Branding: my brand tree

Something really cool that came out of It's Business Time and working with Tiffany Han was getting clear on my own personal branding, and creating something called a brand tree

Now, "branding" is a term that I want to dig into more, and learn more about. I feel like it can be one of those smokescreen words, corporate-speak. I want to get clear on what branding means to me, what it can do for a business, and where to start crafting a new brand, so it doesn't feel so overwhelming. So, I'm going to write my way through this learning, as I do with just about everything, here on my blog.

I went to design school and I still feel this way about branding, so I imagine you might too! Anyway, I hope it's interesting. :)

So, back in March of this year, I hadn't yet started the It's Business Time program. I was still in Tiffany's 100 Rejection Letters program. And as part of that, I was developing my own brand. In this post, I wrote about the process and shared what I had come up with so far. 

Then the whirlwind of the crowdfunding campaign happened, and before I knew what was happening, I was in the It's Business Time program and the real branding adventure began!

We did a great deal of introspection and writing in the program. It wasn't until Week 13 that we dug into branding and crafting our Brand Trees. I won't share the worksheets, as they are Tiffany and Michelle's intellectual property, but we did things like answer questions like "How do you want people to feel when interacting with your brand?" and "How do you anticipate differentiating yourself from the competition?" (In another post soon, I'll share my own branding questionnaire, that I've come up with for my clients.)

So here is my brand tree, now:

It's so interesting to look back to the one in this post and compare. 

How do I use the brand tree? Well, I keep it on the wall above my desk, and often I'll look at it, just for inspiration, or when I'm kind of staring off into space while creating. The core values are the roots of my brand, and they help me when I'm coming up with new ideas or trying to figure out if an upcoming project fits in my brand. The brand words in the middle are the three things that everything I do or put out there into the world must be. The three words are not meant to be limiting, but rather a guideline to help me remember what my brand is all about. And the branches at the top are the three ways that my business manifests... the things that I do and create.