Branding Your Creative Business: Define Your Brand | Faye Brown | Skillshare

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Branding Your Creative Business: Define Your Brand

teacher avatar Faye Brown, Faye Brown Designs

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

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.

      Defining your business


    • 3.

      Your perfect customer or client


    • 4.

      The importance of branding


    • 5.

      Your brand name


    • 6.

      The message and the mark - your brand mission statement


    • 7.

      The message and the mark - writing your logo design brief


    • 8.

      Next steps


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About This Class

The main objectives to this course will be to define your business and brand. By the end of the course you will have a clear idea of your target market and who, exactly, you should be aiming your products at. You will have a clear and concise brand mission statement putting you in a good position to either design your own logo or brief a graphic designer.

Whilst branding in such an important part of running a successful company we will approach it in a fun and engaging way!

This class will be aimed at people running creative businesses - such as photographers, craft makers, pattern designers, bakers - people who are talented in their field but feel overwhelmed by branding.

Meet Your Teacher

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Faye Brown

Faye Brown Designs

Top Teacher


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. Introduction: Hello and welcome to part 1 of Branding your Creative Business, Defining your Business, Brand, and Target Market. Thank you for joining this course. We're going to cover lots, but before we delve into what the course will cover, I'll briefly introduce myself. My name is Faye Brown and I'm a graphic designer and animator from the UK. Some of you may know me from my previous Skillshare course, The Art of Typography. I had such a great experience with that course and interacting with the students. So I'm really excited to be here again in the class. After graduating from a graphic design degree, I found a job design in DVD menus and creating title sequences for various TV programs. A lot of those projects involve designing logos too, which has always been a big passion of mine. In 2010, I went freelance and was faced with designing my own logo. Trust me, I know how difficult this can be even as a graphic designer. I had a logo that I had put together for my animation work, but my work was developing into other areas like greeting cards and service patterns. The old logo wasn't really relevant to where I was heading. After working for a lot of these exercises that we will be doing in this course, I've really focused on what my brand image and message was all about, as well as designing the new logo. Now the logo is seen on all my social media accounts, stationary invoices whose marks is on my designs and it's also on the back of my greeting cards and postcards. I'm nicely creating a little bit of brand recognition, just getting your logo name out there really. I've also set up a sideline on an Etsy shop which needed branding as well called Miss Printables and I'll talk you through this more in the course and why I decided to keep the two elements, Miss Printables and Faye Brown design, separate. I've designed logos for singers, fitness instructors, few companies, techie companies, hair salons, visual effects companies, and even a company that sells toilet parts. I love branded projects big time. But the hardest job is to brand yourself for your own business. Branding is so much more than the logo. Your brand is everything from your tone of voice, your product range, your personality, even the clothes you wear to a meeting. It's all about how your customer relates to you and your brand, and how you make them feel. In today's world where brands can go global very quickly, it's even more important to get it right. I've met so many talented people from illustrators, pattern designers, photographers, painters, to handmade craft, to dressmakers, and cap makers who are all extremely talented in their specialized fields. Yet when it comes to designing their own logo or creating their brand, I've often met with this big fat question mark and not really sure where start. Branding yourself is one of the toughest jobs because it's just so personal. But this series of classes is going to take you step-by-step through the process to brand your business. This part, part 1, is all about defining your brand and business and part 2, is all about designing your logo and visual identity and part 3, we will talk about the many ways to get your brand out there in the world recognized. Let's now take a closer look at what we will cover in part 1. We will begin right under the skin of your business with the following lessons: defining your business, who you are, what you do, where you sell, and how you sell, your perfect customer or client, and you will have a clear idea of who exactly your target market or your audience is, after this lesson, the importance of branding and brand questionnaire, this will help you get some clarity on what your business is and who you are all about, your brand name, we will talk about how important your brand name is and some ideas on how to choose one if you're really stuck, the message and the mark, finally, we will write a brand mission statement and ethos along with a brief for your logo design and visual branding. If any of that sounds a little bit daunting, don't worry, this is going to be fun, we will use various techniques and media to get right under the skin of you and your business. We will be creating new boards, brainstorming some mind dumps, answering some very important questions, and even having fun with photography. We're creative people, so we're going to get creative. What materials will you need? You'll need a notebook. Dedicate this solely to your business, you can use it as your business develops and use it as a record. Your favorite pen or pencil. A camera doesn't need to be anything high-tech, smartphone camera is perfect. If you have a Pinterest account, then brilliant. If you don't, maybe sign up as is going to be a really good tool, and that's it. We are almost ready even though the course is short, it's packed with information. You might want to watch it through in one go and then come back to spend some more time on each section. Do try to use the project gallery on Skillshare as I'll be checking in and commenting when I can. I'd really encourage you to interact with the other students. I've made some great friends through online courses and we've all ended up helping each other out in various ways. Let's start with our first lesson on Defining your Business. 2. Defining your business: Defining your business. We need to define exactly what your business is, what it creates, and what it stands for, and also what you want to achieve from your business. Maybe it's making a living from it, maybe it's to fulfill a creative desire, or maybe you want to become the next big thing. How you position yourself in your field is a vital stage to setting up your business. Let's start with the first important question. Are you running a business or a hobby? Do you want to make money, ultimately a living out of this, or maybe you simply love your craft and making money from it is not your end game? Ideally, we all probably want to sit in this magic overlap space, which is in between. That's where you have to put on your business hat and say, ''I want to make money doing what I love, without losing my passion for it.'' You have to start equating time to money earned. For instance, I've got a friend who makes the most amazing handmade Christian covers and she made one for my son. I said, ''You should sell these.'' But if she actually charged an hourly rate, the cover would cost about $200, so that's probably not a viable business. When you set out to sell your products or skills, you need to have a clear idea of your pricing. You probably got a good idea of the time you spent on it and the cost of materials. But now it's a useful exercise to do some research. Search for similar products or services and start making notes on the price range. Are you charging enough or too much, and what sets you apart? Let's say you're a photographer who specializes in children's parties. Check out your local competition, try to get along to some parent groups and do some market research. Would parents pay for this, and how much would they be willing to spend? Your price point plays a really big part of your brand. Research is key to a successful business. Maybe you have a niche market with not much competition. Let's say you found a niche in cross-shaped bras, you're convinced to clean up. Maybe there's not many shops on actually selling that. Does that mean you have a win or does that mean that no one wants that product? Equally, if there are 200 shops selling cross-shaped bras, how will you stand out? Think about your unique selling point. Why are you different, and why should your customers buy your product or service over someone else's? Let's go back to the kid's party photographer. What could set that person apart from the local competition? Maybe they could bring along props for the kids to dress up in, maybe they could make slide shows for the party. Always think about what you can do to make your customers life easier and more attracted to your services or your products. Time for our first exercise. We're going to do what I affectionately call a mind dump. One is, crop your notebooks and draw lines down the vertical and horizontal center on a double-page. In first square, write who in the middle, second, what, third, where, and fourth, how. In the first box, the who box, I want you to write down any words that describe you, and don't think too hard, any words that just come to mind. They don't just have to be words that describe your personality, but may be other elements of your life. Travel, lover, mom, dad, football coach, anything important to you. If you are doing this right now, maybe just pause the playback until you're finished. Now we move on to the what box. In here, I want you to write down what you do, the products you sell, the services you offer, maybe even worth scraping your style. At the end of this section, I'll talk you through a few examples for different businesses. But for now, I just want you to do a bit of a mind cleanse and write down anything that comes to mind. Maybe you're a bit confused at where to position yourself. Say you're an illustrator but you do wedding stationary, customized prints, notebooks, commissioned works from magazines. Just write it all down, and we will make sense of it all later. But I would say if you have two very separate businesses, say you make luxury soaps and you also paint pictures of dogs, there might not be much crossover between the two. Maybe either pick the business you really want to go forward with, the one you feel most passionate about, or try doing these exercises for each separately. Now let's move on to the where box. This is important. You need to know where you're planning on carrying out your business and services. If you're selling online, write down all the places online you plan to sell through. You're own website etc. You might also be selling at craft fairs or shops, so write them down too. If you're a photographer specializing in weddings, you'll probably be thinking more locally. Write down the places you're willing to travel to. Equally if you're a cake maker, write down your radius for delivery. Finally, we have the how box. There might be some crossover with where here. But I want you to try to focus on how you plan to attract customers to your business. Are you planning on advertising, press releases, word-of-mouth, flyers, anything you've done previously or planning on doing marketing-wise, write that down in this box. This exercise should help you do a complete mind dump of what you and your business is all about right now. Don't worry if it's all a bit confusing at this stage or maybe some of it seems irrelevant. But this is going to help you define your brand. If anyone has found this bit tricky, I'll now talk you briefly through some example mind dumps. I'll start with one I did for my own business, miss printables. This business is all about selling printable files online, mainly to families, as a lot of the designs are related to children. From printable food packaging to wall art. Let's start with who. At this stage, I hadn't decided upon a name, so I'm just writing anything down that's in my head. Some was more important than others here. I'm a mom and my kids have inspired this business hugely. So that becomes part of my story. My customers might relate to that. The fact that I'm generally happy and like making lists, probably has little interest any customers, but it might help me define my brand in some way, so there's no harm in writing it down. Moving on to what, what am I selling? Printables for the family is these of umbrella terms, all the other products really. Where, Etsy is main thing here, put that a bit bigger than the others. How. It doesn't matter what stage of your business you're at. This part is still a work in progress for me. It's a relatively new venture, so I keep coming back to this, but right now, this is where I'm at. We're now going to move on to a photographer who specializes in high-end wedding photography and his name is Peter Jensen. This might be a mind dump that his looks like and it's quite important now to look at some of these words. For the who section, he's got high-end and expensive. Now remember, none of your clients or customers ever have to see these mind dumps. If you're going to pitch yourself at that high-end of the market, it's quite important that you know that. Equally, if you're pitching yourself more budget end, your brand is going to have to speak that as well. You need to write all these things down even if you don't really feel too comfortable saying them. Obviously for him, where, is a very important area. He's going to travel within a 200-mile radius of New York City. I'm now going to show you one more from a real life case study. My friend Maho is a Colombian surface patent designer who's lived in Milan for eight years, and her business idea has come from her love of dogs and wanting to create stylish accessories for her own dog. She will start by creating cool colors, colors with patent designs on them. As we can see, she's laid out her mind dump a little differently and just do whatever works best for you. Some people like the spider web approach and some people like a bit more ordered. We can also see that she's been very thorough writing down lots of words. Now Maho's biggest problem is coming up with a name for her business. I think if you are having similar issues, writing down lots of words might end up helping with that dilemma because you might be able to draw something from those words which we will talk about in that lesson. Otherwise, I would advise to try and keep your mind dumps relatively simple and just write down the words that first come to mind, as they are probably the most important. Sometimes your mind dump might even seem unfinished. You can always come back to it and add to it or decide that maybe something isn't right for you anymore. It's a work in progress and can develop and change with your business. Now, before we go on to the next video, I want you to look back on your mind dump and highlight 5-8 words that really stick out. Just as Maho has done here. Make sure you include one from each box, and then a few others. These words are the words that will really define your business. These will help you come up with your brand mission statement later on. First part of this little project is almost done. Remember we are on skill share, so why not take a photo or scan in your mind dumps including your highlighted words and add them into the project section of this class. Maybe take a selfie like me so we can all see you. Don't be shy. Take a few minutes to introduce yourself and your businesses, say hello. I'll be checking in on your projects and commenting when I can. But I'd also like you to start building up dialogue between yourselves. Ask each other for feedback. It's a really unique opportunity you have here, so use it the best you can. In the next lesson, we're going to delve deeper into the all important target market and also figure out how your business will be improving their lives. 3. Your perfect customer or client: Your perfect customer or client. Almost all courses and books about running a business will advise you to make sure that your business idea is something that will enrich people's lives and give them something that they need or make them feel good about themselves. So how you pitch your products is very important. Why does Miss Smith need your knitted scarf more than the one she sees in the high street shop? This is where knowing your target market inside out will help. If you know your ideal customer, you'll be able to talk to them more directly and on their level. So we're going to create a personification of your perfect customer or client. There's no harm in doing two or three, for instance, you might sell jewelry to women but maybe their partners are also going to be buying your jewelry to give to them as presents. Whilst one, the women might be your target market, their partner might also be a target market that you want to reach out to. Here's my perfect customer for Mrs. Prindables. It's mainly aimed at females between the ages of 25 and 45 with young families. But I need to be more specific than just saying moms with children under 10 because that description is way too broad. I need to really think about what mom would be attracted to my products. So I'd write something like this. "Emma is in her mid thirties with two young children. She has a clean aesthetic style and likes to be organized. She encourages imaginative play with her children." You can go into this in much more depth and maybe even think about their income, leisure activities, education level, etc. No one ever has to see this, it's just a good idea to really know who your ideal customer would be. Then you can aim your brand to communicate and be attractive to them. So you talk to them like a friend, really, figure out their interests, what magazines they read, what websites they frequently visit and whether they want a bargain or whether the money is no concern. They might be the client that would buy a cushion cover for $200. Let's just take a few moments to close your eyes and dream up your perfect customer and then fill out these pointers. So notebooks should be ready. You might want to pause this lesson while you fill this in. Name, age, gender, job role, education, relationship status, number of children, pets, income, leisure activities, magazine, the books, blogs they read, favorite websites, music they listen to and any other thoughts. So let's go back to our case study of Maho's new dog accessory business. So Maho filled this in for three different perfect customers, and obviously she could say that her product was for dog lovers everywhere. But to target that market, she needed to be a little bit more specific. So she created three different profiles for people at different stages of their lives, and two of those we'll talk about. So one was a recent graduate that she called Emily, and she's in a well-paid corporate job with no big financial outgoings, and and a lot of disposable income, and she loved to pamper herself and her dog. A very different customer would be Charles in his fifties with two grown up children who have both moved out of the family home. He's always loved dogs and decided that he wanted a new child so he bought a dog. She went into this in much more depth, but this is brilliant as this will help her find different ways to reach these people. So Emily and Charles probably won't be reading the same magazines and they will be probably using the social media in very different ways. So this was a great exercise in figuring out that you might have different target markets, but still being quite specific within each range. So try this yourself with 1-3 perfect customers. Then I've got one more really fun exercise for you in this section. So firstly, get yourselves on Pinterest if you aren't already on there, and create a mood board of your perfect customer. Pinterest is pretty easy to pick up and do but if you'd rather make a physical mood board then why not do that instead using magazine cutouts and any physical items that you might want. I want you to find photos of your perfect customer, what they wear, the places they hang out, the music they listen to, the artwork they like, the food they eat. Why is this useful? Well, most of our creative businesses are probably based on something visual. A lot of you might get more from looking at pictures then a bunch of words written down. Now, let's take a look at a sample board I created for a Boho hat designer who plans decide on Etsy. We've got images of some really cool looking girls, who is their target market, and seeing places where they might hang out. Other items they might wear and artwork they might buy is really useful for understanding your customer. The other awesome thing about Pinterest is finding websites you never knew existed. So I'm looking through some of the pins and you might find a blog that would be perfect for your product or service. So you can start writing a list of places like this that would be useful to contact for when you come to marketing, or maybe there's a music festival close to your home which would be a great place to have a store. So you never know what doors might be opened with 10 minutes on Pinterest. We will talk more about publicity in part three of this series, but start making some notes now. Equally, you might find some images that might inspire a logo. We'll be talking more about mood boards in part two of this series of classes, but these painted rocks, for example, could be used as a basis for an awesome logo. Pinterest is quite addictive, I warn you, but it's also full of inspiration, so get pinned in. You should now be starting to get a really good idea of what your business is all about and who it is aimed at. If you have a pin board, why don't you print out your Pinterest board or take a photo of it and stick it up. Every time you're working on your business or your products, refer to this board and ask yourself, does this fit in with my customer and my brand? Then maybe after doing these exercises, you realize that you actually know somebody who pretty much fits your perfect customer right down to the tea. If so, take them out to dinner or take them out for coffee and pick their brains about how they see you and your company. It'd be really good if you could post your visual mood boards in the project gallery along with your paragraphs about your ideal customers. If there's anything you aren't sure of, ask questions and ask fellow students, and they might get to help you and point you in the right direction. So by now you probably have already answered a lot of these questions and whether that's in your head or scribbled down in your notebooks. Now we need to start collating all this info. In the next lesson we will be filling out the brand questionnaire, and this will be the document that you keep coming back to. Wherever you are at a stage where you're a little bit unsure about where to move on with your business, you can come back to this brand questionnaire for answers and for some inspiration. 4. The importance of branding: In this lesson we're going to talk about the importance of branding, and then we're going to move on to the brand questionnaire. By now you are probably starting to really think about how important the brand is, and your brand image. Most people subconsciously take in brands around them on a daily basis. They're not just going to sit there and think about how powerful the Nike logo is or how brilliant the Coca-Cola brand is, for example, but, subconsciously, they take in all these companies' brand messages daily from billboards, TV adverts, packaging, to the copyright in those used. Every element of these big companies are designed and produced with such thought and reason to make sure that they are reaching their customers in the right way, or potential new customers. Now, Nike and Coca-Cola are obviously mega brands. We don't have to start thinking about things on that scale. But what I really want you to do is just start thinking about all the brands that surround you every day. For one day, start making mental notes about products in places that you use. Small questions like, why did I pick that toothpaste over the one that was sat next to it on the shelf? To bigger questions like, why do some people simply have to have every single Apple product going? Your brand encompasses everything about how you present your business and how your customers relate to you. How do they feel when they buy your products or chat to you or receive your e-mail? When it's your business, it's very important to be authentic and real. Don't try and be something that you're not. You'll be sending people e-mails or meeting them at craft fares or shops, or if your photography, you'll be working very closely face-to-face. Don't present yourself as somebody that you aren't because people are just going to see free of that, and, also, will make your life a lot harder in the long run. Be natural and be yourself, and be honest. You might not appeal to everyone, but you will appeal to the right people, and that's very important for going forward with your brand. If your brain is beginning to feel a bit scattered and there is all this information going in, we're now going to try and collect that altogether and get some clarity, and fill out a brand questionnaire. In the course resources, you will find a PDF for you to fill out. Feel free to do this in your notebooks instead, if you prefer. You can always fill out the PDF later. I'm going to just go through all the questions with you briefly. First question, what do I sell? Try to write one statement of what you sell in four words or less. Most successful businesses keep this very simple. This will help your brand mission statement. If you sell jewelry, try to add a few adjectives to say what's special about your jewelry. For example, beautiful, handmade bespoke jewelry says more than just the word, jewelry. What is the price range of your products or services? Your cheapest item, and your most expensive. What three words best describe me? I'd go for talking about your personality here, unless your physical appearance has influenced your business in some way. What three words best describe my business? That's, hopefully, a bit of cross over here with the three words that best describe you and your products. Then, what three words best describe your style? Whether this is a visual style of your products or more about you. Maybe you make videos showing people how to bake the perfect cake, you might describe your presenting style here. Now, the previous three questions are also really good ones to ask family, friends, and existing customers. If you run your own business, you are, essentially, the brand. You'll be the one communicating with customers, so see if their answers are similar. If you are a partnership or a collective, do the same and see what qualities each person can bring to the business. Let's say you up-cycle old furniture. Friends might describe you as resourceful, creative, and intricate. You don't want a brand to say the opposite to that. These are key pointers to define your brand and how you write your product descriptions from how you communicate with people, and how you then go forward with your visual branding and logo. When I worked on my branding for Favor and Designs, I asked friends and clients how they would best describe me and my work. Now, I won't tell you the three words that I chose, but the overriding words that kept coming back from other people were: friendly, approachable, and professional. I think only one person said, cool, which may or may not have been one of the words I thought I was. But it's important to play to your strengths, and this is a really good way of finding them out. What are your favorite brands and why? Now, these don't have to relate to your business, particularly. Just write down two or three brands that you really like; shops you love to shop at or coffee shop you always go to. Now, think about why you like those brands and how do they make you feel. Thinking about brands you admire can help you start to think like a customer. Try to put yourself in your customer or client's shoes, and then answer the next question. What's your customers emotional response to your brand and the brand experience? I know this is a pretty deep question, but how do you want your customers to feel when they visit your website or your shop, or when they buy your products or use your services? Or when they get an e-mail or a newsletter from you, how do you want your customer to feel? Then, where do I currently sell my products or services? You might not sell them anywhere yet, so that's just fine. Where would I like to sell my products and services in the future? You could do this in a couple of stages. You could maybe think locally or smaller, and then have this major dream of where, ideally, in the future, your products might be stocked. Which is a good forerunner to the next question, which is, where do I see my business in one year, five years, and 10 years? This is a good indicator of where you're heading with your business. It's also good to work to some goals. It would be my dream to be living off passive income within the next 10 years, for example. So I should now be setting smaller goals to make that become a reality. A lot of creative people often have so many ideas they don't know how to focus, and end up doing bits of this and bits of that, and I'm guilty of that myself. But when you set out your goals quite clearly, you can keep checking in and making sure that what you're doing is helping you reach that goal. Take a little bit of time to fill out those ones so that they will need a little bit of thought. Who is my ideal customer or client? You should have already answered this from the previous lesson. Write it down here so we can just keep everything together. Finally, what is your brand name? The brand name, we haven't really spoke about this yet. A lot of you will already have a brand name, no doubt, and some won't. If you already have your name, then that's great. You've completed the branding questionnaire. This is going to be a huge help writing your brand mission statement. If the name is a big sticking point for you, the next lesson will help. Maybe you have a brand name but you're not 100 percent sure about it, watch the next lesson anyways, that might help you decide. Filling out this questionnaire will help you really start to define what your business is all about. I'd love to see some of your brand questionnaires or notes uploaded into the project gallery on Skillshare. Feel free to place photos of your filled out PDFs or your notebooks, if that's easier. Seeing the progress you take will help everyone leave comments, or maybe you'd like to ask fellow students for their thoughts on something. So please do share as much as you can in the project gallery. In the next video, we will delve deep into how to choose a great brand name. 5. Your brand name: Coming up with a good name for your business can cause a lot of headaches and take forever. This isn't ideal, as it can stop people launching their businesses in the first place. Whilst getting your name right is hugely important, you also want to get your products and name out there as soon as you can. So let's try to help you with some tricks for finding a great brand name. In this lesson, I'll be talking a lot about existing names people have chosen, along with pictures of their logos. I'm not going to talk too much about the logos yet, as we will move onto logos in the next class in this series. At the moment, just try to think about your name. Your first option is whether to use your own name or a more abstract to a descriptive name. When I set up as a freelance designer, I went under the name Faye Brown Designs because clients and colleagues knew my name. If they search for me on Google, this would obviously help. If you're already known in your industry by your name, and if that's relevant for your brand going forward, then that's probably a good indicator to use your name with or as part of your brand name. It might also be very important for you to use your own name. Designer Katy Clemmans, like the idea of putting her own name to her work. She said her designs are an expression of her tastes, so it seemed a good idea to use her own name. Another thing to bear in mind is, if you have a relatively common name when people are going to do a search for you, you might not come up very high up in the Google rankings. My husband has this problem being called Simon Brown. Another option would be to use a descriptive name. When I set up shop on Etsy selling downloadable printable items, I wanted a more relevant descriptive name and went with Miss Printables. No one I was selling to would know me as Faye Brown, whereas if they were searching for Printables on Etsy, maybe I'd show up. It's memorable and it's a bit of a play on words. Remember, depending on your business, you want your customer to have an emotional response to hearing your name. If your products are fun, try to make your name fit the personality of your products. If your products or services are more serious, your name needs to suit that as well. Another rich take is thinking about people or places that have influenced you or your business. Surface Pattern Designer and Illustrator, Wendy Flynn decided to call her company Doris & Fred after her grandparents. This is such a lovely idea and very personal. It also creates a story and people like to feel connected with a brand, so this is a great talking point. She even based the logo type on her grandma's handwriting. You could also think about pet names or favorite vacation spots. Elise Bourne chose the name Red Cabin Design after a favorite spot on her local river where there was a little old cabin tucked away in the woods. She's also very inspired by Scandinavian heritage, a nature that comes through in her work. Think about if there's anything that has inspired your business, and is there any way of bringing that inspiration into your name. Is there something historical relating to your products or business that you can draw on? Justine chose the name The Wild Dyery for her textile business. A dyery was an ancient name for dye house, and the wild signifies that she uses plants rather than synthetic dyes. She also liked the word dyery, she writes a diary on her blog, so the name has a double meaning. Maybe you could draw on influences from a point in time in history or an ancient language. Don't just do it for the sake of it, make sure there is a good reason. But having historical references in your name can add a certain amount of gravitas and grandeur to a name. Some people go for a totally abstract name, which is great, usually easier to buy as a URL as well. Spanish designer Gloria, chose her name from using her initials G&U, GU, and GU also translates as solid or stone, and she mixed it with the Japanese word kuuki, which translates as air or atmosphere. Gloria loves Japanese culture, and she liked the word that reflected her love for flying and reaching high in her dreams for her business. Maybe you could look at breaking down some of the words from your previous exercises and mixing them together like this. Just bear in mind how people will search for you on Google. Is your name easy to spell or say? Are you happy that people might ask you how to spell it? You might have to work a little harder getting your name recognized. On the other hand, an abstract name can create a story of interest like Gloria's, and an abstract name is much more likely to be available as a URL web address as well. Sometimes you might find picking two random words and putting them together can work quite well. If you're still stuck, try going back to your brand questionnaire in mind dumps and picking one or two of the words that you use to describe yourself or your style and team that with the product you sell. For example, is available as a URL. Look back on your questionnaire some of the words if you use to describe your business. Nicole used a similar approach to come up with her name, Gooseberrymoon to her wedding invite business. She wanted a whimsical name and wrote a list of words she liked, and then played around with all of them, mixing them up until she came up with something that she really liked, and that was Gooseberrymoon, which also happened to be available as a URL. Availability. One of the biggest challenges in picking a name is one that hasn't already been taken. Trina had this problem, she started a new design and lifestyle blog called Love Wonder. Now to get Love Wonder as, she would have had to fork out a few thousand pounds, so instead, she put the word blog on the end and bought Think about what extra words you could use in your name if your first option isn't available as a URL. Sherry London wanted to call her business Dance and Pixels, and that wasn't available, but Prance and Pixel was, so she's slightly changed the name. You might also want to look into copyright and trademarks on your chosen name depending on what business you're in and how far you want to take it. Key pointers for whether to use your own name are whether you're already known in the industry by your name and if that's relevant for your brand going forward, if you are, then it's probably a good indicator to use your name with or within your brand somehow. If you're starting fresh and your business doesn't relate to your name at all, think about what you sell and your style and try to combine the two into a unique brand name. Finally, if you aren't using your own name, but a more abstract one, then just make sure your name does really fit with your brand personality. Once you've decided on your name, test it out on some family and friends or some close clients to see if they share your enthusiasm or ask your fellow students in the project area. There we are, you almost have everything you need to take your brand forward, design a logo, and start marketing your business. We just need to simplify everything we've talked about so far into a simple brand message. You'll probably be able to use that as a tagline to your business or use it as a reference point to keep coming back to. In the next lesson, we will look into your brand message along with a brief to go forward with your logo design. 6. The message and the mark - your brand mission statement: The message and the mark. Now we've got to the point where we're going to write your brand mission statement and ethos. Some people hate the term brand mission statement as it sounds very corporate and possibly a little bit cold, but it doesn't need to be full of corporate jargon, trust me. I think coming up with a sentence or two to perfectly describe your business can do the following: It can really help you focus on what your business and brand is all about, it can help your customers know exactly what you do, and it can act as a simple strap line or introduction to your business. Now, the key is to keep it as simple as possible. Richard Branson advise is to try using Twitter's 140 character template when you're drafting your inspirational message, you need to explain your company's purpose and outline expectations for internal and external clients are like, make it unique to your company, make it memorable, keep it real, and just for fun, imagine that on the bottom of a coat of arms. I love the bit about the coat of arms. So let's take a look at some successful mission statements from brands we all know and possibly love: Amazon, we seek to be Earth's most customer-centric company for four primary customer sets: consumers, sellers, enterprises, and content creators. Facebook: Facebook's mission is to give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected. Apple: Apple is committed to bringing the best personal computing experience to students, educators, creative professionals, and consumers around the world for its innovative hardware, software, and Internet offerings. So as you can see, they are all quite short and simple. I really like the idea of keeping it to 140 characters. So you basically want to say what you do, who you are doing it for, and how you do it differently, all of those things in one simple mission statement. So let's start with filling in the blanks to this sentence. To try and keep it simple and descriptive, add a few adjectives, but don't overdo it. So I create blank for blank. Some examples might be, I create stunning birthday cakes for fun loving children. I create bright cushion covers for pet lovers who like their home comforts. I take breathtaking wedding photographs for stylish couples. When you're writing this sentence, you should know exactly what you're creating, who you're creating it for. Next, you have to twist this around to convince your target market that your product or service is exactly what they need. I create stunning birthday cakes for fun loving children could become making children's birthday parties complete with stunning cakes that have the wow factor. I create bright cushion covers for pet lovers who like their home comforts, colorful cushions for animal lovers and their pets to snuggle up with. I take breathtaking wedding photographs for a stylish couples. Breathtaking wedding photography that captures your special day with every detail and emotion. So remember the key points to bear in mind when writing yours: What you do, who you do it for, and how do you do it differently. So once you've written yours, why not share your brand mission statements in the project section or ask for some help and feedback. Everything we've done so far has been working towards this simple statement, so spend some time on it and make sure it's good. Another area to look at is your brand ethos or philosophy. So let's take Apple as an example. Why do some people have to simply have every Apple product on the market? It's almost like a religion or a tribe. I'm pretty sure my husband could spend the whole day in an Apple store and start chatting to like-minded people. Apple brand has done an amazing job from becoming an almost obsolete computer manufacturer to the world leader in it, that it is today in cutting edge technology. Steve Jobs and product designer Jonathan Ives, along with many others, no doubt, have made this brand really cool again, everyone wanted an iPod than an iPhone and an iPad, and now an iWatch, I guess. So what values can people buy into with your brand? Let's say a greeting cards company only uses recycled card and has really strong values on environmental and world issues. Maybe a percentage of each sale goes to a charity or fund in that field. Certain customers will buy into these values and philosophies and start to build a relationship with that brand. So they may end up buying 80 percent of their stationary from one brand driver in five statements that you hold true to your business and values. You might use these on your website, on your About page, or you might not even use them at all, but it's a good exercise nonetheless. This might end up being a bit more relevant to some of your businesses over others, but it's a fun exercise. So make sure you update your class project with your brand mission statement, this is a key deliverable for this class and I'd love to see what you guys have come up with. In the next lesson on the same subject, we're going to write a brief for your logo design and visual practice. 7. The message and the mark - writing your logo design brief: We've now come to the last lesson of this class, that message on mark part two. In this lesson, we will talk about writing a brief for your logo design. As you know, this is part 1 of a three-part course, all about branding your creative business. In this part we've gone right down to the nitty-gritty of what your business is all about, who it is aimed at, and how you position yourself in your business area. You should now have a clear idea of what your brand stands for. Which means we can start moving forward to the visual side of your branding, and most importantly, your logo. In the next class on this series, we will be looking at designing a logo for your new brand. Whether you decide to design this yourself or hire a graphic designer, it's a really good idea to start off by writing a design brief. You can almost just use the filled in brand questionnaire as many of those answers will be relevant. But let's just simplify it slightly. Your logo needs to represent and form part of your visual voice of your brand. It needs to reflect your business and your brand personality. We will talk all about this in much more depth in the next class. But for now we're going to write that brief for the logo design. As a designer who's designed many logos, I often need to ask my clients some prompt questions to get a good idea about them and their business. These are the key points I generally want to know when embarking on a logo design. In the class files, you will find this as a document to help you write your own briefs. We're going to start with your brand name, which you've got covered because you just did that other class. What do you do and what do you sell? You should be able to use your brand mission statement here. In terms of pricing, how do you position yourself in the market? Basically, we want to know if you are relatively cheap, middle ground, or at the top-end of your market. This is important for a designer as a logo doesn't want to under or over promise. If your products are quite cheap and cheerful, but your logo looks very high-end and stylish, you're giving off mixed messages. That's not to say that you need a cheap and cheerful logo, but it's managing expectations. Take my Miss Printables logo. Whilst I would like to think my printables are well-designed, they are also fun and affordable, I'm not about start selling artwork for hundreds of dollars with this logo attached to it. Just make sure that you know where you're going to position yourself. The next question would also help you make sure your logo design fits your target market. Which is, what is my target market? Who's your product aimed at and who are your customers? For this, you can refer back to your personifications of a perfect customer, but we don't need to hear all about Emily's life, for example. You need to narrow this down to the main focus points. Let's go back to Maho's perfect customers for her dog accessories company, and like we discussed, she has a few different people who would be attracted to her product. She needs to figure out what they all have in common, which would probably be simplified to people who love their dogs, like children, they love to pampered them, they have a good sense of style and a certain amount of disposable income, both genders and probably between the ages of 25-60. The designer will pick out the key words from that break down. The logo can't look like it's aimed at one particular sex, for example, and it needs to appeal to all ages, so the logo needs to say dogs or animals and stylish. Your perfect customer might be a lot easier to define than Maho's, but it's useful to use her company as an example. What three words best describe your brand and products. You can refer back to your brand questionnaire again here. What existing logos to you particularly like and why? I always try to ask this because sometimes I get response, other times some customers just say, ''I don't really know.'' But if you have a few brand logos that you really love, this will help your designer or yourself get an idea of your personal taste. Maybe you prefer clean, simple logos over a more illustrative approach, for example. We're not about to copy any existing logos. They don't even have to be logos that relate to your business, it's just a good idea to get a sense of your personal likes. Have you got any main competitors? This question might not be relevant for everyone, depending on whether your business is local or very niche. Going back to a wedding photographer, they will probably have some local competition. It's a good idea to look at your competition, again, not to copy almost the exact opposite. Say you had a stand at a wedding fair, you don't want to look like a photographer a few booths down. You want to look different so people can set you apart. The tricky part here is also that you want to fit in. Say, you're advertising in a high-class wedding magazine, you probably don't want a cheap bright pink logo splashed across your stylish photography. Sure, it will get you noticed, but it might turn people away as your logo won't be reflecting your quality of photography. It's a fine balance to get this right. Have you got any preffered colors? Sometimes I don't ask this question as I like logos to work in black and white first before adding any color. But color is also very important to some businesses. I designed a logo for a hair salon who planned to do their decor or deep claret and cream. It was important the logo would fit that scheme and keep everything on brand. What's your budget? This is a personal question you need to figure out. Have you got money to spend on a logo designer, and how much you have might determine the quality of your logo. Alternatively, will you design it yourself? Now, personally, I quote per branding job, I don't have a fixed price. If I'm designing for a small business set up by one person, I only have one person to deal with. If I'm designing a logo for a bigger business with a few levels of management, the branding process often takes longer as there are more people to please. These are the key questions I would ask people. I don't ask customers what their budget is, that's a personal question for you to figure out. I usually quote my customers and hope they are happy with my quote. Now, depending on your business, there might be some additional information you'd like to include in your logo brief, and that's fine. Give as much info as you can without going overboard. I'd say try to keep your logo brief to one side of paper. Now, here's the fun part. Upload your briefs into the project gallery for people to read and get chatting to people. If you're looking for a graphic designer to help you design a logo, then start getting connected. I've also set up a Facebook page so you can start chatting to each other. Although I'll be mostly checking into the project gallery on Skillshare, so make sure you post your projects there. There's only one more video in this class now, just a quick final thoughts discussion about everything we've worked on so far. 8. Next steps: Well, we've come to the end of the first class. I can't wait to see what you guys have come up with. You should now have everything you need to move forward with your business and have a greater understanding of your brand. It might be quite a lot to take in, in one go. So make sure you just go back through the videos and take some time to think about all the key points. The next part of this course, is all about designing your logo. We will talk through the pros and cons of using a graphic designer or doing this yourself. Then we will go through a step-by-step process on how to create your perfect logo. You guys are in a really good position to do this now because you have your logo design briefs already and you know exactly where you are with your brand. Then the final part of this series of courses, which is due to be launched in late summer of 2015, will be all about releasing your brand to the world. We will be looking at how to photograph your products, setting up your shops, and setting up and using social media in other forms of marketing. If you're signed up for this course, you will get an e-mail when that course goes live. I'd love you to join me in those other classes as well so I can see how you have progressed your brand through all of them. Remember to join us on our Facebook group as well, which is Which just leaves me to say, thank you so much for enrolling in this course. I hope you've enjoyed it as much as I've enjoyed teaching it. I always love to hear your feedback and thoughts, so please do get in touch or leave a review. Happy branding everyone. I hope to see you in the next class.