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When something is missing

The problem with all of these formulas and templates we have available to us on tap.

It is a time when templates and formulas, organisation and processes are all highly prized. Skipping around the world wide web you quickly see the same patterns and replications of sales funnels and offers of ebooks, ecourses and products, services and online events.

The pressure to step into the online labyrinth and quickly navigate your way: to carve out your place in this soul sucking online world, throws up a few problems from a branding point of view.

You ship it and publish it, get it up as quickly as you can and then… there is often that feeling that there’s something missing. What’s missing is soul, depth, difference and imag-in-ation.

The work we are presenting is often leaving us feeling unnourished and like sell outs, as we are pushed and prodded to get onboard: fear-mongered into believing we need to know the latest and greatest and not miss out.

Great branding will never make you feel this way. Great branding will draw you in to a story, through images that mean something to us, shift something in us, light us up and move us.

The systems and processes and technology you adopt is important, but only AFTER you get deep inside your brand storytelling, your philosophies, your OWN WAY, presenting something new and unique. Creating something that comes from your heart and not just inline with what others say you need to do.

So master the technology and get your processes in order, but FIRST, get to the soul of your brand storytelling and what it is that is lights you up and highlights what it is that is so special about what you have to give.

To me soulful means : so-full. So full of imagery and stories and depth of meaning, of creativity and especially imagination.

The Importance of Colour

The importance of colour in branding

Colour as access to the complex world of branding

I am taking my journal writing up a notch to tease out content and share insights that pour out of me as I write my book on Soulful Branding. I want to start with colour as easy access to the complex world of branding.

The importance of colour in our lives can not be denied. The way colour grabs our attention, excites us, cautions us, floods our soul with emotion, evokes psychological reactions: it is one of the most influential elements of branding that has been proven to greatly influence behaviour.

Colour is such an important element of branding that it can be central to a brand’s success. Think Tiffany & Co.’s coloured packaging; or how people expect Cadbury to be purple; the influence of McDonalds golden arches; or the red and white of Coca-cola which is responsible for creating the colour of the Santa Claus we know today. Not the most inspiring examples, but you’re starting to get how central colour is to branding.

Swapping brand colours

When you mix up the colours of brands, for example, swap Google and Yahoo colours so Google is purple and Yahoo is multi-coloured – it creates a sense of unease and instant confusion. See for yourself here.

Colour is complicated and yet so base and simple. You could spend a lifetime learning about the essence of colour: colour pigments, mixing colours, colour combinations, light and darkness, emotional responses to colour, colour as therapy, colour in nature.

We can take colour for granted especially the incredible spectrum of the colours that surrounds us in nature. Think of the iridescent and changing colours of a sunset. When you delve into the science of colour you are opening the world of light and shadows – the very essence of what our souls are made of.

Colour anxiety

The forces of colour are so great – people are scared of colour. Have you noticed how conservative people can be with colour – notice a lot of clothes shops filled with black, white and grey and other neutral colours. It is easy to stand out from the crowd when you embrace colour bravely, colour is a great tool for self-expression.

Colour is one of the quickest ways to grab attention. You can’t avoid the impact blue and red flashing lights have on you when seen in your rear vision mirror, or how arresting the yellow of caution and danger signs can be.

Choosing colours for your brand

Check out this simple guide to choosing colours for a brand. Note a brand’s colour can be different to what you see in its actual logo, for example the Tiffany & Co.’s infamous colour green-blue of it’s packaging isn’t used in the logo itself.

When choosing colours for your brand, put aside your own colour preferences and delve in to the psychology of colour and consider how you want people to feel.

The use of colour in branding is changing, brands are becoming less afraid of adding layers of colour, multiple colours and less controlling over exact colours. Corporate colour palettes were limited to one and two colours due to the cost of adding colour plates and inks to the printing press. It is difficult to control how colours will appear with colour monitors varying greatly and digital printing that skips what used to be essential steps to proof and match colours.

Where once colour screamed at you through advertising and marketing, I like to think, people are becoming more sophisticated and design savvy and seeking more authentic use of colour. For me nature and art are the most powerful sources of inspiration for colour and the fastest way to touch and move people.

Lets get clear about this

January is a good time to clear the mist from the mirror and get clear about who you are and why you’re in business.

For many business owners and entrepreneurial types, the division between life and work is blurry. Work can be central to a person’s life and identity and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. In fact this could be the very secret to unlock your brand’s success.

When you throw your heart and soul into your business and brand – you will naturally gain momentum.

Have a strong sense of identity
So who are you – personally and in your business? What makes you tick? What are your greatest strengths and gifts? Think about what you have to offer from your customers’ point of view. Try to understand how your customers see you and how you make them feel. The emotional benefits are the most powerful factors that drive your customers to embrace your brand and gives them reason to buy from you.

A clear sense of purpose
What gets you out of bed in the morning? What is the passion and purpose behind your business and brand? Why are you doing what you’re doing? Finding your purpose is the key to your brand’s identity. It is there. It may just take some time and focused attention to tease it out. When you see it there in front of you,  you will say “aha of course”. That’s your story,  it’s the perfect source of energy that drives a charismatic brand.

Articulate your identity and purpose
Now comes the fun part. You’re clear about your identity and purpose, you now need to find a way to clearly articulate these attributes to (what we hope is) a hungry audience in need of what you have to offer.

Once you’re clear about who you are, everything else falls into place. Your identity is the heart and soul of who you are and your life works – it is the reason you do what you do.

PHOTO: Dorian Leigh by Milton Greene 1950 via Pinterest

Love and Vitality in a Bottle

Sometimes you manage to feel all lit up with divine feminine power and beauty that radiates from inside out. It’s kind of like you’re in the flow – you’ve got your mojo. Brimming with light and confidence. If only you could bottle that stuff. If only you could stay in that flow state most of the time. The benefits to your business would be breathtaking. I know you need the full spectrum of highs and lows in life. But why would you not choose to be full of love and gratitude and possibilities as much as you possibly can?It’s just a feeling of course and it shows. It radiates from you and people want what you have, it’s infectious and it is pure magnetism. But it doesn’t last.

So much of who you are personally, overflows into your business. How do you stay in that flow state when you’re troubled by problems and challenges? When you’re in the trenches.

Climb out, take a deep breath, get present. Refill yourself and dance out of that negative mind. Disrupt those fear-laden thoughts and get yourself back into that sexy realm of love and light; that place where you get things done, where anything is possible – where you’re unstoppable.

  • Put music on. Dance. Sing.
  • Get your feet out in the dirt. Literally. Get amongst nature. Lie on the grass. Watch the clouds or the trees.
  • Call someone or better still, meet up with that kind of someone you can have a great conversations with.
  • Pick up your cat and tune in to it’s purr (that works for me every time).
  • Play. Walk into a toyshop. Play a game.
  • Get amongst art, or better still create art. With your left hand (or the opposite hand to what you usually use).
  • Do something physical: walk, run, swim in the ocean, ride your bike. Dance around wildly.
  • Get yourself near flowing water: water the garden, sit beside a river, the crashing surf or lapping lake – or if that’s not possible, jump under the shower.
What you don’t have time for this? Of course you do. That’s just your fear-filled ego stopping you. The truth is – when you get into that love-filled flow state – you can move mountains. You get so much more done in less time.

Soulful Branding HQ

We are almost jumping out of our skin with excitement waiting for the final nod.

And when we get it – we will be moving into our new studio in Bangalow.

The old hardware in Bangalow has been gutted out and renovated into a huddle of gorgeous artists studios – and we’ve got one of them!
We have lots of ideas for our humble new studio space. Kymba artworks will be on walls of the front studio where I will also be conducting Branding Therapy Sessions.

The reality is though: my designer, Nia, and I will mostly be squirrelled away in the back room glued to large Apple Monitors with music channeling laser focus through head-sets as we design away. Most of work is churning out (with lots of love and passion of course) graphic design print and web projects for our clients.

The Branding Therapy and Strategy sessions I now run are fast growing in popularity. I’m spending more and more time working with entrepreneurs, co-creating new brands and reinvigorating established brands. I love this work. Infact I’m even writing a book about it!

Watch this space blossom!

Put your sunnies on and step out into the bright light

When you’re on path with your message: the content you create to get your message out there seems to take no time at all. The post you write, the illustration you create, the photo you take, the article or video you produce, seems to take the opposite of time. It doesn’t TAKE time, it GIVES time as it lights you up and ignites you and energises you to do so much more in your day.

This is a strange phenomenon that must be a special law of nature. And yet why don’t we get on with it and create the very things that energise us most? It’s not enough to ‘know’, that if we go for a walk it will clear our head and energise us. We know it, but do we actually… do it?

For me, I have been flailing around for a while now, wanting to create energy around my vision that is Soulful Branding. I have been creating workshops and programs and products, but now I’m starting to see the light.  What is really going to make a difference for me, is to step out of shadows into the LIGHT and share this stuff with YOU. Give you a clearing to stop for a moment, to get a breather from the day-to-day challenges of business and get soulful about your business. 

Soulful Branding has a way of getting you to step back to see the bigger picture. Get perspective so you can see what’s really important: you may even get a glimpse of the impact you have on peoples’ lives (not to mention your own). 

Come on this journey with me, put your sunnies on – we are about to step out into some BLINDING LIGHT.

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