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Brand Culture Resource Guide
The key to standing out in a crowd is to make the audience feel instantly seen. If you're a creative or dreamer who's tired of being swiped past online, this Notion template will show you what to incorporate in your content to get the attention your brand deserves. This guide will walk you through collecting the eight essential elements of an enchanting brand culture. Learn More →
When it comes to branding, the dream is to have the visuals / the spaces that break through the noise + make you stand out in your industry. Yeah? I remember believing that the key to having success in my business was to get as big + significant as Jenna Kutcher - that then I would be set. Ick! And that desire can be excruciatingly weighty when we direct it onto our logo. Your logo has a certain role in your business + this is not a part of its job description.
Here’s the thing: our logo + brand style guide is what sets the tone for our business - it creates consistency + a framework for us to show up in, so we can present + sell our work in such a way that our warm audience can both recognize + trust us.
I’ll give you two ways to think about this:
- Your business is a piece of art + your brand style guide is the frame around it. Now, it’s a very pretty frame, + a great frame can make all the difference, but people aren’t buying the art for the frame - they’re buying it because they love the piece. Yeah?
- When folks go shopping for their go-to luxury brands - let’s say Coach, Gucci, Fendi, etc - they aren’t buying these pieces because of the logo that’s loudly stamped on them, but because they love the brand’s products + the statement the brand itself makes. Right?
So, if you wanna draw in your dream clients + create a loyal following, you gotta go beyond the logo + build a brand culture. This is what makes your clients feel seen, heard, + supported. Your brand culture is what creates a connection + a sense of belonging. Now, your logo might grab some attention, but it's your brand culture that will make your clients trust you + keep coming back for more.
To build a brand culture, you need a core set of beliefs, values, + characteristics. Think of your favorite brands, books, movies, music — when you look at them side by side, it’s easy to see how they all have a different taste, feeling, impact, etc. To stand out, your brand needs to provide the same effect. Beliefs + values will direct your messaging while your characteristics will paint the picture + set the tone.
This may sound tricky, since determining your brand values can be difficult when you aren’t sure how to implement them — for many micro-businesses, values are just pretty words on a page. But in actuality, your values live as the core of everything you do — defining what is important to your business, what you stand for, + what you want to be known for. Once you understand that, forming your message is clear.
Then, build onto that by having a voice that personifies your values. Think of your brand as a person — your ideal client; are they playful + fun, or serious + professional? Your brand personality should be consistent across all your interactions / channels / platforms, as it will create the greatest impressions on new audiences. Especially when you think about how we skim pages all the time now.
To get the most out of a spectator, provide them with a clear aesthetic that showcases your brand culture. It’s the collage of images, tones, + keywords that tells the story of your brand — and where your brand style guide comes in. With your visual branding - colors, fonts, + imagery - being consistent across all platforms, your brand will be recognizable + nurturingly cohesive. Remember, the idea is to have your imagery reflect your brand personality + values.
Do you see now how your logo isn’t capable of accomplishing all of this? A logo is a stamp that represents your brand. Nothing more, nothing less. So to make the impact you dream of + stand out in the crowd, you gotta go beyond the logo + cast your spell by creating a brand culture. Your brand is not just a logo; it's an entire world. So treat it as such!
Cheeky Little Examples
accompanied by poorly chosen gifs that make me giggle 🙃
i. The Muppets
The Muppets are a beloved group of characters that have been entertaining audiences for decades — 1. they believe in inclusivity, 2. value unbridled creativity, + 3. are known for their humor.
- A diverse group of characters, with a wide range of personalities, backgrounds, + interests, always working to create a sense of community among all members. This is reflected in their storylines, which often feature themes of acceptance, tolerance, + friendship.
- Known for their zany antics, imaginative stories, + unique characters. They embrace the weird + the wonderful, + are always willing to try new things.
- From slapstick comedy to clever wordplay, The Muppets are always ready to make audiences laugh. They use humor to entertain, to break down barriers, + to create connections between people.
Emo, short for emotional, is a youth subculture that emerged in the mid-1980s and has evolved over time. Those who adopt the emo culture 1. believe in freely expressing their intense senses of emotion, 2. value music that explore sadness, + 3. express themselves through dark + edgy fashions.
- Often seen as introspective, sensitive, + artistic. While some people view emo culture as overly dramatic or attention-seeking, many people find camaraderie within the culture.
- Go-to music is a fusion of punk rock + indie rock with a focus on lyrics that explore emotional themes such as heartbreak, loneliness, + sadness. ie, My Chemical Romance, Dashboard Confessional, + Brand New.
- Fashions lend towards tight-fitting clothes, band t-shirts, skinny jeans, studded belts, + black eyeliner. Hair is often dyed black or brightly colored and styled in a choppy, layered fashion.
iii. Theatre Kids
Theatre kids, also known as drama or theater geeks, are individuals who are passionate about all aspects of theatre. They 1. hold a strong belief in the transformative power of performance, 2. value a strong work ethic, + 3. dedicate themselves to their love of the arts.
- Passionate about the act of storytelling + the emphasis on self-expression, encouraged to explore their emotions + express themselves authentically. This often leads to a sense of vulnerability + openness that is not always present in other social contexts.
- Often involved in rehearsals + performances for long hours, while maintaining a high level of focus + commitment. Preparation + practice are a high priority, as to ensure a successful production.
- As a community that is built on their passions, Theatre Kids support each other both on + offstage as they work collaboratively to create, create, + create.
Brand Culture Resource Guide
Okay, right — now you know that in order to step up your game you need to go beyond the logo + create a brand culture. That’s all good + all, but like, how do you do that? Well, if you snag my guide, I’ll walk you through all of the eight essentials to crafting a brand culture that sparkles. Your brand culture is so much more than a few pretty, well chosen images. My guide will help you identify who your dream clients are + the transformation you’re leading them through - which is crucial if you want to stand out from the crowd + earn their trust.
In this guide, I cover your ideal client’s:
- lifestyle - the basics
- media go-tos - so you can get meme heavy
- fashion sense - based on your business natal chart
- goals - what they want
- heroine’s journey - the key points in their transformation
- archetypes - identifying who they are
- stock photos - the overall vibe
- moodboard - a clear definition of your business’s vibe