Why Branding Is Important

First off, let me start by stating that I am by no means an expert or a professional when it comes to marketing, business solutions and branding. I have however learned a few things along my short yet busy little journey, about what it means to build a professional business that represents you, your goals and your product. Here are a few of my thoughts that I am happy to share with all of you.


{Establish Your Brand} This is the single most important thing, in my opinion to attracting your desired clients, staying in business and keeping both you and your clients happy. If you don't know what you're selling, promoting or doing and what type of person you are selling, promoting and doing these things for, then how do you expect the perfect client to approach you much less lock in your services? Pinpoint your brand and establish what it means. For example my own branding (which isn't perfect) includes the following:

My logo. Which can be viewed above and to the right and which consists of my business name Hey Gorgeous, Events by Rhiannon Nicole. It includes everything I have deemed important at this stage in the game: my business name (Hey Gorgeous), the type of work I do (events), and who I am (Rhiannon Nicole). I've selected a clean simplistic font that you don't typically see and I made sure to add in feminine flourishes to represent my style which undoubtedly includes lots of pink, lots of soft touches and of course lots of femininity. 

My website. Which content wise, is static. And changes when I have new and relevant content to add (i.e. photos of a recent project or wedding, a change of location, a new about me photo). While I do try and keep my blog as professional and streamlined as possible, my website is a way for people to get everything they need to know about me and my business all in one place. For clients it's an expectation and a place for them to get a feel for what I am about, and what I am capable of. I once read on JStar's blog that "Your website is your handshake and your blog is your voice." That alone as guided me into maintaning both features of my brand into what they are today; a site that is professional yet reflective of my personality and a blog that's fun, unique and all sorts of inspirational. 

My blog. I've said it before, but hands down, my blog is the most important tool in helping me solidify and build my brand. It too, flows consistently with the above mentioned components of my brand (in terms of design and content) and above all else, provides people with an experience when they visit. I don't want people to visit Hey Gorg just to scroll through and exit the page within ten seconds (unless of course you're a hot pink gerbera daisy loving gal, then we may not be the right fit) but instead I want people to visit my blog and get me, and get my brand and feel as if they've not only connected with my work, but that they've experienced a connection with the things I've wrote, the things I've shared, the inspiration I've provided and most importantly with me and my personality. My blog to me isn't just a place to dump pretty weddings but rather it's a place to further enrich the Hey Gorgeous experience.

{Stick To Your Brand} And try not to deviate too far from it. My personal branding represents muted pastels, soft lighting and modern vintage touches so naturally I try to feature weddings and photographs that fall under this umbrella. If you head over to the Ruffled blog, chances are you'll find vintage themed wedding inspiration because that is after all, the type of reader they cater to. Same holds true, for budget wedding blogs. Imagine heading to a budget wedding blog to find only expensive products and vendors that by no mean fit with their brand? Chances are you're less likely to go back to said blog because they surely aren't sticking to their brand and it only leaves you disappointed and confused. Stick to your brand, and your clients.readers will in turn stick with you.

{Stick To Your Guns} This is a toughie but is so crucial to building a strong business whether or not your business is directly correlated with your blog. Once you've established your brand and have done a great job of building upon that foundation, you need to keep your brand in mind and do your best to adhere to it even when people try to steer you off path. An example? The other day I found an incredible wedding that the photographer was excited to feature on Hey Gorg. Once they sent over the photos to me, they asked if I could add their logo and.or watermark to the collages I'd be creating. I have a no watermark policy on the blog (like most wedding blogs do) and I kindly told them that if I allowed them to submit watermarked pictures surely future photographers would except the same sort of treatment and with that, I'd continually have to make exceptions resulting in a jarring, messy looking space of watermarked submissions. After a few emails back and forth it was decided that my brand and her beliefs weren't the best fit for a partnership and with that I lost the wedding, she lost the feature. While I was bummed about missing out on the wedding, I couldn't imagine not sticking to my guns and allowing her submission to be the exception to my guidelines for making the Hey Gorg experience enjoyable for my readers. Imagine emailing Style Me Pretty's Abby Larson and asking her to watermark all of your photos for your upcoming cover feature? It properly wouldn't fly. Stick to your guns and people will take you and your business seriously.

What are your thought on branding your business and blog?

25 Lovely Comments:

Tamara Nicole said...

This was really helpful to read, and I think you've done an amazing job branding your business, love your girly style:-)

Thanks for the advice!

Erin*Sparkle&Hay said...

pretty pretty pretty - and i always noticed that your look is very well put together :)

Brancoprata said...

Well i have to say that not only i love the way you write but and also the way you talk about your work and blog. I have to say agree with everything you wrote! Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this subject.

Anastasia Marie said...

I love your brand. It was one of the main reasons I stayed on your site longer than ten seconds to find out who you were! Thanks for sharing!

Naomi said...

This was my favorite post of the day. So important. As I begin the process of re-branding, it is important to find your voice, and stick to your guns. I cannot wait to go through the entire process and finally have a clear voice! Thank you so much! You are an amazing inspiration! xo

DiamondsandTulle said...

Great words of wisdom and its proof shows in all your work Rhi! Keep up the amazing work!

xx Vivian @ http://diamondsandtulle.blogspot.com

Megan said...

hmmmm. what would my brand be rhi rhi? girl who wears pajamas often and eats a lot of chips...

jessica said...

as a designer, i'm all about branding!! and your tips are dead on!!

your brand and style is beautiful! you're such an inspiration! xo

Mary said...

Wonderful advice here Rhi. And too bad about the photographer. Your blog is so beautiful and any images with watermarking would stray from your site. Thank you so much for sharing your advice. I can't begin to tell you how important it is to establish a strong brand from the beginning. It's like putting on a beautiful outfit in the morning, and making your grand entrance to the world! :)

la petite coquine said...

This is such spot on advice. I've been thinking a lot about a bit of rebranding (I can't buy my proper domain name, so I'm thinking of something delicious and fresh) and I've done so much thinking about who I am, what I do and what it looks like-not easy work, but so fulfilling!

jacin {lovely little details} said...

very smart post, my dear!

Bustle said...

Great post my love!!

LouBoo said...

And there is a business head on those shoulders...is there no end to this girl's talents? I have thought a lot about blog integrity lately - as you know - and I am not even selling a service or a product. I came the conclusion that it's worth doing right as the opposite just made it all feel like a half-cooked venture. I think you seem very committed to the aesthetics of things and that is vital. I think people want a clean page to look at - one that inspires - not one full of inconsistent advertising that confuses the brand proposition! There - that's me done and it's only 7.14am. Lou x

kellyhicks said...

Great advice Rhiannon! You make it clear brand isn't just about your logo. I think one thing people sometimes miss is that brand is also about your attitude, your professionalism, and your personality! Great job on establishing yours!

Krystal said...

This was lovely!!! I didn't realize that watermarking was such a big deal - but I agree, it would mess with the aesthetic of your blog. On the other hand, they might be afraid people would steal them without giving them credit which is valid too. But...on the other other hand, people are getting really good about crediting because it's been such a huge topic lately. Anyway - I loved reading this!

BridalHood said...

Love your advice - it's so true! I'm working on rebranding now and have been applying all of the same principles to my new look and feel.

{The Perfect Palette} said...

Great post. I agree with your opinions on brand and share your belief that it's so important to stick to your guns and stay true to your brand even if it means saying no or missing out on a feature or an opportunity.

TheOnlineStylist said...

Great advice Rhi and especially on the blogging front. Branding for bloggers is starting to become much more important over here in the UK and it's taken me a while to get to mine but I think I'm there. I also always retain a degree of professionalism in my blog and don't rant. Once something is out there, you can't take it back and I think that can harm you down the line.
Love the imagery on your blog - always an absolute pleasure to pop over and to see and read. xx

Something Old, Something New said...

Great tips! I was excited when I saw your tweet about this and was finally able to sit down and read this post. Love your blog & your branding!

Mademoiselle Michael said...

I just love how willing you are to share advice and experience. It's awesome when women share successful business practices and experiences with one another. I think you've done a wonderful job creating a beautiful business that's rooted in integrity. Props girlfriend:) Keep up the good work!! xx, MademoiselleMichael

Simone said...

Brilliant advice Rhi.....how did you get all that wisdom in that young head of yours?! ;)

Seriously though, I am really impressed and what you say has really given me food for thought. I have some advertising on my blog - altho I am not selling a service - but I try to maintain a very high standard throughout my blog and definitely reject more advertising and propositions than I accept. I think your point about having a clear vision is a really good one.

:)

Alexandra @ bWed Exclusive said...

You have a way with words! And this is a beautifully written post full of brilliant advice that one and all (including myself) should remember!

Corrine O'Neill @ Buds and Blooms said...

These are all excellent tips. Although I think the Stick to your Brand point can be hard to negotiate. You don't want to be so rigid with your themes/branding that you get in a situation where everything looks the same (this is in general; not personal- I love your blog).

I also break this rule. I photo "blog" on my fan page. I post fashions that I love or that inspire me but they run the gamut. I also design in pastels to bold colours to black. I know the people who come to me for vintage inspired designs are probably not going to like my offbeat stuff. I'm okay with that; but it may not be the best branding strategy lol.

Kate/MagnoliaRouge said...

You are just full of good advice... this is fantastically written!!

I BLEED PINK said...

Well written! I have seen your blog and vision grow and it truly amazes me. I think even though your blog has changed from the intital reason I started following(baking)it was easy for me to continue reading.

I love all the changes, and will continue to be one of your number one fans!