If branding isn’t just about pretty logos and websites, then what is it, really?
The wheel below is how I deconstruct branding, specifically for coaches and consultants. Through our work, each of these elements will be connected to each other and aligned to the true meaning of your business. From this place, you’ll get to share your message and connect with your tribe to develop your brand with confidence and market yourself with authenticity.
Overall, the two innermost circles, these are the soul of your brand. The outer two are the “clothes.” It’s important to clarify the two inner circles first, because they inform all the outer pieces!
Without defining your core identity first, your brand can get disjointed. Piecemeal. And ever-changing. Like a teenager trying to find their identity—goth one minute, boho chic the next, and preppy by next week. And while this might have been appealing at 15, it doesn’t instill a ton of trust when you’re building a professional coaching business. Plus, the added insecurity, fumbled words, and cost of significant wardrobe (erm, branding element) changes are no fun, alongside the beautiful chaos of entrepreneurship.
But when you start with the inner circle, interweave the second circle, and shape Brand Identity and Brand Application elements to match, your entire brand becomes cohesive, authentic, and effective.
You convey authenticity and professionalism, and clients trust you. You feel confident sending every intentionally designed proposal. You go to a networking event, try your pitch, and it lands. You share your message, and have a much stronger chance of getting the gig. You feel aligned and connected to your own truth, and you have a professionally curated brand to set yourself apart from every other coach, and clearly communicate your value to others.
And the most important thing is, you’re able to make a difference in so many people’s lives, across the globe, for generations to come.
Clarify & Articulate Your Brand Foundation
The white circle center of the wheel above is the core of your brand. Specifically, who you are as a business (YOU), who you serve (YOUR TRIBE), and how you serve them (YOUR SERVICE). Think of the golden intersection in the middle in the diagram below as your brand’s unique DNA that runs through everything you do.
As you look to the next circle that looks like pizza, you’ll see the brand mission, brand voice, brand story, etc. These are the elements that are essential to your Brand Essence.
Uncovering and clarifying these elements is a process that’s a lot messier and more emotional than you expect, especially as a coach or mission-based entrepreneur. It’s not something you can “figure out” in a business strategy meeting, and it’s tough to do alone. This is why Gem Seven Studio integrates professional coaching methods to explore and get clear about each element so you can confidently step into the core of your uniqueness and what you’re meant to do.
“Brand work is very hard to do alone. Rei is in it with you every step of the way, but the outcomes are all your own.”
I was seeking clarity around what I do and who I do it for, especially my mission and niche. Rei is a smart, focused thought partner with a very well-defined process. She’s in it with you every step of the way, but the outcomes are all your own. I would recommend this experience – brand work is very hard to do alone.
– Cathie Levine, Leadership Coach, Morningside Strategies
Explore & Define Your Brand Identity
Now you’re ready to start to create and define your brand visual identities, like your logo and color palettes, and messaging (see the Brand Identity circle in the wheel above). Remember, only after you get clear on your brand foundation in Step 1, you start this process – otherwise, it’s like building a sandcastle. This way, your brand expression is authentic and consistent based on your unique brand essence, rather than the cookie-cutter trend of the day.
Gem Seven Studio offers creative direction to partner with you to define and co-create your Brand Identity that aligns with your unique brand essence.
“I’m walking away with a clear, cohesive way to communicate my brand.”
Coming into this intensive, I wanted to gain clarity on my brand look and feel, and create a cohesive brand overall. For me, this included my logo, font, color, and photography.
The flow of content and questions really helped me to open up, get creative, and explore. I really appreciated the work we did to distinguish me from my brand.
I feel great about the colors we chose and am excited to see the logo and templates. I’m walking away with a clear, cohesive way to communicate my brand, Adept Flow.
– Marsha Prospere, Executive Coach at AdeptFlow
Apply Your Brand Identity & Design Your Branded Materials
Finally, it’s time to put your brand identity (defined in Step 2) to use by creating marketing and client communication materials. This is your touchpoint with your audience (clarified in Step 1). It could be your marketing materials like your website, social media posts or promotional videos. Or the client experience of you like presentation slides, workbooks or proposals. Or You can see the list of items in the most outer circle of the wheel above, titled Brand Application. To be clear, you don’t have to create every single one of them – just the ones which beautifully suit your business. And if you’ve read this far, you know you’ll want to shape them in a way that’s uniquely aligned to your brand essence and be consistent.
Gem Seven Studio offers personalized done-with-you and done-for-you packages for select elements, depending on your needs.
“I feel proud of the visual representation of my brand.”
I have had the privilege of working and partnering with Rei as my Brand Coach to update the visual elements of all of my branding materials. I had been struggling to find the sweet spot between what I personally love from a visual standpoint and the image and impact I wanted to convey as an Executive Coach.
What was game-changing for me was that Rei helped me dig deep and articulate why I love certain imagery, such as distressed patterns, and then actually figure out how to align it with the professional and high powered brand I wanted to convey. And if that is not enough, working with Rei has been fun and I feel proud of the visual representation of my brand. I highly recommend Rei to anyone who wants an easy and incredibly effective way to have professional branding elements.
– Ellen Fields, PCC, Executive and Leadership Coach at Ellen Fields Coaching & Consulting