Leveling Up with a Brand Refresh
Some of you might have noticed the soft launch of my new logo. So, to those who noticed, thank you! And to those who commented, extra thank you! The new logo is part of a larger initiative to level up—a goal I had from the start of the year. In fact, I wrote it on my whiteboard in early January and haven’t erased it since.
Leveling up can mean so many different things. For me, it meant increasing my revenue and my reach—a solid year two goal. To do this, I also needed to level up the story I was telling and how I was telling it. I needed the branding to better align with the brand.
Brand, branding, and brand identity need to get on the same page
That might sound confusing to the non-marketer, but there is a difference. The brand is who you are, what you stand for, and how people see you. It’s the intangible, as Hubspot puts it. Some call it the emotion; I like to call it the vibe. On the other hand, the branding is the marketing and the strategy that supports the growth of the brand. Getting more technical, the brand identity is the logo, the colors, the font, etc.
Both branding and brand identity should be consistent, stand out, and accurately represent the brand aka the vibe. If the branding is inconsistent or misguided, people may not remember you. What would happen if Google began advertising in the local newspaper? It would probably seem a little off base. In the same vein, if the brand identity doesn’t align with your brand, you may miss your target audience. Just imagine if Nike’s swoosh was a pink heart instead…Yikes!
Often as a company grows, the branding and brand identity no longer match the brand because of the natural progression of the business. I think anyone in their first years of business will tell you that what they began with is not how they ended up. I always told people, what the business looks like today is probably not what it’ll look like tomorrow. And that’s exactly what I found out.
My changing vision and my brand refresh
When I began this journey, I had a grand vision to assist small business owners and fellow entrepreneurs with their marketing and communications, but mainly their social media. I was hellbent that I wouldn’t do packages—everything would be customized and handled by me (heh, so naïve!). This is where the logo with the emoji girl, the bright colors, and my personal signature came in.
However, after a few months in business I realized four things…
1) The market for small business marketing/communications providers was CROWDED. And a crowded market that I did not have very many connections in.
2) The market for the life sciences industry, where I have an extensive network, was not nearly as crowded.
3) My superpower is writing, and my extra special superpower is writing for science.
4) While the idea of personalized service was a fine one, it was simply not sustainable with my revenue goals and my insistence on work-life balance (the audacity!). There is a reason that thousands of podcast hosts and entrepreneurial experts preach about the value of creating packages that can be easily replicated…it’s sustainable. I also realized that if I wanted to seriously grow, being a solopreneur was also not sustainable—I’ll need a team.
With all this mind and the graphic design genius of my good friend Sarah Beth Graphics, the new logo was born. We kept the purple and the creative flair, agreeing that felt on brand. But the imagery became a little less small business, a little more agency to match my revised vision. And the not-so-hidden pen is to emphasize the writing focus.
My first logo will always have a special place in my heart, but I’m excited about this next phase. I like to think of this as a brand refresh or a brand enhancement. Without further ado, here is the official new logo.
The second part of the upleveling is soon to come…new photos! Both the logo and the photos will lead into the more solid branding strategy, so I can achieve all my big year two goals.
For anyone curious, here is the full style guide!