Components of a Strategic Brand

When I was researching content for this blog post, I searched, “how to create a brand for your business.” Let me know if you’ve run into this during your own research for your brand — most of the videos and articles I saw were about how to visually create your brand. Things like logos, color palette, and mood boards, but nothing about website copy, brand message, or how to attract your ideal client.

In reality, your brand is so much more than your logo. In fact, your logo is just a tiny piece out of a 500-piece puzzle — your brand as a whole is made up of several different sectors. 

But wait, before you click that X and book it out of here feeling overwhelmed, I’m going to show you how to brand your business the correct way and give you three examples of people doing it really well.

These are tried-and-tested strategies that will actually grow your business. I know this because we use this method with our Carrylove Design clients. And at the end, I’ll share my top three brand takeaways from looking at these examples.

What’s in a brand?

I created an Instagram post a couple months ago that visually represents each component of a brand as literal gears because several metaphorical gears need to be in place to launch a successful brand.

As I said earlier (and what I’m going to say probably 10 more times in this article), your brand is not just your logo. It’s not even just your website copy or brand personality — it’s everything combined. So we want to put all the right gears in all the right places (cue OneRepublic) to ensure your brand is on track for success.

This way, whenever you’re marketing your business, you can crank that wheel and everything is turning the way it should.

This is what your brand is actually composed of

Before we jump into the three examples, let’s go over some of the basics.

Your brand is comprised of many different pieces, such as:

  • Brand message
  • Brand voice
  • Brand experience
  • Ideal client
  • Brand design
  • Website copy (and word choice)
  • Website design
  • Website usability
  • Social media presence
  • Marketing (social media, partnerships, magazine ads and features, etc.)

This is just a broad overview, but we’ll get into more detail with these three concrete examples. Ready to dive into them? Let’s break these three brands down.

Brand strategy behind Felicia Reed Photography

First Example: Felicia Reed Photography

First up is one of Carrylove’s past clients, Felicia Reed. Felicia is a luxury portrait photographer in Austin, Texas and this girl is on fire. She’s the one I always turn to as an example of someone who is building her branding so well.

Brand message

The main reason why Felicia’s brand is successful is due to her clear and consistent brand message. I discussed this in a YouTube video, but to quickly recap, the key to having a clear brand message is to state exactly who you serve (your ideal client) and what services you provide.

Felicia clearly states on her homepage, “Felicia Reed is a contemporary, fashion-inspired portrait photographer celebrating you.” This is also stated on her social media, so she is (say it with me!) clear and consistent. On top of that, the captions that she posts on her Instagram backs up her brand message.

Also, she adds a lot of phrases that address the pain points of her ideal client, such as the “I have heard all the excuses” section. 

Brand experience

Felicia’s brand experience is clearly showcased on her website so you can learn all about what it’s like to work with her. But that’s not the only place you can find her brand experience — she also goes into more detail on her social media posts and videos.

On her Instagram, for example, she posts “client reveals,” which takes her audience behind the scenes of a photoshoot. This just adds another layer to her brand message and brand experience.

Brand design

Though there is a lot of emphasis on this aspect of a brand, it’s actually the smaller piece of the puzzle (I know, strange coming from a designer!). This should really come after you nail down your brand message and experience because your design will be based on the atmosphere or feel your brand creates.

With Felicia, everything is cohesive and streamlined. Her brand design is high-end and matches her artwork as well as her brand message. The logo and colors are all consistent with how her brand feels.

So from her brand message, brand voice, website design, website copy, and marketing, there is no question what her brand is all about.

Brand strategy behind Holly Marie Photography

Second Example: Holly Marie Photography

Our next example is Holly Marie Photography, another past Carrylove Designs client. Holly is a wedding photographer in Austin who works alongside her husband. Her brand is very different from Felicia’s, but she is still killing it when it comes to building her brand — not just on her website, but the same themes carry over to social media as well. 

Brand message

Holly’s brand message is fun, bubbly, and full of joy. And right away, you can see that when you land on her homepage.

Like Felicia, she states right away who she serves, where she serves, and what services she provides by stating, “Austin wedding photography for fun-loving couples.” She continues with “We are an Austin, Texas-based wedding photography duo committed to celebrating your Big Day by capturing every joyous, unscripted moment.”

Scrolling through her website we have details like hand-written elements that make it feel genuine, approachable, and down-to-earth. We also used certain phrases like “finding life hacks” to target her ideal client, which is a young demographic.

This brand message is also consistent through her social media. Her Instagram bio and follows through with her brand voice and what you’re seeing on her website.

Brand experience

Her brand experience is showcased on her website, which is important because this is how people will first experience your brand — you’re showing them what it’s like to work with you.

While Hollie lets visitors inside the behind-the-scenes on her website, she also dives deeper into her experience by educating her audience through IGTV series and blog posts. This gives her audience extra information in “real-time” about her process.

Brand design

Her brand design, especially her color palette, gives you fun, joy-filled vibes. You can also see that with the design elements incorporated throughout her website, the photos she posts on Instagram, but especially with her word choices on her social media and website. When it comes to brand design, she’s doing a great job at branding that extends much farther than the visual side of things.

Brand strategy behind Katie Wussow the business coach to creatives

Third Example: Katie Wussow

Our last example is Katie Wussow, who is a past Carrylove client and a business coach for creatives.

One of the reasons why I love this example is because whenever you think of finance coaches or business coaches, in general one would usually think of muted colors and straight-forward verbiage without a lot of personality or fun.

So right away, when you go to her website, we see Katie Wussow breaking out of this mold, which sets her apart from her competition because it’s more memorable (and also true to her real personality!).

Brand message

Her brand message is bold and straight-forward — “Follow your passion (with a plan!) so you can grow your business and get paid to do what you love.” — but we used words and elements to also portray her as approachable and fun.

Once again, you see consistency with her brand message on her website and social media. She simply states on her website and Instagram: “Business plans for creative entrepreneurs.” By doing this, she is clear about what she does and who her ideal client is (are you sensing a pattern yet? 😉).

Brand experience

Her brand experience can be seen on her sales page, on her podcast, and on social media. This way, no matter how a potential client interacts with her brand, they are clear on what it’s like to work with her and decide if her services are what they need.

Brand design

Her brand design, especially her color palette (like Hollie Marie), helps support her brand message. She uses bright and fun colors throughout her social media, which matches her website design. This is important because you want people to recognize your brand right away when they’re scrolling through social media, or if they happen to come across one of your marketing materials online.

Three key takeaways for building a successful brand

  1. Stay consistent across the board

Make sure your brand message, experience, and design are matched. For example, If you’re going for a bold, sultry, and moody feel like our client Boudoir By Ria, then make sure it’s consistent on your website, social media, print, magazines, and other forms of marketing. This is the recipe for a strong brand.

  1. Craft a clear and concise brand message that stands out from competition

By crafting a clear message, it’s easy for others to remember and be able to repeat. It’s tempting to want to be creative and appeal heavily to emotion, but being more straight-forward will help you attract your ideal client. If you want to learn more about crafting a brand message that stands out from the crowd check out this YouTube video that talks all about this.

  1. Repeat your brand message over and over again

As you saw with all three examples, these entrepreneurs are constantly repeating their brand message. They’re repeating it not only on their website but also within their Instagram stories, social media posts, IGTV videos, in their live streams, podcasts, and blog posts. At the end of the day, repetition sells your brand message.

Go crush your business goals!

Now you’re ready to really go crush your business goals because you know the difference between having a brand strategy in places versus just having a pretty brand.
If you need help with this process and don’t know where to start, let’s jump on a consultation call! In this complimentary call, we can talk about your brand’s goals and how the team at Carrylove can help you achieve those goals for your success.

  1. […] sell your services. At the end of the day though, the words on your page not only help convey your brand message but also helps you rank on Google. Another photographer can be exactly like yours, but the words […]

  2. […] I still use Trello for storing internal aspects such as copy, captions, templates, and business blueprints, I needed something more powerful and robust for our […]

  3. […] their visual craft, but photos alone can’t sell, despite popular belief. That’s where the brand strategy step comes in […]

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brand and Showit website design studio for creatives.

I am an award-winning website designer, brand strategist, and community leader. I help take our clients' visual brands to the next level. I am passionate about design and believe pairing a beautiful brand aesthetic with an intentional website strategy is the cornerstone for success, booking clients effortlessly, and creating a delightful online experience.

Founder, Amanda Shuman

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