Golden nuggets for the curious

THE BLOG

5 Metaphors to Help you Visualise your Brand

If you’re in the process of DIY’ing your brand, or rebranding your existing business, chances are… you already have an idea of how you’d like your brand to look.

As a designer, I’ve found that, often, my clients don’t have any idea of the visual direction for their brand. So in this post, I wanna share my 5 favourite metaphors that I love to use to help my clients visualise their brand (and I’ll share some of my clients’ answers too!).

In fact, these 5 questions are incredibly helpful to me as a designer as well, because it helps me gain clarity on how my clients perceive their brand. So this is to ensure that we’re on the same page before diving into the design process.

 

BEFORE THE VISUALISATION – YOU MUST KNOW YOUR PURPOSE

Before we jump into it, it’s important to note that I ask these questions at the very end of my 3-step Signature Brand Development Process. Before this visualisation exercise, you need to be crystal clear on:

  • You Brand Purpose, Vision and Values
  • Your Ideal Client
  • Your Competition
  • Your Offering (and how it stands out from your competitors)
  • Your Brand Personality

Only then can you start thinking about the visual direction for your brand. Remember, that although visuals play a big role in your branding, they don’t benefit you if they disconnect with your brand purpose and who your ideal client is. So make sure to spend some time to really nail down these bullet points before answering the next questions.

 

5 FUN METAPHORS TO BUILD DIRECTION FOR YOUR BRAND

Before you start answering these questions, remember that there is no right or wrong answer.

Most people know what they want their brand to look like, but they don’t know how to express it or visualise it in their heads. That’s why I challenge my clients to create these metaphors, so they can step outside of the design world with its colour palettes, fonts and logos, and bring them back to what they feel most comfortable with: their everyday life. So, don’t overthink the answer to these. Try to listen to your gut and your heart because the answer lies within you.

 

1. If your brand were a mood, what would it be?

Is your brand funky and happy? Does your brand make you feel like a kid’s laughter on a carousel? Or maybe you’re more sophisticated and discreet?

Here are some answers from my past clients (I looooooove the first answer. We got the mood right straight away!):

  • You know the movie Hitch? When Will Smith is teaching Albert how to dance and slaps him around a little? That’s the mood for our brand!
  • Freedom – when you sit on the beach, breathing in the ocean and really letting go for the first time in a while of all your worries. Really connecting with your inner self.
  • I don’t know how to describe the “mood” but it’s the kinda mood when Miranda Priestly walks into the office – admiration, sophistication with a touch of fear (in a good way though)

 

Write down what moods come to mind and try to make it come alive as much as possible!

2. If your brand were a colour, what would it be?

Let’s forget about colour theory for a moment (although if you do want to check it out, I have a two-part blog post all about how to craft your perfect branded colour palette).

But here, I want you to let go of what you think your brand colour should look like or what it should make you feel, and focus on the first colour that comes to mind when you think about your brand.

Here’s what my clients have said in the past:

  • Earthy, warm tones (can’t come up with one single colour) – my brand feels like home, there’s a sense of belonging, of warmth when I think about it. I want our beauty products to make you feel the same way.
  • Gold. I think it’s the best colour to portray our expertise and also the level of clients we work with.
  • Warm greys and pastels. But with a touch of black. As in… “calm and sophisticated, with a touch of boldness and strength”.

 

Once you think of the first colour that comes to mind, also try to explain why you associate this colour with your brand too.

 

3. If your brand were a song, what would it be?

Oooh, this is my absolute favourite question! I believe the answer to this question gives the most powerful visualisation of your brand. And I love reading the answer to this question from my clients because that’s the moment when I can clearly see what the final result for their brand will look like!

But I think it’s also one of the hardest questions, so take some time to think about it.

Here’s what my clients made me listen to:

  • “From Now On” – The Greatest Showman, or “Stronger” by Kelly Clarkson
  • “Hôtel Costes Best Of (Official Full Mix)” – eclectic mix of wonderful songs
  • “Girl on Fire” – Alicia Keys, but with the incredible emotion and power from Angelica Hale’s performance (AGT)

 

What jam would be playing when you were talking about your brand?

 

4. If your brand were an animal, what would it be?

If I had to answer this question myself for One6Creative, I would’ve said a black panther. It’s powerful, strong, but most importantly they are natural protectors and leaders. And that’s what I want One6Creative to stand for: we will always protect our clients and do our best to lead them to success.

Now, what did my past clients say?

  • A wolf pack leader, or even better… Mufasa.
  • A horse – the most graceful animal with lots of character
  • A Siamese cat – affectionate, friendly, loyal and bold. Also very exquisite in its appearance and movements. Feminine; Cleopatra loved Siamese cats!

 

Which animal do you feel suits your brand the most and why?

And finally…

5. If you could dress up your brand, it would wear…?

Let’s imagine now that your brand is a person and play dress up! What kind of clothes would it wear? What brands would these clothes be?

Here’s my clients’ fashion thoughts on this:

  • Beige, knee-length sophisticated dress, with a short blazer/jacket and black heels. Chanel, Roland Mouret and Sandro.
  • I don’t have a particular item in mind, but I know it would be tailored clothes. Made specifically to fit THEM , not “off the rack”. Think Maghan Markle and Melanie Trump (not Donald!!!)
  • Light fabrics, organic cotton or linen, beige, grey and white. Only shop at sustainable brand shops. My brand would probably have a small capsule wardrobe and only shop occasionally but for quality, sustainable items.

 

Once you have answered this, think about whether this style would appeal to your Ideal Client. If not, then how can you improve on this and make it more aligned with your ICA?

 

___

 

And there we have it, friend! 5 questions to ask yourself to help you visualise your brand and bring it to life!

If you’ve answered all of these, you should already have way more clarity for your visual brand direction than before. But if you need some extra help here, try to come up with more metaphors like these to help you out!

For example:

  • If your brand were a book, what would it be?
  • If your brand were a movie, what would it be?
  • If your brand were a dish, what would it be?
  • If your brand were a city, what would it be?
  • If your brand were a flower, what would it be?
  • Etc…

 

Which question helped you visualise your brand the most?

The mood? Animal? Song? Whichever one it was, I would loveee to know your answers over on Instagram @One6Creative ! (That’s where I hang out the most!)

And if you found this super helpful, please share this blog post with your biz besties who would like a fun way to build their brand direction!

Branding

CATEGORY

4/30/2019

POSTED

5 Metaphors to Help you Visualise your Brand

You'll also love

GRAB IT NOW!

Wanna jump ahead of the competition right now?

You can get a head start and begin your brand transformation with our FREE guide on the 7 Elements of a Powerful Brand!