Brand Resolutions: Simple Steps to a Healthier, Happier Brand | Faye Brown | Skillshare

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Brand Resolutions: Simple Steps to a Healthier, Happier Brand

teacher avatar Faye Brown, Faye Brown Designs

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      Introduction to class


    • 3.

      Brand Audit introduction


    • 4.

      Brand Audit process


    • 5.

      Your Next Steps


    • 6.

      Personal Goals


    • 7.

      The Big Dream


    • 8.

      Setting your Resolutions


    • 9.

      Last thoughts


    • 10.

      BONUS VIDEO: Your Word of the Year


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About This Class

Start the new year off with showing your business and brand some well deserved attention, and set your brand some new year resolutions.

All successful businesses carry out regular brand audits, where they analyse and review their brand offering. We will work through some simple steps reviewing each area of your brand before setting some achievable realistic goals for the upcoming year. From looking into your target market, your brand messaging, your pricing and sales, your marketing and offering - by the end of this class you will have clear steps to take to improve each element of your business and reach your ultimate goals. 

There will be a couple of other fun exercises along the way to keep your business ideas fresh and your brain sane. 

Meet Your Teacher

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Faye Brown

Faye Brown Designs

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Hey Everyone! Thank you for checking out my classes here on Skillshare. I’m a designer and animator living in the English countryside with my young family. After completing a Graphic Design degree in Bournemouth, I started my career working in London in motion graphics designing and art directing title sequences for TV and film. 10 years later I decided it was time to go freelance, shortly before we started our family. 

These days I work on a variety of projects focusing on my passions of typography and branding. Following the success of my first Skillshare class - The Art of Typography I’ve created a range of classes all aimed to help you guys in different areas of design, typography, branding, creativity, photography and freelancin... See full profile

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1. Preview: Happy New Year, everyone. Welcome to this class, the brand new resolution, simple steps to a healthier, happier brand. I'll quickly introduce myself. My name is Faye Brown and I'm a graphic designer, an animator based in the UK. I've got quite a few classes on Skillshare now on subjects such as typography, creativity, and branding. This class is called brand new resolution, and we will be giving your brand a little bit of love and attention. Now, many of us at this time of year, use this time as a bit of a period of reflection, looking back at the past 12 months and thinking about where we'd like to be in the next 12 months and beyond. We mostly think about this on a very personal level. We've common resolutions like getting fitter, quitting something, learning something new, traveling more, be happier, find love. I could go on. But what happens if we apply these same ideas to our businesses? Maybe we should stop doing something that isn't moving our business forward or maybe we need to learn something new to push another side of our business on. Perhaps our brands need a little more love from clients and customers. I'd love you to join me in this class, and create your brand New Year resolutions. 2. Introduction to class: Take a moment to think about what New Year resolutions you've made in the past and did you succeed. Also, is there a pattern to your resolutions, are they the same each year? My resolutions tend to be most successful in the first month of setting myself a goal, and I don't think I'm alone in this. Research from the University of Scranton shows only eight percent of people keep to their New Year's resolutions. Where do we go wrong? According to Forbes, people are most likely to succeed in their resolutions if they A, keep it simple, and B, don't make an overwhelming, almost impossible task. In this class, we are going to focus on your brand and your business, and give it a little bit of a boost and a refresh, setting achievable milestones along the way. Try to approach this with a similar passion you would as if you were setting yourself a personal resolution. We will start with a brand audit, where we will look at each area of your business and analyze what has and what has not worked for you recently, and then we will create a resolution or next step for each area. There will also be some fun creative exercises to mix up throughout the year, whenever you feel you need a little bit more energy about your brand. In the first video, we will start the brand audit. You can either download the PDF file and work along with that in the class resources, or make notes in a dedicated notebook or sketchbook, whatever you feel most happy with. Let's do this. 3. Brand Audit introduction: We all need a little half check sometimes, and so does your business. Many top companies do a brand audit annually. Sometimes our brand values or our target market or our brand offering changes or adapts. We need to keep on top of that and move our brand on accordingly. Maybe you aren't happy with the direction you're going in lately, perhaps you are picking up a lot of work that you don't really want to be involved with, but feel a little bit trapped because it's paying the bills. Maybe your visual identity looked great five years ago, but your business has moved on. It doesn't really reflect your values as well as it used to. So let's go through this brand audit together. Be honest as you can, and if a question doesn't really apply to your business, then move on. We're going to break this down into key areas for your business. It can be a little bit overwhelming trying to think of all aspects of your business at once. So tackling each area can help keep you focused. What we want to achieve from this is the following. Do you know your target market? Knowing your target market is the key to any business and sometimes we might find that our target market and key audience shifts a little. Maybe that's just organically or maybe intentionally. Does your current brand messaging still work for you? This is in terms of the way you communicate with clients and customers, and the way you're seeing through your official brand. Is your pricing working for you and are you getting the sales? We will look at what is and what is not working for you right now. Are your current marketing strategies working for you? So it's time to look at your statistics. Are your products and services still relevant? We will take some time to look at what you offer and if people are buying. Throughout this class, we've a lot of questions to answer and you might need some reflection time. I'd advise you to watch the class free once and then come back to each section. Alternatively, if you prefer to get straight into it, print out the PDF audit doc, and pause the video as you fill it in. So let's start with some general questions before delving into each area. 4. Brand Audit process: General overview. Over the past 12 months, what area of your brand is thriving? What are you loving about your work right now? Is it client relationships, interactions on social media? Are you getting some great publicity, whatever you're feeling really great about right now, right this time. Then are there any areas of your brand in business that you aren't happy with? Maybe your website or logo needs refreshing. Are you doing work that you are not actually that keen on? Are you traveling more than you'd like? Then the final question is, what big change would you like to see in the next 12 months? If you can fast forward 12 months, what aspect of your business would you like to see change the most? Maybe it's a little bit of a different direction of work, more clients, more sales, etc. Now, we're going to look at each area in more detail but I want you to have in mind the answers that you've thought about for these first questions. Starting with your target market. On each page of the brand audit you will see I've titled page and then underneath are a series of questions to consider answering. You don't need to answer all of them. They're just prompts for us thinking about each section. At the bottom of each page, you'll see a box titled next steps. Don't worry about this for now, we will come back to this as these will form your brand resolutions. Let's make a start on thinking about your target market. Describe your target market. Does your brand communication reflect your target market? In other words, is the language you use relevant to them? Do you speak to them in the right way? Does your visual brand, including your logo, appeal to your target market? If you struggle with knowing who your target market is, you might want to consider taking another class of mine. It's a short class, but really goes into detail on how to figure out who your target market and key audience is. Knowing that, is key to a successful business. You need to know where to promote your products, your price point, their interests and hobbies. You got to really get to know these people. Now, let's move on to your brand messaging. We're going to break this down into two areas. Firstly, your written and verbal messaging. Secondly, your visual brand. Let's call the first one communication. I want you to look back at a few written or verbal exchanges you've had in the past year. Maybe it's a really successful social media post that got a lot of interactional sales, or maybe it's a great meeting you had or an email that resulted in something good for your business. Also look back at unsuccessful social media posts or verbal conversations. Now, just try to analyze what made your successful exchanges or communications just stop. What language did you use? Were you asking questions about other people? Were you sharing knowledge and experience? The easiest way to do this is probably looking at your social media accounts as there was a record so it's easier to look back. That the lessons you learn from that can help you in all areas of communication. Think about the tone of voice you used and what content you shared was most popular. Did it get a lot of likes and shares? This can also help you figure out a social media strategy for the next year. You might like to do a weekly schedule of social media posts and plan out what posts to share on what day and at what time. But please do take note of what hasn't worked for you. We can all learn from that. Maybe you'll find a pattern that some types of posts just didn't seem to appeal to your following, or maybe you spoke to someone in a different way than you normally would and it didn't work out. I'm a fun believer in being true to yourself but I'm sure we've all been guilty at one point of trying to impress a new client or customer and stepping outside our usual personality, which makes up our brand personality most of the time. Also think about your relationships with clients. Which ones need work? Which ones seem most natural? Maybe you sell items that don't have clients as such, but customers. Are there certain customers who are regulars? What makes them come back? Ask them if you have a great relationship with them and get some valuable feedback. Now let's look at your visual brand. Your visual brand is all the elements of your brand and business that people see. First up is usually your logo. This will become the mark people come to recognize your brand by. You will probably have lots of other elements to your visual brand like website, business cards, packaging possibly, your actual products, but also you become part of the visual brand, how you present yourself. Let's say you run a skateboarding company, the way you dress will reflect your brand communications, for example. Take some time looking at all aspects of your visual brand. Does your logo and visual still reflect your brand? Maybe something needs a refresh or complete redesign. Don't be afraid to ask some of your trusted clients what they think about your visual brand. Maybe Instagram is a big part of your business. When you look back at your feed, do all the images communicate your brand messaging correctly? Will they appeal to your target market? If you aren't really sure where to start, make a mood board of some of the visual parts of your brand and see if they look like a coherent family. Maybe you will spot an area which needs improvement. Make some notes in this section and spend a little bit of time on it. I will use my business, Miss Printables as examples throughout this class. Just doing a quick mood board like this from miss printables which includes my Etsy shop front, my other website, a flyer I had printed, some photography, and some promo post, highlights to me that most of my visual material looks like part of the same family. I tried to shake it up a little with a Christmas promo on Facebook adding in some other props. If anything, it looks a little disjointed to the rest. But that doesn't necessarily mean it's wrong. Maybe you'll do a similar mood board and think there's a new direction you want to take something in terms of your visual brand. Also, if you're a designer, illustrator or artist, review your portfolio sites. Maybe there was a style that you had a few years back that you aren't so keen on now. Maybe consider taking those examples of your work off of your portfolios, sometimes less is more. We are now going to move onto pricing and sales. It's vital to have a little check in from time to time to see what is not working for you financially. Some of you will sell products and others of you will sell services. Some of you might sell a little bit of both. Let's look at products first and think about those that sell really well. Which one is your best sellers? If my shop, my most popular items are the grandparents house rules print, food packaging, and my comic book digital scrap paper. Then think about those that don't sell. Well, I designed this range of iconic monogram posters for kids bedrooms. I thought they would be really popular, but they haven't proved to be. Just by taking some time to think about this, I can start thinking about what my next steps will be. I will finalized this later but I could work on designing more food packaging and making more of the comic book paper designs into some other products for example. With the monogram prints, I could either give up on them or look into this more and realize that they actually get very little views. Maybe I need to work on my keywords or try to publicize them more. I still believe they could be a popular product and think they are a fair price. If you have an item, say on an online shop that gets lots of views but not comparable sales, maybe it's time to think about the pricing. Can you experiment for one month to see if lowering the price helps? Can you afford to lower the price? Alternatively, sometimes the opposite works and highering the price can make it seem more desirable to people. Do the experiment. Maybe you don't sell online, but at craft fairs and the same logic applies. What sells well? What products don't sell? That maybe they get a lot of interest until they ask the price. If a product sells well, can you develop it into other similar products and create a range? Use the same approach too if you sell a product like classes online. Online classes can be an odd one to work out. There is a successful mentors who sell classes for $2,000 and people sign up. There are others who sell for $10 and don't get that many sales. Finding your price point is tricky business. If you're offering a class that's expensive, you will be expected to have a lot of one-to-one contact with the students, maybe a personal phone call or Google Hangout. Figuring out where you fit in price wise is hard. But basically, if something isn't working, adapt, experiment, and make some changes. Now let's think about those of you who sell a service or talent like designers, illustrators, artist, coders, health and fitness professionals. How do you charge? Do you have a daily rate or an hourly rate or do you have fixed prices for certain services like say designing a logo? Do you call on jobs but then don't win them because of your pricing? Do you ask for feedback as to why you didn't get a job for instance? Or maybe you get every single job you quote for, which is great on one hand, but could you then be upping your prices a little? Take stock of what is working for you and what's not right now. I've got a whole class dedicated to this subject called The Freelancing Guide Managing Your Finances. In that class, we talk about this all in a lot more depth. But for the purposes of this exercise, I really want you to just take stock, review your year and start to think about what goals you might want to start setting yourself and how you can go about achieving them. Which brings us on nicely to marketing. It's not everyone's favorite part of running a business, but we all have to do it to some degree. Looking back on my sales, my Etsy shop, I know there are certain products that deal with marketing more, for example. In terms of my design business, I would love to be working on more logos and branding jobs this year. So I need to promote myself more in that area. But before we think too much about what we plan to do next year, let's look back on what worked for you and what didn't last year, for instance. Let's think about questions you might want to ask yourself about your marketing strategy. Are you on social media and does it work for you? What posts are getting the most engagement? Can you see where your internet click throughs are coming from? Etsy has a good back-end system to tell us our stats and where our views have come from for instance. Do you market your services elsewhere? Local magazines, national magazines, blogs, etc. Keep track of those. Have they been successful or have they not? I printed some flyers to advertise locally for my Miss printable shop. On the back of the flyer, I included a few different discount codes so I could see which ones proves successful. As it happened, they didn't prove a successful marketing tool at all for me. That's not to say I might try it again some time, but maybe I will pinpoint some different places to leave them. Also, sometimes you might look at something as a failure in terms of financial profit. I had a stall at my son's primary school, Christmas fair the other year and I hardly made any money, but I did get a lot people looking. Since then, I've had quite a lot of parents ask me to create personalized prints for friends and family over the year. In that sense, it was a successful marketing opportunity. Local people now know me and know what I can do. Then the final section we need to look at is your offering. This would be any products you sell or services that you offer. In this section, fill in everything that you currently offer your clients and your customers. From a product's angle, section of inter group. Maybe it's handbags, hair accessories, and jewelry. Or for me it would be children printable activities, all our personalized prints, etc. In terms of services list everything you offer for the design side of my business, this would be branding and logo design, illustration, photography, animation. Listing everything you currently offer like this can help you take stock. Is there an element of business you'd like to work more on and step back from one of the other aspects for example? You can also figure out if one area is proving more successful for you, so maybe you'd like to market that more. Once you've filled this in, you will have completed the first part of your brand audit. You've looked at each section of your business and given it a little review, I've also included a blank page in the PDF document. In case there is another area of your business relevant to you that you'd like to look at in more depth and you can print that as many times as necessary. In the next video, we will look at setting those next steps which will become your resolutions for the upcoming year. 5. Your Next Steps: By filling in the brand audit, you should now have a good idea of what is and what is not working for you and your business at the moment. So it's time to start writing our next steps for each category. To keep this achievable and not too daunting, I'd recommend setting one to three clear, concise next steps for each area of your business. Let's start with your target market. What area of this do you need to work on more? There will start to be some crossover now at other sections. For example, I'm pretty clear on my target market from his principles, but I haven't marketed the shock to them well enough yet. So I need to do more research into this and focus my marketing. For the design side of my business, I really want more branding work this year. So I need to take some next steps on making that happen and working out the target market for those that might need help with their branding and visual identity. This is a pretty big step for me. You might find you don't have a next step for some sections. Also, I should probably just add, that if you do have a few different things going on in your work life. So I've got the Miss Printable shop. I also have the design side of my business. I do keep these separate. For me, writing a brand audit, I would kind of separate the two. So let's move on to brand messaging communication. What was highlighted to you in your review? For me, I need to be much more consistent in my social media strategy and I need to work on a newsletter this year for Miss Printables. So two pretty clear goals for me. Visual brand, what needs work here? I'm pretty sure there will be something. I need to update my Miss Printables website, also my design website. I'd also like to start a Miss Printables on Instagram. By now, you're probably getting a good idea of what your next steps might be for each area. So finish filling them in and we will come back to this a little bit later. We're now going to take a little break from this and set some personal goals for your business that are a bit more about personal growth and enjoyment. 6. Personal Goals: Personal goals, quite often, we can get consumed with our lives and businesses, and we feel a little like it's groundhog day. Whenever you start to feel like this, it's time to shake things up a little. Just by adding a few fun tasks into our daily lives, we can learn more, feel more relaxed, and have a sense of achieving something different from the norm. Last year, I set myself a few personal business-related goals that was every month, read one book, watch at least one Ted Talk or something similar, and take at least one online class. This could literally be a quick Skillshare class on something I'd never explored before. Opening our minds to new things is a great catalyst for creativity and energy. These three things are achievable and easy to complete. Had I said, read a book every week, I probably wouldn't have succeeded. Others of you would find it very easy to read book a week. Try setting yourself some similar goals, although personal and might not relate directly to your business day, are more career focused. The books I've read were ones that could relate to work for instance. You can have a go at selecting two or three mini challenges from this list provided in the pack, or maybe set your own and mix up every few months. Let us know how you get on in the project gallery, maybe you'd like to review a book that you read or share one of your 30-day challenges. Maybe you'd like to try and new technique related to what you do, whether it's slightly different Illustration style or a new photography trick. Adding meditation or walking into your daily activity might not seem like it's related to work, but by clearing our head from time to time, we can often get the best ideas at the least expected times. Most importantly, have a little bit of fun with this, and whenever you feel you need to inject a bit of fun back into your work life, then pick one of these to do or pick one of your own. 7. The Big Dream: The big dream. Before we head back over and start filling out our resolutions, I wanted to take some time to think about the bigger picture. What is your dream? Where would you like to be in say, five years time? This class is mostly about setting ourselves achievable short-term goals in the next 12 months. Having that big dream in mind throughout will help you get there. Now, I can't tell you what your big dream is. Most of you probably have some idea of where you would like to see yourselves two five or 10 years time. Maybe it's to own your own shop or give a day job, maybe you want to live off passive income, maybe you would like to run a big global business employing hundreds of people, maybe you want to travel with your work and live and work remotely, maybe you want a job that fits in with your family more. Whatever your end game is now, and it's a good time to start having that goal in mind. It can help you work backwards and figure out the smallest steps you need to get to that big dream. So let's take a look at the page from your PDF title "The big dream. This rather simplistic graphic, ideally, you would create something similar to this but in your own style whether it's just a quick doodle and illustration of something on a big A1 board that you keep in your work area. I want you to imagine a ladder with a few steps to reach the top. At the top of the ladder, write down the big dream way you'd love to get to in a five years' time. It's important not to see the ladder as a hurdle or hard work. Think back to being a kid. There was nothing a kid like more than climbing up ladders and reaching the top. Lattice can be fun so now work backwards from the dream scenario. Some of you might find it easier to start with the very first steps you'll need to take to reach your dream others might find it easier to work backwards and in the ladder set your time-frame whether that's two five or 10 years. So if it's a 10-year goal, in the bottom box, you'll write down everything you'd like to achieve in years one and two. The next would be what you'd like to happen in years three and four and you can adapt this overtime. It's not set in stone. It's just useful to get a few markers in place and this can also help you in setting your resolutions for the upcoming 12 months. Share your lattice in the project gallery if you wish and if you don't like the ladder approach, try a target design instead. It's a little tricky to make this work as part of the PDF page size but I've included an example. Rather than working up, you are working into a target with each color being a period of time. This would probably work better on a square canvas. So now let's get those resolutions for this year written. 8. Setting your Resolutions: Setting your resolutions. Now, we're going to try and start to order your next steps a little bit. For example, if you decide that you need a new visual identity, you can't redesign a website before you have the design in place or maybe it's a new logo. Or if you want to design a new flyer but you want to include a photo of yourself on it, you might need to get that photo taken first. Others might be more obvious to you that you really want to get A done before B. On the first resolution page, round 1, write down all those that either can be done straight away or need to be done straight away. You can use a color coding for each section of your business if that helps. I don't really advise you to have a page of 18 resolutions, by the way, but you might find that you have three in one section and one in a few of the others. Ideally, you'd probably have a list of about 10. Some might be quite small jobs, some might be big. Once that's filled in, move on to round 2 of your resolutions where you can write down the second step to each area. Once you have this in place, you can start creating a workable schedule to action each resolution. Again, use the color-coded calendar if that makes it easier. Fill in the month at the start and depending on when you start this project. You don't need to fill in each and every box for each month. That would probably be a little bit too much. Try to prioritize and keep it realistic. In fact, aim for just above realistic if you can. That will help push you a little harder to achieve these steps that your brand of business needs. This is what the first six months of the year looks like for me with my mass printable shop. As you can see, I haven't filled out each section for each month. You may then wish to break down each month into actual days and create a schedule for each month, whatever will work for you best. At the end of each month, check in with this, have you achieved it all? Does the next month need to be juggled about a little? Use a monthly manifesto page or create your own pin up in front of wherever you work. Reading every day will help you achieve these goals. Remember the key to fulfilling your resolutions are to keep it simple and don't make it an overwhelming almost impossible task. By breaking it down into sections and time frames like we have in this class, I'm hoping everything seems a little bit more achievable. Most of us are in the same boat. I have things I'd like to do with different areas of my business and it's hard to know which one to focus on first. So I'm doing this with you guys. I'll be checking in regularly and would love to see your progress in the project gallery and we can all be accountable for each other. 9. Last thoughts: I always find doing closing videos for my classes a little bit odd as it's not the end. This is the beginning of rarely turning around your brand and your business. If you'd like to keep in touch, so please join my Facebook group dedicated to my Skillshare students. In this group, we have weekly discussions, share interesting posts we all might find helpful, and get to know each other a little bit more. You can also use this group to share your resolutions with us if you wish and keep us up to date with how you're getting on. I, also, really encourage you to share your progress in the project gallery. I try to comment on every single one of my students' projects. So photograph your field in pages and let's get to know you all a little bit better. Please do check out some of my other Skillshare classes. There are some which go into areas of branding your business in a lot more detail. There are also some fun, typography, and creativity classes. So I wish you all a great year. Even if you take this class later in the year, always is a good time to make a change or show your business a little bit of attention. I hope you found this course helpful and I can't wait to hear how you get on. Bye. 10. BONUS VIDEO: Your Word of the Year: Your one word for the year. I've recently read about this concept of coming up with a word for the year. I'm not sure if she invented it, but Susanna Conway is a big advocate of this idea, so please do check her out. Basically rather than setting herself resolutions which she never stuck too, she chooses a word for a year to be inspired by. As she says, "A word can be embraced as a mantra, a meditation, a reminder, a promise. A word can be interpreted in different ways. A word can't be broken. It feels gentler somehow." I really love this idea, whilst in our business life, I feel we need to be specific. I think the idea of one word to help guide us or inspire us can be a really useful exercise. Maybe you choose your word based on a more personal level, or maybe it's more business-related. Maybe it's actually a crossover. Has a word kept appearing throughout this class which could be your word? I'll give you some examples in a moment, but I think if a word is really speaking to you, then go with that. Don't be swayed by some of the words that I'm about to share. Print out your word, stick it up in a frame and always keep it at the forefront of your mind. Here's some potential words if you are really stuck; confident, open, free, accomplished, creative, brave, love, alive, forgiving, calm, adventurous, more, generous, sincere, content, strong, powerful, wholesome, healthy, wonder, tenacious, graceful, enlightened. Hopefully you get the idea. My word is adventure. I keep coming back to this word on a personal and business level. I'd like to try some new ideas with live workshops and that idea is based on going on a journey, on an adventure. But personally, it's also big thing for me to step out of the online teaching world and go face to face. For me it will be going on an adventure. I also love exploring new places and going on many adventures in a more literal sense so this is a good word for me to share. I would love it if you're happy to share your word in the Skillshare project gallery and Facebook group and maybe tell us a little bit of a meaning behind it. There's no page in your brand audit for this. So have a go at creating a design that really speaks to you and pin your word up somewhere. We've come to the end of this class, but really it's just the beginning now, the beginning of an exciting new decade. I hope this class has helped you feel excited and energized for the next stage in your businesses and careers.