Growing and developing as a person and a business.
We never stay the same, we are constantly evolving and developing ourselves whether we actively set out to do that or not. Some of us go to therapy, read self help books or go to the gym several times a week. But others just quietly, sometimes unknowingly, take things in – watch the news, read fiction books, watch films, walk the dog, even a quick scroll through social media. All of that can help us grow and develop as people and also as businesses.
I’m a big ambassador of change and growth in business. It’s one of the reasons I say that you should have trialed your business first before committing to any professional branding. Jumping in too quickly with branding and you’ll just be changing it again a few months down the line when you’ve worked out that the audience you want is different to who you originally thought, or that your offer has changed over that time. Redoing your branding in these early days is an expense you could well do without. Most start-ups you see hitting the ground running with slick branding and getting it right straight out of the box have actually spent the last few years trialing and perfecting their offer and their ideal client before you see them launching and looking fabulous!
So why am I telling you all this? Well, as well as just offering good old fashioned advice that could save you money, change is exactly what I’ve gone through in the last 2 years.
Like many people, the lockdowns of the pandemic had a profound effect on me. I started really appreciating the place where I live. I’ve always been a city girl but for the last 18 or so years I’ve lived somewhere semi rural. I thought I still needed to escape to the city every month to feel the bustle and the energy. Obviously over the lockdowns I wasn’t able to do that so I sought my energy from elsewhere – nature. I’ve always been a nature lover – feeding the birds, growing veg, being vegan! but now I found myself really immersing myself in nature. Swimming in the sea all year round, walking in the hills and forests every week and feeling that same sense of energy come from nature rather than cities.
This summer I spent as little time as I could indoors, preferring to be outside in nature, the sea and just the fresh air as often as I could.*
My business has always been founded on protecting the environment and looking after our planet but I now see that there’s a deeper level to that, appreciating the biodiversity of the place where you live and protecting that too.
From this realisation my whole business felt it had shifted. I narrowed down what I was offering to the thing that really makes my heart sing – helping businesses grow through professional branding. I also narrowed down who I wanted to work with with, the clients that really made me feel like I’m making a difference – people just like me who are willing to put animals, people and the planet before profit and just love being outside in nature.
So with all this new information and realisation, I set myself through my own brand strategy process (it’s not something that comes easily to a branding specialist, we’re usually our own worst client!) to see if my current branding still fitted with this new person…surprise, surprise, it didn’t!.
The three attributes highlighted throughout the brand strategy process were “Inspired, Honest, Growth” – I mean if that’s not perfect for what I’m talking about here then I don’t know what is. And I have to tell you, these words come from an in depth process of looking at who I serve, how I sound, the impact of my work etc., they’re not just words plucked from space because they sound nice.
Out of all this work new branding was born that really feels like me, my business and the people I wish to help. I wanted to create a sense of calm and nurture as I know a lot of my audience have been burnt by designers in the past. They’ve either experienced designers not listening to them properly or designers just telling what they wanted to do regardless of what the client wanted. Showcasing my love of nature was also important as I know my audience has the same love. I also wanted to be very clear on who I work with as I was a little bit shy of this in the past – now it’s front and centre on my homepage!
So yes this is a “Oooh look at my new branding” blog post, but also a “It’s ok and actually very normal and healthy to change, grow and develop as a person as well as a business” post (not such a catchy title!).
If you feel like you might have grown out of your current branding, get in touch and we can go through a brand audit to see where you are and whether your branding is staying with you or not.
*I do realise being in fresh air is a privilege not everyone has. For a long time it was a privilege I didn’t have either so I am fully aware of it. The thing is nature is all around us whether we’re deep inside a forest or deep inside a city, we sometimes just have to look closer or harder. I spent many years living in Crystal Palace in London and working in central London. I could see the smog over the city as I walked to the train every morning but I had a park nearby where I lived and Hyde Park near where I worked. These places are free and accessible to everyone. London (and all major cities) are full of parks and green spaces, we just have to look for them.