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Today on the podcast I’m chatting with fellow brand lover Bec Hughes. 

Bec Hughes is a lover of ultra-dark chocolate, animal print, alliteration and stinky cheese. She’s also a brand strategist, creator and coach, lover of design, and driven to improve, challenge and invent.She shines a light on brand value and gives entrepreneurs the insight to make confident decisions for their brand and business. Bec spent 15+ years as a strategy and design leader in agency-land in the UK, Europe and Australia. And she’s spent the last 6 years (and growing) running her own brand consultancy. She’s worked with hundreds of brands, big and small, across a range of industries, and has experienced first-hand what actually makes brands successful. Hint: it’s not their logo. Bec is your brand strategist, design consultant, cheerleader, advocate and blue-sky thinker. And she’s here to help entrepreneurs raise the brand bar in their business so it becomes a catalyst for aligned growth.

We’re talking about how you can truly align your brand and create something that has a powerful impact on your business.

 

In all the conversations Bec has had about brand, the recurring theme she sees is a sense of brand discomfort.  

This might be: 

  • Feeling uncomfortable with your message, language or tone of voice; not knowing what to say, when and how
  • Not having a deep or genuine connection with your audience
  • Feeling unhappy with or even embarrassed about your brand look & feel
  • Not happy with or inspired by the services you offer
  • Feeling you’re falling behind your competitors

 How this manifests itself in terms of brand behaviour is: 

  • Brand neglect – not looking after your assets or brand perception
  • Brand inconsistency – jumping around, changing constantly, reinventing, ‘procrasti-branding’
  • Unwillingness to invest
  • Staying Invisible
  • Indecision or uncertainty especially when it comes to creative decisions
  • Playing safe with your visual and voice identity
  • Lack of confidence with creative outsourcing
  • The quest for ’the one’i.e.avoiding commitment 

And these are the things that can sabotage your brand success. There are problems bubbling away in the background that negatively impact brand perception and momentum, and therefore your growth. 

And perception is reality when it comes to brand. 

So, feelings of brand discomfort have a direct correlation with not achieving the success you want.  

Let’s talk about the Concept of Brand Alignment 

What causes this feeling of brand discomfort?

Essentially, it’s all about brand alignment or lack of. It’s a disconnect somewhere between you, your audience and your brand. 

So how can you create a more aligned brand? A brand where you feel more ‘in flow’. 

There are 4 key things that Bec addresses in her Brand Flow Method. 

 The Brand Flow Method looks at your brand through 4 critical lenses: looking in, looking out, thinking (strategy) and doing (action). 

 The 4 Phases of Creating an Aligned Brand 

  1. Meaning– alignment/balance between brand owner and audience (a brand is about finding your meaning and making that meaningful to others; how much is about you and how much is about your audience?)
    a)
    Foundations – where you’re going and why, and are you in the right headspace? b) Your Brand Compass – 4 key questions to answer to clarify the strategic drivers of your brand: What – your product and the need it serves
    How – your process and how it elevates the experience
    Who – the problem and the motivators of your audience
    Why – your purpose and the impact that has 
  1. Magnetism– setting the brand bar as high as possible; emotional alignment so it feels attractive to you and your audience
    a) 
    Expression – Visual, Verbal and Behaviour identity to create connection, cohesion and an emotional response – alignment so it feels ‘comfortable’ for you and compelling to your audience
    b)  Portfolio – how you structure your services so they align to what you want to offer and what your client wants to buy
  1. Management– protecting your brand image and brand assets; you’ve set the strategic direction and a magnetic identity, now is not the time to let things slip) Guardianship – processes that protect your brand
    b)  Outsourcing – developing the skills to outsource creative work effectively so you get what you need and it stays ‘on-brand’ 
  1. Momentum– building profile, authority, connections and growth in a way that feels authentic, aligned and impact-leda)Expansion – building out the assets and experiences that will be the catalyst for growth 
    b)   Exposure – visibility, authority, generosity, community, activity (‘walk-ins’ vs referrals) 

 

What does an aligned brand feel like?  

When you’ve invested in creating brand alignment, and you feel comfortable and connected with your brand, what does that look like?

Intention – doing things with purpose and efficiency
Impact – changing the status quo for people, moving people
Integrity – structural integrity (brand strength, sustainability) and sense of authenticity
Intuition – trusting your instincts and being efficient in decision-making
Imagination – being creative and innovation in the right ways
Individuality – embracing and owning your uniqueness

To connect with Bec head to:

Website

Instagram

Facebook

PODCAST EPISODE #183: Creating an Aligned Brand with Bec Hughes

2021-11-11

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