You know, deep down inside, what makes your brand distinctive, rare and unusual. But are you able to articulate that thought to others? Can you give a good “elevator pitch,” expounding on the attributes of your brand? How would you handle being professionally interviewed?
When working with your branding agency, website designers, or social media managers, are you able to give them constructive and useful input? Or will you be one of those frustrating clients that just say, “I’ll know your work is right when I see it?” (Please don’t do that!)
At some point in the growth of your company you are going to have to talk (and in some cases, write) in depth about yourself and your brand. And yes, while a photo of your collection is worth a thousand words, there are times when you’re going to have to talk about your brand without the benefit of a handy photo.
Well, don’t despair! We’re going to teach you how to do exactly that.
Right brain vs. left brain thinking
Designers, and oftentimes creative people in general, are sometimes called “right-brained”. It’s a theory that some psychologists and scientists agree with, and others try to debunk.
But here’s one compelling view on the right brain/left brain theory. Verywell Mind says, “According to the left-brain/right-brain dominance theory, the right side of the brain is best at [creative] tasks.” Some of the abilities popularly associated with the right side of the brain include:
- Recognizing faces
- Expressing emotions
- Creating music
- Reading emotions
- Appreciating color
- Using imagination
- Being intuitive
- Being creative
They go on further to say, “The left-side of the brain is considered to be adept at tasks that involve logic, language, and analytical thinking.” The left-brain is described as being better at:
- Critical thinking
So what do you think? Maybe you don’t agree with the right brain/left brain theory at all. Or maybe you, as a highly creative person, actually do struggle to articulate your creative concepts. This is not at all unusual; so if you’re not so good at it, give yourself a break. Just consider it an opportunity to learn a new skill!
Know thine self.
There are a couple ways to fire up your critical thinking process. Start by asking yourself some questions, then think hard about your answers. Write your answers down, if that helps you organize your thoughts.
An example question could be: “Where do you get your creative inspiration?” A bad answer to this question would be: “I dunno. I just like to make stuff.”
A more thoughtful and compelling answer would be: “I’m very interested in protecting our environment and always have been. This inspired me to create a collection that is not only ethically sourced, and beautiful as well!”
Now which answer makes you, as the reader, want to know more?
Here are some other inspiring questions to ask yourself about your collection:
Who am I designing for?
How do I want my customers to feel when wearing my garments?
What made you decide to start your own fashion brand?
Do you think the ever-increasing amount of overseas brands coming to our shores is a threat to local designers? Why, or why not?
What ethics are important for people involved with fashion?
There are also some good questions to ask yourself about your background and personal style:
What are your favorite trends in fashion, past and present?
Who is your style icon and why?
Are there any types of clothing that you avoid wearing? Why?
Where do you see yourself in the next 10 years?
If you weren’t a fashion designer, what do you think you’d be?
Gaurav Gulati at gauravgulati.com has these and many more tough questions that you can ask yourself to get at the core of your brand, and who you are as a designer.
The Importance of Accurate Branding
This exercise is at the core of branding. And as you know, branding is everything.
As far as branding goes, it actually doesn’t matter how impressive your collection is, or how great of a designer you are. Those attributes – while vitally important – mean very little if you’re not engaging your audience. And you can’t engage your audience if they don’t know who you are as a designer, and a brand.
The starting point of brand loyalty is, and always will be, an exceptional product. But the truth is people buy from people (and companies) that they like and feel an affinity for. That’s how a lifelong emotional attachment to your brand is forged.
Here’s one of the cool benefits about having a loyal customer base: they will support you during an “experimental” phase. Or, heaven forbid, you have a season that’s not exactly your best. But if they know you and trust you, these little business “blips” won’t matter much, if at all. As we mentioned earlier, people consistently buy from people they know and like.
And if that doesn’t give you an excellent reason to know how to clearly articulate who you are, as a brand and a person, nothing will!