to be the one stop shop for party decor and goods in Fort Worth.

 

What products or services do you offer?

We carry a variety of party decorations for all types of parties and events, tableware, gifts and more.

 

What’s the best advice you have for someone that is interested in doing something similar to you?

Be organized, have a plan, and do one thing at a time!

 

Tell our readers a bit about the branding process!

The branding process was a seamless experience. Lily was wonderful and created my brand perfectly. It’s amazing how they can see your vision and style through a simple questionnaire. I would recommend them to anyone starting their own business or needing to re-brand a current business.

 

What does the future hold for you?

Now that I have my brand in place, I am excited to launch and watch my business unfold.

 

Check out Shelby’s brand:

 

And her website:

BerryPom & James

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Should You Brand Your Direct Sales Business?

Should you brand your direct sales business?

Absolutely!  Why not, right?

Direct sales companies are a dime a dozen, in the best possible way — who doesn’t love options?  This is a fantastic thing for people that are looking to make a bit of extra money on the side.  Similarly, it’s great for parents that want to stay at home with their children and make their own hours.  It alleviates a lot of headache to work for a parent company and allow someone else to manage all of the nitty gritty details of the business while you simply focus on products + selling those products.

With a lot of direct sales companies, you have the opportunity to build up a business around a generally solid product.  There’s also a solid concept, and brand story.  You essentially make it your own.  You’ll make money selling the product, and the parent company makes money, too.  Then, there are the numerous rewards and promotions for selling x-number of items.

As you dive further and further into the world of direct sales, you’ll probably notice that there are a ton of your peers that do business under their own name.  They call  themselves consultants for their parent company.

What’s the benefit of this?

 

Perception

Real talk: A LOT of people have a really negative view of direct sales companies and the people that work in direct sales.  Don’t lie — you’ve been there.  You got added to a Facebook group for another LuLaRoe online party, and you know you rolled your eyes.  Even if the parent company has a really solid product that people rave about!  Your audience might still have a negative perception because they had a bad experience with someone else that constantly hawked the products and wouldn’t back down.  A few bad apples, right?

If you brand yourself, you’ll probably eliminate or alleviate the jumping to conclusions.  If your personal brand as at the forefront of your initial interaction, you’ll find that people are a bit more receptive.

 

Professionalism

Put simply, if you’ve taken the time to come up with a brand for yourself that sets you apart from other presenters and consultants, you’re going to look better.  My bet is that you could name five people, quickly, that work for direct sales companies like Mary Kay, Arbonne, LuLaRoe, Jamberry, Scentsy, Young Living, DoTerra, and so on.  How many of those people have decided not to use company business cards?  I know (& branded) a Younique presenter that has done some AMAZING stuff.  Similarly, I’ve worked with Young Living & DoTerra consultants on their brand, as well as Plexus consultants.

Branding as yourself, or another company name you’ve created, as a consultant for an over-arching brand will create a stronger connection with your target audience.  Sometimes, your name might be a bit more familiar to your target audience.  It might create a more trusting relationship at the outset, backed up by a company offering a solid product.  So, if you can increase the amount of trust with your target audience and enhance your credibility, you’re already well on your way to making the sale.

 

But, Brand With Caution!!

Whatever organization you belong to, ensure that you’ve gone over their brand guidelines.  Some organizations do not allow the use of their logo, or have strict rules for using the overarching parent company’s logo on branded materials.  Learn what you can and cannot do with your affiliation.

There are probably two types of designers as it relates to branding a person with a direct sales affiliation.  The first type is the type that will use any logo file that you provide to them.  They assume that the person providing the logo had done their homework ahead of time.  The second type is the type that refuses to use the logo of the parent company at all, without written permission, proof, or guidelines for use.  I’m the second type.  The second type is probably the type of designer you should work with anyway, responsibility & whatnot.  If I have to use your parent company’s logo on anything, you must provide brand asset guidelines to me, or provide written & official proof that you’ve been granted permission to use the logo how you’re asking me to use it.  Otherwise, it’s a no-go!

 

What questions do you currently have about branding your direct sales business?

 

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The Three Things You NEED for a Website

Websites.  Could there be a more complex, detail-oriented side of the design industry?  We’ve been doing website design for a while now, and we’ve come up with three things that you NEED for a website.  I should caveat this, too — these are the things you need to have in place before you hire a designer!  You NEED these in order to have a website, but you should also have them squirreled away before you sink money into hiring someone.  Why?  Websites have a lot of moving parts.  From the design perspective, we can’t lay out a page if we don’t know how many images you want to include, or how much text you plan to have.  Additionally, we won’t know what design elements to include if you don’t have a brand, or at least a brand guide.

If you have these three things before you commission a custom website, you’re going to be in much better shape!

A Brand

Your logo is the first visual representation of your brand that people will see & connect with.  Your website will be one of the best & easiest ways for people to find you.  How do you get them to remember you, and continue to come back?  You could have a really badass product, but will that be enough to build trust & credibility?  You need a brand!  It’s more than a logo — it’s across the board: your logo, your colors, your additional elements, how you talk about your business, how you present your business, and so on.  Your brand has a personality, so your website needs a personality, too — after all, it is partially based on your brand.

Having a brand in place will ensure that your website also looks amazeballs.  It means that your brand and your website will look cohesive — someone should be able to look at your business cards, your Facebook page, and your website all side by side and see an obvious connection.  What you don’t want to do is order template business cards from a random printer, use a product image for your Facebook cover, and have absolutely no logo or connection on your website.  I ALWAYS recommend having a brand in place ahead of any website design — it’s much easier to design a brand, and then base a website off of it than it is for a website to be designed, and then attempt to fit the brand into the aesthetic of the website.

 

Verbiage

Verbiage, content, words, information!  You need this for your website…otherwise, what’s the point?!  We do provide content authoring for websites.  But, let’s face it — there are certain things that you are much better suited to talk about.  You’re the subject matter expert in what you do, and what you offer.  That means, you’re the best one to talk about it!

Our best recommendation is to list the pages you’ll want on your website — “pages” are the links people click up in the menu — Home, About, Contact, and so on.  Use a different text file for each of those and prepare 1-2 paragraphs for what you’ll want people to read when they land on your website, and click through your pages.  For us, if you’re providing *all* of your own content, we’ll happily edit & suggest changes.

 

Images

We work with so many creatives — photographers, authors, interior designers, stylists, hair & makeup artists…the list goes on!  Stock imagery is pretty cool, and it provides a great helping hand to pull your website together.  However, you’ll need to provide images for your own work!  Whether it’s something you made, or a beautiful image you took, it should be your own.  It should accurately display your work & your skills, and should represent your business or products.

You’ll also need images of your smiling face, because people love to connect with others when they view a website!  I always check the about page, because I like to know who is behind any given company.  Connecting with your audience is important.  I like getting a feel for the person I’m doing business with!

I highly recommend, prior to beginning a custom website design, that you have a bunch of images to choose from!  Whether it’s headshots, pictures of your work or your entire portfolio, or even images of your work areas, you’ll connect to your website so much more if you’re able to see *your* actual photos in it!  It’ll also save you the trouble of scrambling to get images taken care of when your website designer requests them from you!

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Brand Brag: The Daydreamerie

Every once in a while, you just *click* with your clients.  That’s what happened with Stacha!  Stacha is a watercolor artist, and she runs The Daydreamerie.  Stacha needed a logo design, mentioned she was an artist, and things blossomed amazingly!  Any time someone mentions that they’re an artist, or they work in watercolor, and the brand is *for* their artwork, I get warm fuzzies!  I mentioned to Stacha that it would be pretty badass if we could use her own artwork in the logo, since it would make it that much more her.  Thankfully, Stacha was on board with this, and we came out with four gorgeous logos that she can use interchangeably!

Also, Stacha is crazy generous, and sent a care package full of goodies that she sells with her own artwork — journals, postcards, stickers…amazing!  It was such a treat to see the artwork right in front of me.  Only problem is that I’m STILL fighting the urge to buy postcard sized frames so that I can hang each of those little cards everywhere!

Stacha sent over a few additional images for me to post for the blog, and I seriously can’t even.  How dreamy is this?!

Tell us a bit about how you got started with your business / blog / venture that we branded.

I have always doodled and drawn. My style leans towards the whimsical and soft. Hopefully it makes you smile and at times make your heart feel hugged. I create what I need to see and started first with my Facebook page to have a positive and lighthearted space to visit.

My two biggest fans are my children Riley and Sarah and they really encouraged me to put my art out publicly. I have had the amazing opportunity to collaboratively teach some online lessons with other amazing women and am slowly creating a brand I am proud of!

I am always so humbled when someone connects with some of my work deeply enough that they would like to make it part of their home or a gift. When I would get inquiries on how to purchase my work I realized I needed to do something! My website came about slowly, the tech piece is not as compelling to me : )

 

What products or services do you offer?

Currently, The Daydreamerie offers my art in multiple forms, prints, journals, postcards and greeting cards. On occasion I have originals available. I paint both on traditional substrates as well as reclaimed wood.

I am working on getting the classroom portion of my site up and running so that my prior workshop lessons along with new lessons can be all in one space : )

 

What’s the best advice you have for someone that is interested in doing something similar to you?

The advice I would offer anyone is the same advice that I still give to myself… Do something everyday. Even if you aren’t feeling it, just start and make a mark if for no other reason than you can, which means you should! I would also say it’s okay to go slowly. Art initially was (and is) my stress relieving escape. I have a day job that I love and my art has kind of grown in unexpected ways. You can do both!

 

Tell our readers a bit about the branding process!

Identifying branding aspects were difficult because I had so many choices. I guess I didn’t really do the greatest job in narrowing it because I ended up with 4 different logos!! Oh well. I like choices lol! Choosing the font was probably the most difficult. I wanted something that was both solid but sheer, (yeah, I know, that is clear as mud), which Beck did beautifully with the blend of the font and the color of it.

It also required me to look at what symbolism I wanted to embrace. As I was looking through my art I noticed I was drawn to tethered stars. To me it’s like a personal wishing star just for me (or you) and I knew it had to be a part of the logo.

Color choices were hard for someone who believes there is no such thing as too many colors! I again went to what I found myself gravitating too most often and chose some of my favorites that show up in my work a lot.

I believe my work has a distinctive style to it but with my new logos I believe that The Daydreamerie will more easily be recognized and ultimately it gives my print work a more professional perspective… but one that aligns with my brand’s personality at the same time.

 

What does the future hold for you?

My future is exciting to me! I purposefully did not use my name as my brand name because I don’t know what it will become but didn’t want to just limit it to me. I hope for future collaborations, sharing the thrill of creating with others in person and online. I haven’t even thought of all the things that can happen and I am looking forward to tripping on them in the future!

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This One Thing is Causing You to Wreck Your Brand

This one thing is causing you to wreck your brand, and you probably don’t even realize it.  My bet is that your target audience isn’t even sure about it.  Do you know what it might be?

It starts with “F” … and ends with “onts.”  Fonts.  Girl, the fonts you’re using are wrecking your brand.  I’m not talking about the fonts in your brand (although that might be the case — let’s chat if it is!) but the fonts you’re using in your marketing materials that you create yourself.  (Truthfully, it pained me to use the fonts I did in the “Hint” line in this post’s graphic, but I’m doing it to prove a point!)

For the love of fonts, knock it off!!

 

Why You’re Wrecking It

In a word: cohesion.  Your brand tells a story.  It’s your story, and it’s your company’s story.  Stories follow a story line.  Just as a writer would carefully consider details that they put in their novel, and edit out all of the extraneous stuff, you should be doing the same for your brand.  That includes colors that don’t match your brand, graphics that don’t really fit, and…you guessed it.  Fonts.  Fonts that are not a part of your brand.  To a designer, it’s heart-breaking.  To your target audience, they see that it’s different, but they can’t really figure out why it doesn’t fit…unless, of course, you’re a typography junkie!

There’s something about using fonts that are not a part of your brand’s cohesive story that will throw people off.  There are any number of reactions that may be had, and few are positive.  It may cause an issue with credibility and trust with your brand.  It might also look like you can’t make a decision since you have so many fonts floating around your marketing materials.  Your brand + marketing might look haphazard, too.  It’s insane how a single piece of marketing material with non-brand fonts on it will instantly cause people familiar with your brand to judge it harshly.

 

What You Should Know

Your designer carefully weighs your preferences, along with their extensive knowledge of your target audience and brand perception.  Unless you have stated up front that you are tied to a specific font, your designer will make the best choice possible for you.  Or, at least they should!  Your designer has a ton of info to back up their decision and make recommendations for your brand based on design principles.

For me, I try to encourage my clients to stick with two fonts, and in some cases, three.  My clients are mostly female entrepreneurs, and cursive fonts are almost always a given.  I like to pair a cursive font with a more simple printed font.  I’d say 90% of the time, it’s a sans serif font.  If the font I choose for your printed font is an all-caps font, like my absolute favorite ever, Lulo Clean, I make a recommendation for a third font to use for content — the paragraphs of text, or specific information, on your marketing materials.  An all caps font isn’t usually the best choice for a paragraph!

 

Spring For the Fonts

I can’t speak for all designers, but I provide font information at the conclusion of the brand process…sometimes with links to purchase.  The majority of fonts I use are in the $10-25 range, so they don’t break the bank.  (I won’t even lie — I lust after $500 fonts…one day, my friends…one day.)  It would be to your brand’s benefit to spring for the fonts and keep them on hand.  Fonts are super easy to install on your computer.  $50 — and that’s a high estimate for most brands — is a small price to pay for continuity, looking professional, and like you’ve got your shit together.

Once you’ve installed fonts onto your computer, you can use them in a variety of programs, including word processors if you need to type up a quick document.  Not all characters are readily available in a program like Word or Pages, but you can access them through a program like Illustrator or Photoshop.  The learning curve on Illustrator or Photoshop is rough for someone jumping into one of those programs, but you’ll be able to make full use of your fonts this way.

Adobe does offer a free trial so you can test out whether or not it’s a good fit for you, and subscriptions start at $9.99 USD a month — if you’re considering designing your own marketing materials, I would consider Photoshop Elements because it’s more or less the “lite” version — you’d be able to specify the size of your canvas, use the fonts you’ve purchased, and organize your material in a well-thought out manner, add images, adjust color, and so on.

 

Or Hire Someone

If you don’t want to do the dirty work yourself for your marketing materials, hire someone.  Hiring your brand designer would be the best option, since it’s always easier for the brand’s designer to jump in to designing additional items for you.  Some designers — like me — make it a requirement for the brand to be done through them rather than one-off marketing material designs.  It wasn’t always like that for me, but it’s a decision that I had to make in order to provide quality products + services to my clients.  It’s not easy to simply jump into a brand that you didn’t create yourself.

Hiring someone is probably going to cost more than the fonts would, but it also means that it takes the headache out of the design for you.  For many people, that’s a small price to pay for a solid design that will enhance your business.

 

The Solution if Money is Tight

We’ve all been there, where money is a problem.  If you haven’t branded yet, you might want to chat with your designer to let them know that while you have money in your budget for the brand, you don’t have the budget to supplement your brand with fonts or extra software.  Though it’s not always optimal, it’s possible to design a solid brand around fonts that are free for commercial use.  It would mean that you wouldn’t have to spend extra to keep your brand consistent and cohesive.

Another potential solution might be to check with your designer to see if they offer any sort of design bundle for marketing materials.  Though this would be an extra expense — probably larger than the fonts — it’ll likely save money for you in the end, and it’ll also remove the guesswork of designing your own materials.

Finally, just ask.  Do your homework first, for sure, but don’t be afraid to get in touch with your designer and ask their thoughts.  You may want to spend a bit of time scrolling through fonts and compile a list of close matches to your brand fonts if you simply can’t afford to purchase them.  More often than not, your designer will probably have feedback for you that you might find helpful when it comes to designing your own materials!

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BRAND BRAG – Soul Boss Empires

Meet Casey of Soul Boss Empires!  Casey came to us needing a feminine, luxurious brand that would appeal to women.  Casey’s on a mission to empower women in this venture, and we were thrilled to be able to help her with a new look!

 

Tell us a bit about how you got started with your business / blog / venture that we branded.

I started Soul Boss Empires to inspire and empower women to gain confidence and independence by creating their own income in the business world! No matter the challenges or struggles every women deserves to live the life of their dreams!

 

What products or services do you offer?

Business and Sales Coaching. Mindset Empowerment Courses. Soul Nourishment Training Programs.

 

What’s the best advice you have for someone that is interested in doing something similar to you?

Go for it! Get uncomfortable, overcome your fears, the world is waiting for you! We need more women in the world chasing their dreams!

 

Tell our readers a bit about the branding process!

I wanted to create a brand that would stand for women and represent the definition of Soul Boss. I am so excited for my new brand! I think the true meaning of Soul Boss and what it represents was created and will be recognized around the world!

 

What does the future hold for you?

My future of Soul Boss is to empower and connect over 7 million women worldwide!

 

You can find out more about Casey’s venture here: www.mysoulboss.com

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Brand Brag: North Dallas Essential Health

It’s time for another brand brag!  I had the opportunity to work with Jana Rogers of North Dallas Essential Health.  Jana was looking for a clean, modern brand that reflected professionalism while still maintaining an approachable feel.  Take a look at her new brand, and what Jana has to say!

Tell us a bit about how you got started with your business / blog / venture that we branded.

I’ve been a practicing naturopath for more than 10 years. After leaving a practice in NC to move to TX, I decided to rebrand. North Dallas Essential Health was born. My journey with naturopathy started 20 years ago when I saw the impact of prevention and the power of a more gentle form of medicine. When I became a mother searching for ways to raise healthy kiddos, and to correct my own health issues, I begin to pursue natural medicine full-time. After helping thousands of people regain health, prevent disease and learn self-care, working in conjunction with multiple modalities, and lecturing about alternative health measures, I couldn’t imagine doing anything else. It’s my calling and North Dallas Essential Health is the outlet for that calling.

 

What products or services do you offer?

Specialized testing and natural solutions for health imbalances.

 

What’s the best advice you have for someone that is interested in doing something similar to you?

Never stop trying to learn. Because healthcare is ever changing, education is a continual thing.

 

Tell our readers a bit about the branding process!

When I decided to brand I knew I wanted something different. There are so many outlets for branding and the decision was difficult. When I found Autumn Lane Paperie, I looked at and read everything they had. I thought about what I liked, didn’t like. In the past I’ve used other graphic designers and I had to do everything but draw the logo. Not so with Beck at Autumn Lane Paperie! She took my words and ideas and brought them to life! I think my new brand will provide the backbone of class and professionalism I was looking for.

 

What does the future hold for you?

The future is bright for North Dallas Essential Health! With our new brand we are ready to charge forward and get to work offering natural solutions for women and their children!

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