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TUNE IN TO HEAR ABOUT
- Why you need to know your target audience inside out
- How getting your messaging right is critical to the success of your brand
- The importance in defying industry norms so that you can stand out in the market
- Why you need to steer clear of the DIY approach when it comes to your branding
- How consistency across all your touchpoints is key when it comes to nailing your brand
Becky Hughes is a Brand Consultant and self confessed 'Brand Stalker' - she loves to get under the skin of brands, to understand their inner most secrets and motivations, in order to make them magnetic and desirable. Becky founded White Space 6 years ago so she could focus her insight, energy and passion into applying big brand thinking to micro, small and medium size businesses. Having worked in design and brand consulting for over two decades, with businesses large and small, she is able to quickly cut through the noise and confusion brands owners face when trying to communicate what makes them unique; to help them create a motivating, inspiring brand story that only they can own.
CONNECT WITH BECKY
Flori Pyke [00:01:20] Hello and welcome to Episode 67. Now, today, I have to say I am particularly excited for this episode because I get to connect with someone who I really love to hang out with and who's also a very beloved member of our student community and who also, interesting fact, drove our rebrand from what was Business School for Mums to the extraordinary Elevatory. And, that is Becky Hughes from White Space. So nice to have you here.
Becky Hughes [00:01:55] Hi, Flori. It's very nice to be here and very excited to chat to you.
Flori Pyke [00:01:57] Yes, so my... I was thinking about it. This is... I think you're the first guest that we've had on twice. Yeah. Put on claim to fame. I feel like we need like. Like some sort of applause in the background.
Becky Hughes [00:02:11] That might be a bad thing. That might be that I've got too much to say for myself. [Flori laughs]
Flori Pyke [00:02:16] No definitely not. I think that... Well, it's funny because I remember the last episode we recorded, we started to touch on a lot of the stuff that we're going to talk about today. So, I think it's very exciting now to get you on to talk about this stuff. So, before we kind of delve into this stuff actually why don't you tell our listeners a little bit more around what you do over at White Space and yeah just give us a bit of a background?
Becky Hughes [00:02:43] Yeah. OK. Well, look I'll start kind of a little bit in the beginning if you like. So, I trained as a graphic designer 20 something years ago and when I got into design agencies I kind of very quickly got interested in all the consultancy side of things and the brand kind of conversation. And so, I kind of moved into that more from a consulting basis. So, brand is something that has always been something I'm very passionate about, something I'm very interested in, very intrigued about. I love having conversations about brand and I just feel like it's such an important part of every single business. [Flori agrees] Brand comes up just all the time, not just for businesses but for individuals in terms of that personal brands. It's just, for me, very often is the root of every conversation in many ways. So, it's kind of a path that I've followed and then what I had my kids six or seven years ago I decided not to go back to agency but wanted to continue working in that brand space. So, founded White Space which I've now been working in for the last six years, working with lovely sort of medium, small-sized businesses on their brands.
Flori Pyke [00:03:58] Yeah. I love it. I would just want to chime in here and say that I so agree with you in terms of how so much of a business' kind of success and story comes back to their brand and for me this was really something that became evident. So recently, Becky is one of our mastermind students and we recently had a bit of an offline connection day with all of our masterminders and did a bit of a round table and what was so interesting and I think you and I have talked about this but fundamentally every student went around the table and talked about you know their number one challenge that they were facing and what was quite fascinating was that so much of it came back to this brand element and you know everybody kind of, the way that these mastermind meetings work is that people take turns kind of expressing their challenge and then around the circle everyone gives some feedback and advice and it was quite interesting how many times we came back to that whole brand element, and how Becky, you chimed in with some serious brand genius and how it did often come back to that whole branding element.
Becky Hughes [00:05:01] Look and it did. And again, I kind of go is that me taking it back there? But it really did. I think very often 'cause so many things lead to brand, whether it be the way you talk about yourself and express yourself, the way you behave with your clients very often leads back to brand but also how you look. And, I think anyone thinks about how you look as being brand. But there's a lot more to it. So, there's behaviours, broader things around brand that kind of lead back to that kind of fundamental understanding for your business.
Flori Pyke [00:05:32] Yeah, I so agree and obviously, so one of the things that you and I talked about before recording this episode was all right, well, what are some of the key lessons that we can give to our listeners, to our audience when it comes to brand and I know that you suggested you know you wanted to talk around some of the mistakes that are most often made when it comes to brand and I think it's such a good idea because there are so many mistakes made when it comes to branding and I'd love for you to start taking us through those because I think that what you have to share applies everyone and the importance of the brand and why it's so fundamental really touches on all these lessons. So, do you want to take us through those now and kind of start you know peeling back the curtains and the layers around what we need to look for here?
Becky Hughes [00:06:23] Yeah. Look it's really interesting because when you work with lots of different businesses, I've worked with some really big businesses, Unilever, Nestle with their brands and some small startups who were just starting out. And, it's one person, one sole trader on their own. But when you take a step back, the themes that come out within working with those brands tend to be very, very similar. You know this isn't just mistakes that small business owners make. These are mistakes that people make across the board with their brands. And, look the first and the biggest one I think probably is the one that came out when we had that session a few weeks ago was kind of the idea of the brand story.
WHAT IS YOUR BRAND STORY?
And people really kind of starting there. So, when people either rebrand or they launch a brand, the first thing they do is they go right, I need a logo. I need to find someone to design me a logo or I'm going to go on Canva but what they forget is there's a whole piece that pre-empts that which is about getting really, really clear on what story is you want to tell the market. And that's actually where the name, my business name White Space came from because that's people understanding what is their white space. What is the unique space they can own and they can step into that is a truth about them as a brand and a business? You can't make this stuff up about brand. It has to be a reality in how you pave and what you offer. But you also have to kind of package that up in such a way that it's really compelling and motivating for your audience. So, it's kind of a two, it's a balancing act. You have to know what's special, important about my brand. And what is my audience looking for and what's going to motivate and compel them? And where's kind of the middle ground between those two? How do I bring those two things together? Write the story about my brand that is absolutely unique to me and having I suppose that blueprint which is a really simple way. I kind of always say you know if you could work to try and to distil it down into maybe 50 to 100 words about really what your brand, who you are, why you exist, what you do that is unique and how you deliver that, you can put that into words. It's kind of what you might call the elevator pitch. If somebody says to you, you know what are you all about? Tell them in just a minute or two.
Flori Pyke [00:08:42] Yes. Yes. So, to recap it's the who, why, what, how, fundamentally and that's how you flesh out your brand story is that what you're saying? [Becky agrees] OK. I love it. And I think, too, like one of the things that we spoke about a lot on that day was just how the story, like and you're going to talk about this a bit I think over the other lessons but I'd love to hear your thoughts around the impact of stories and how they really stick. Like people remember a story versus just you know some feature. I'd love to kind of hear your thoughts around that.
Becky Hughes [00:09:15] Yeah, absolutely. Because I think what a story does. I always think like messaging and telling a story is a bit of a ladder. And, when you talked about the who, why, what, everybody is very comfortable to talk about what they do. [Flori agrees] So, that's a kind of really easy starting point and everyone is like,I can describe what I do. When you start to get into the things that start to then pull you apart from your competitors which are how you do it? What is unique about the way you behave? And why you do it? What's the most compelling? What's the emotional driver? That's when it gets a bit more tricky. But that's really where your white space is. And, you start to tell that kind of story. That's what resonates with people because then they start to understand not just the features, not just kind of the tick list of what I get. What I'm going to get out of this? What are you going to do for me? What is the outcome that I'm going to get? And, I think that's what makes the story more compelling because people get an emotional connection with it. [Flori agrees] The difference between a functional connection where I go tick tick tick yes I'm going to get all these things versus it kind of takes people to a very emotional place and it kind of talks to the inner needs that they've got.
Flori Pyke [00:10:24] Yep. I definitely agree and I think from a marketing standpoint, we often see that whole outcome standpoint being called like the transformation, right? or the promise. Like what is it that at the end of the day your audience is going to experience or feel as a result of your offering, right?
Becky Hughes [00:10:43] Yes exactly. And that's where you kind of then have got to you know change your shoes and put yourself in your audience's shoes because you've got to think... Again, it's very quick and easy to default to, well, I know what I want and I know what I have to say about my brand. But you've got to think about what did they want? What position that they're in and what did they want to hear? [Flori agrees] So, it's a slightly different switch depending on how different you and your target audience might be.
Flori Pyke [00:11:06] Yeah. OK. Love it. So, kind of recapping to what we've spoken thus far. You've got to get your story right. You've got to get your messaging right. So, focusing more on the outcome versus the features versus benefits. [Becky agrees] And, the third one I think you touched on it. Can you take us through a little bit more so relatability and what that means and how we often get that wrong?
IS YOUR BRAND RELATABLE?
Becky Hughes [00:11:28] Yeah completely. And, I always use a bit of an example here to kind of illustrate the point. So, when I worked more on corporate branding, we had been and we've presented to the board of a particular business their rebrand. You know, the things through a rebrand process, we went and presented that work to them. And, we kind of left it with them and left them to kind of talk about it and think about it for a week or two and then we went back for feedback and in that feedback, the CEO of that business fed back to us that he'd shown his wife at home, you know he'd gone home and taken the work home with him and he'd shown her over the dining table, you know this is what this company have done for us by way of a rebrand. He reported to us that she didn't like it because she didn't like orange. And that was kind of... I suppose that sort of offset us a little bit for a moment. But actually, it was kind of really easy thing to address because his wife wasn't our target audience. They were in the engineering sector. Not to say that she couldn't necessarily be an engineer but she wasn't. So, it kind of like that relatability issue always, people always default back to like I like it or I don't like it. And, as a brand owner, if you only focus on what you personally like whether that be in your name, your tagline, your visual, your colour palette, whatever it might be, then again, you're not thinking about what's going to resonate with your audience. So, you need more objective ways to judge your brand outcomes, to judge those deliverables and that needs to be based on what's relatable for your audience. Not what's relatable for you. I always say it's not wallpaper that you're hanging in your lounge. [Flori agrees] You don't have to have that level of emotional connection with it. You need your audience to have that level of emotional connection with it. And sometimes, it really depends on your particular industry. You, as a brand owner, you might be a very similar person to your audience but you might not be. [Flori agrees] Have to get that understanding of where they're at and you have to make it relatable for them.
Flori Pyke [00:13:33] Yeah definitely. So, a couple things on that. Do you have any feedback or insights, Becky, around how do you ensure that it does effectively connect and resonate with your target audience?
Becky Hughes [00:13:48] Look, I think it goes back to the very beginning of the brand process and brand story. So, part of building your brand story is about getting under the skin of your target audience. So, starting to understand what are the things that are important to them and what motivates them, what keeps them awake at night, what other brands they're interested in. So, by having an understanding about what their brand universe is if you like. So, what might be the clothing brands or the food brands or whatever it might be that they also buy into and also resonate with them. So, by building that picture of who your audience is then you can... It's easier to build those criteria of what's going to appeal to them because you kind of build something in that kind of is very similar to that or resonates with that. But the other thing is in that kind of I suppose a tangent to this is about soliciting feedback. I see it all the time in so many different forums where people they've gone away and they've got someone to design some logos for them and then they put up a, you know here's my five different logo options. And then, what ensues is what I call a beauty parade in which people just vote for their favourite but there's no criteria for why they... So, there's no further response as to why it resonates with them, also understanding it even if they're the correct target audience. [Flori agrees] So, you just get everybody's subjective opinion. So, it's really important to understand before you solicit feedback that A) you're asking the right people for that feedback and B) that feedback is qualified in some way. If you pursue it and you follow up and you kind of delve a bit deeper into the whys. Because otherwise, all you'll get is that very subjective response which is fine if they're your target audience because you want that emotional response. But, if they're not then they're just going to completely skew the process.
Flori Pyke [00:15:35] Yeah. Yeah definitely. And, I think that's a very valid point and I really do agree with you. I mean I can't say enough how many times I see polls being posted on various Facebook groups, where the Facebook group audience would like to begin with has nothing to do with the target audience that the brand is soliciting, that the business is soliciting feedback around when it comes to the brand.
Becky Hughes [00:16:01] Yeah. And, it's horrible. It's like kind of car crash TV in a way because you watch on going… Even as a brand expert, I don't know if it's right or wrong. I never comment. [Flori agrees] I don't know what all of the background is behind that brand. I don't know who their audience is. I don't know what their objectives are as a brand, what they're trying to achieve by going through this process. So, it's really, it really doesn't serve them in that way and other than to validate, give themselves some kind of validation. It may send them down the completely wrong path.
Flori Pyke [00:16:30] Yeah, a hundred percent which is what we see being done a lot with small business, be it with your brand or an idea. Exactly. You know that's not tested and validated and just your friends are saying it's a good idea, go for it and off you go and you go completely down the wrong path. So, it's being very conscious fundamentally of where you are soliciting your feedback and research from and ensuring that is your target audience, right?
Becky Hughes [00:16:55] Yeah. Yeah. And, you know you're much better to ask qualified questions that you can kind of get people to rationalise their response a little bit more because that really gives you... You know again whenever I present design work and if I get that I don't like it kind of response. Of course, I never get that response but... [both laugh] I always go well, why, what, you know why isn't... Because you do it, oh it doesn't feel right. You know and there is something in that but you have to kind of pull out why? Why isn't it feel right? Why doesn't it resonate with you? What is it about it? So, it's kind of you can't just take feedback as is.
Flori Pyke [00:17:36] Yeah. Yeah. No, I really agree now on that point of speaking around the brand and whether it resonates with your audience. I'd love to hear your thoughts about this but I feel quite strongly like even having gone from the process of evolving the brand from Business School for Mums to The Elevatory®, you know one thing that Anna and I really felt throughout that transition was that we wanted... It's almost like over time, we felt that a loss of clear identification with the brand of Business School for Mums not because we didn't want to be there for mums. I mean we are mums ultimately, right? Like we're a hundred percent there for them. But we wanted to be more and we wanted to be more inclusive. You know and we wanted to be able to welcome women from all walks of life and cue the birth of The Elevatory®. And one, I think, take away that was really interesting for both of us was that we went from having and I'm not talking about a business name here. I'm literally just talking about the aesthetics of a logo. OK. So, take away the business name but we went from having a logo that we didn't particularly, it’s not that we didn't like it but I wasn't like I don't know. It didn't... It's your standard case of you know we started a business. We had to create a brand and off we went you know to then creating with you The Elevatory® which literally once we perceived those brand guidelines from you. I was like how I felt was that I loved it and how I felt was that I wanted to like post, like I want like a car magnet like I want you know a hat with my brand name on it like I love it. It is so cool you know and I mean obviously I'm a bit biased but I guess what I'm getting at is that I didn't feel that way toward the old brand aesthetic. OK. And, for me, I feel like to some degree you do have to love it because you're going to be with it for a long time and I'd love to hear your insights around that.
HAVING CONFIDENCE IN YOUR BRAND
Becky Hughes [00:19:35] Look. I think some of that depends on how personally connected you are with... An owner of a really big brand, when you talk about brand managers who kind of come and go in brand, it might really resonate with them because they understand that it's right. To a small business owner, and, yes there has to be that feeling of I love it. It just is right. But I think all of that, the underlying thing there is the confidence that you know that it is right. And, I think that that's a really interesting conversation that I've had a lot recently is that your part of the challenge of branding is having that confidence when you go through the process whether it be launching whether it be rebranding to go I know that that delivers and it's right. And that comes back to all of the things that we've just talked about. You really understand your story and you know that's a story that you feel emotional about. [Flori agrees] And I think because the why of your brand is something that you will connect with emotionally because that is what drove you to do that, just that business in the first place. So, by really being clear on that story, having a really clear well-honed message is going to mean that you can look at your brand and go I know it's right. I know it delivers on all of those objectives for me. That's kind of what creates that love in some ways. [Flori agrees] But again it may not be that you look at it, you go I love it. I want to plaster it all over my car.But you do and that's great. [both laugh] You could just wear it like a t-shirt.[Flori says "No. Literally, I like want pyjamas] But it's kind of having that pride in it because you know it's right. And you know it's well-executed. And you know that it's going to be loved by your audience. And, I think that's what it comes down to it. And so many brand owners that I talk to, I just I don't love it or...
Flori Pyke [00:21:27] A hundred percent. That's what I'm saying like for me I feel like it's important that you love it because it needs to connect with you. And, like you said it goes... There are so many layers to it. It goes beyond just the aesthetic of a logo. There's a story to it. You know there's this messaging. There's all these elements. And when you nail it like you should, I feel really be proud of it.
Becky Hughes [00:21:49] Yeah, I think it's a sense of pride. I really do think that's what it is. Because I think you're proud of the outcome and you know you should have that sense of confidence that outcome is going to drive your business. [Flori agrees] Because ultimately, that's what a brand is about. A brand isn't about I'm just gonna sit here and stare at it all day because it is the most beautiful thing I've ever seen. It has to deliver a commercial reality as well. And having that confidence that it's going to drive your business forward because you know it's going to connect and resonate with your audience and because you know that you can confidently talk about and express and sell your brand is a really powerful thing.
Flori Pyke [00:22:25] No, I wholeheartedly agree. OK. Perfect. So, story, you gotta nail that. You got to nail your messaging. It's got to be relatable to your audience. Talk to me about how to yeah. Like what else, differentiation? Where do we sit in that respect when it comes to your brand?
DOES YOUR BRAND STAND OUT IN THE CROWD?
Becky Hughes [00:22:41] So, another really important thing to me and something I focus quite heavily on in branding is the idea of stand out.And stand outisn't necessarily just again how you look. It's how you stand out with your messaging and how you talk about your brand and how you behave and what's really, really interesting is very often people approach brands like how I would term horoscopes. Because there's not only 12 types of people and there's not one kind of business in every industry. And, what I mean by that is what you tend to find is every industry defaults to what is their industry norm when it comes to communication.So, things like hairdressers and using pictures of scissors in their branding or accountants who default to dark blues and dark greys because it says something about them being very reliable and very corporate. Or childcare centres that use very childlike colours and fonts so they tend to be kind of what I call industry language. [Flori agrees] And, when somebody launches their brand in that industry they immediately default to that language. [Flori agrees] And that's kind of there's a balancing act in that because if you immerse yourself too heavily in that industry norm then you just end up looking like everybody else. And you end up sounding like everybody else and you don't kind of pull yourself apart. So, instead of starting with your brand purpose and your story, you've kind of started with the industry and you've kind of gone I'm going to create myself in that industry's image. So, it's really important to understand the industry norms and you know that's an exercise we did with The Elevatory®. I delved very deeply into who all the different players in this industry, how did they dress themselves up? So, what colour palette do they use? What fonts do they use? How do they style themselves in terms of imagery? What language do they use? And why do they choose to do that? What are they trying to say about themselves? And therefore, where do we want to position ourselves in relation to that? Do we want to fit in? Or is there a slight spin that we want to take on that which is about who we are as a brand and reflects our unique story? So, it's kind of starting by understanding what the industry norms are but then kind of overlaying that with what's unique about your business in your story to try and again find that white space. What's going to help you stand out? If everybody else is zigging then how are you going to zag? You know you don't want to sort of set yourself apart to the extent where you don't fit and you don't make sense but you do need to look for the opportunity to differentiate. [Flori agrees] It's really, really important. I think for small business owners. There's that real comfort blanket in defaulting to the industry norm. But it actually doesn't serve you necessarily because it just means that everybody's on par and it's decision making for your audience' much much more difficult. [Flori agrees] You know it just comes down to price, for example, because they go all of these guys look the same. [Flori agrees] So, essentially which one's the cheapest and I'll pick them.
Flori Pyke [00:25:40] Yeah. I mean, I think it's really interesting what you're saying and I couldn't agree more because I know that in one of the modules that I teach in The Academy which is all focused around you know defining your points of difference as a business. One of the things that I always say is that "even if you're in a congested competitive landscape, you can stand out." And, one of the easiest ways to do that is with you know your brand, your packaging, how you present yourself and your message to the market. And that's exactly what you're saying here. So, I could not agree more like it is a real opportunity to stand out.
Becky Hughes [00:26:18] Yeah. You know to cut through what everyone else is saying and again, it keeps coming back to if you're really clear on your story and your white space and what makes you unique and you're really clear on how you package that message up to make it compelling and relatable for your audience, then finding that way of standing out becomes not only simpler but it also becomes more objective because again you've got the criteria to say does this identity, does this colour palette deliver to those things?
Flori Pyke [00:26:50] Yeah. No, I love it. And, I think there's so much truth to that. Exactly, it's so easy to default to all well just do what everybody else is doing because it's safe when in fact it can very much work against you, right? [Becky agrees] All right, cool. So, obviously we've got some notes here that we wanted to touch on. So, the next thing that you wanted to highlight was presentation. So, talk to me a little bit more around that when it comes to your brand?
YOUR BRAND’S FIRST IMPRESSION
Becky Hughes [00:27:17] Oh, I could talk about this. [both laugh] But I won't. For me, I think it's so important about you know when you meet somebody rightly or wrongly or when you go on the supermarket and you make a purchase decision. So much of that is based on a first impression. So, a big part of that is the visual, how it's presented and how it looks then probably secondary to that is kind of some of the messaging and what it says to you and how it kind of talks to you in that way. So, having a professional presentation is so important. And I think what happens particularly with people starting out because it is a big investment, launching a business and there are lots of other things to think about. [Flori agrees] But, having that really professional presentation is a really worthwhile investment. And, like with everything it can be done well or it can be done badly. And that doesn't necessarily have to cost more to do it well. It is just a decision you have to make. Am I going to do this properly? So, there’s really simple things that people can do straight away that just improves the perception of their brand. The biggest thing for me, the thing that always gets me down [both laugh] is when people don't have a business e-mail address. So, we're talking about perception here and how people in that instant that moment when they first meet you, they think about you and the first thing is do yourself a favour, go and get yourself a business email. I mean I'm not particularly proposing Gmail here but you can go and get yourself a Gmail For Business email account and instantaneously you will be perceived as more professional. Having the you know joebloggshairdresser at gmail dot com instantly kind of dilutes your professionalism and dilutes your presentation as a brand. So that's a really simple one. The other one is email signatures. Just about every email client out there will accommodate some kind of email signature. So just think about... have a nice you know don't squash your logo. Make sure that your logo is nice and crisp but it isn't all pixelated and just have a nice professional looking email signature. Again, it's all about perception. [Flori agrees] And then, the other one is I mean there are so many things but would be another one that you know you can make or break yourself with you know do you think about your website and how it presents on mobile, for example, all of those other layers. But for me, again it comes back to logo. The number of times I see businesses who have... you know they just haven't got the right format of a logo for the medium they're using. So, they blow it up too big and it ends up being all blurry and pixelated or they try and squash their landscape logo into a square format. And, it's getting... you know those are the kinds of things that it's so important to think about when you're presenting your brand. Does it always look professional and polished? [Flori agrees] It doesn't have to cost a fortune and that may well be a quick YouTube tutorial to figure out how to do it but there's just some little things that can just help you present your brand a little bit more professionally.
Flori Pyke [00:30:20] Yeah, no definitely. And, it's interesting because I was making some notes for myself as you were talking and one of the first things that you talked about was you know the supermarket purchase decision and how a lot of the time you know the brand, the packaging that is on a product is often what drives your decision to purchase that product. And, it's really interesting because when I, you know one of the things that we teach over here is basically how people make decisions. It's called the buyer behaviour decision process. And, to your point Becky, right? One of like fundamentally, I mean, there's a bit of a theory behind it but the underlying message to this whole decision-making process as humans is that our decisions are driven mainly by emotion. And, it goes back to this whole element which we spoke about earlier of relatability. Because if we're led by emotion, we want to feel heard. We choose something that resonates with us, right? And, you're so right. Like you know the whole brand and what you put out there as you're packaging it's more than just a colour and a logo. It is driving the potential of a purchase decision like it is such a big deal. That's what I'm trying to say you know.
Becky Hughes [00:31:43] And importantly, a purchase decision but also a repeat purchase decision. [Flori agrees] And, I think that's really important in brand is to think about you know people kind of go I put up my website. I've got my great business cards and they kind of go well, now people are purchasing from me. But, they don't, in brand terms,they don't think about that ongoing experience. And, I kind of often use the example of Apple. So, I kind of ordered a very nice purse. A very well-known brand. [Flori says "Oh, what did you order? Wait. Wait. What did you get?"] But when it arrived. I’m not saying who it is. Because when it arrived, it had been kind of like packed up in this beaten up old box [Flori says "Shut up"] and was the experience of receiving that was very underwhelming [Flori says "for what you paid and what the promise was"] for the promise and my perception of that brand prior that experience. So, that post-purchase experience was kind of a negative one and it had a negative impact on my perception of that brand. Whereas, I would use the example of Apple. That kind of whole experience of whenever you purchase an Apple product and how they pack it not necessarily great for the environment but you know that whole experience of you know sliding off the sleeve and opening one box and inside there's a beautifully cushioned phone inside that box in packaging that has obviously been well thought through and is exactly right for that product. And, the beautiful little leaflet that comes with it. That whole experience has been well thought through by Apple. And, it kind of almost becomes, that experience of receiving an Apple product becomes something people want to do again. It's almost like a little bit of a drug. [Flori agrees] Want to have that experience again because it feels so nice to receive it. [Flori says "Totally. It's that dopamine hit."] Absolutely. You feel like you're being gifted something. Apple sending you a gift, like you pay for it you know. Understanding that experience and kind of having a level of control if you like over all of your touchpoints and understanding that whole customer journey not just to the point of when people purchase from you but what happens after that. What will they get from you after that or how will they experience your brand after that? And making that part a really well thought through presentation is really, really important. [Flori agrees] Like your goal is not just to drive people to purchase from you. It's to kind of build the ongoing loyalty so they repeat purchase. But also, that they become your ambassadors and they go and tell everyone else about how amazing... I just told everybody whoever listens to this podcast how amazing Apple is because they've delivered that great brand experience. And, ultimately what you want to do. You want to create these brand ambassadors who will sing your praises from the rooftops.
Flori Pyke [00:34:41] Yeah. You're so, speaking my language. I love it. OK. So, final point. Talk to me about consistency and the importance of why we need to get this right.
CONSISTENCY, CONSISTENCY, CONSISTENCY
Becky Hughes [00:34:53] Yeah. So, I think this is kind of very, the issues of presentation that I just talked about, and consistency, are kind of wrapped up in a similar idea. But for me, consistency again is something that's so easily overlooked. I think it becomes particularly difficult when a brand kind of evolves over time. And, ultimately if you're the sole brand owner or there's only maybe you know it's a small business it's very easy every time to kind of want to reinvent the wheel. It’s like when you want to buy new clothing or you want to you know change the colour on your walls at home. It's kind of because you haven't got to go and seek permission from anyone apart from yourself, it's very easy to sometimes keep tweaking and reinventing. What happens over time is that you then have this inconsistent brand. [Flori agrees] Because every time you develop a presentation or you put out a new leaflet or you send an email or you create a landing page, you kind of do it a little bit differently. You kind of tweak it every time,and very often that's driven by I got bored with it. You know and I just wanted to change it because I just you know I felt like I was getting over it. You have to remember your audience isn't over it because they don't see it as often as you see it. So, if they have an experience of your brand where at five or six different touchpoints, it looks and feels slightly different. If they go to your website and then they click through to your Facebook page and the two aren't really clearly connected because you decided you kind of got a bit bored with your feed and you wanted to change it up. They don't have that same sense of boredom. They actually become confused and they sort of go oh is this company serious about what they do? Or is this the same company? Have I gone to the wrong place? So, having that consistency is really really important. Making sure that people are absolutely clear that wherever they come into contact with your brand whether it's they receive an email and they see a really nicely presented email signature and then from there they click through to your website and they see the same kind of colour palette and the same fonts carry through. And when they receive something from you through the post, for example, if your product brand and the way that's packaged and the little note for example that goes with it, same font same color, there's a really, really consistent story there. And, that builds trust in your brand because people know that you're being professional and you're being consistent and they feel confident that they're always connecting with the same business. And, it creates a professional persona for you and you give a professional perception of yourself. So, having that consistency is really, really important. So, every time you kind of start hearing yourself saying oh I'm bored I want to reinvent. You got a choice at that point. You have to ask yourself Is it time to rebrand? And is there a really good reason for that and do I need to dive deeper? And when I rebrand, you and Anna can speak to this, you have to then make sure that all of those touchpoints are revisited and make consistent with your new brand. [Flori says "It is a bit of an undertaking. Just to slide in there."] Give yourself a little kind of slap on the wrist and say no because my audience isn't getting bored. They may only kind of connect with you three or four times a year whereas you connect with your brand three or four times a day, or if not, an hour. So, they're not going to have that same sense of fatigue that you've got. So, it's really important to check yourself at that point because the external projection of consistency is really important.
Flori Pyke [00:38:23] Definitely. And, I think one of the things as well in terms of doing that check you know to make sure that you are following the same consistent guidelines as literally like I don't know if you want to talk a bit about just you know few brand guidelines and what they're there for you know. Like it's like your little business Bible to make sure that you are on-brand every time, right?
Becky Hughes [00:38:47] Yeah. And look, I think guidelines are... guidelines don't have to be a 40-page missive. [Flori agrees] Your guidelines are a couple of pages that say this is my colour palette and this is what I'll stick to. These are my two or three fonts that I will use and usually you might have fonts that work for print but then website fonts that will work on your website and your other assets might be. So, you know you might have textures or shapes that you also use in your brand language and you might set an image style. So, it's important to say you know when I present photography in relation to my brand, what's that styling going to be like? Can you set the rules about that? And then, whenever you talk to anybody about... So, if you brief a web developer or you brief an email marketer or anybody, they always see those guidelines and they're the parameters that you expect them to work within. And then, everybody knows that if they introduce something else then that's going to start creating that inconsistency. You're reinventing the wheel but you don't need to. So just having those four things covered off in a guideline and also I think what's really important as a fit thing is that what not to do's with your... So, if you've got a logo that has a word mark and an icon, set some rules that you don't want those used separately. They always have to be used together. Setting those rules, those four or five rules and then everybody's really clear on what they need to do.
Flori Pyke [00:40:13] Yeah. I love it. So much gold. I think like from my end fundamentally like out of this episode that I really want you know our listeners to take away is that, that's right, like your brand is way more than just you know your colour palette and your logo. Like there's so many elements to consider here. And this just really speaks to why it's so fundamental to get it right because like you said at one point throughout this episode, Becky, is that your brand is about driving your business forward. It's about enabling you to get those results. And when you can nail it you're going to get there so much faster and I think as well you said this and it's something that I say so much as well is that you know it is that first impression with your audience and you want to put your best foot forward because you know what you might not have that opportunity again to get in front of that audience. So why not do yourself the justice, right? And get this right.
Becky Hughes [00:41:06] Yes, absolutely. I think people always feel like it's a choice of you know am I gonna DIY this or am I gonna invest loads and loads of money in this? And you know it doesn't have to be one or the other. Again, if you are very clear on your story and your message, if you become clear about that as a brand owner, then you can more confidently manage the process with somebody else. If you do engage a graphic designer or whatever it is you choose to do, you can be much more confident and objective in that process. So, you know you get to have to a good outcome but it doesn't necessarily have to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars like big brands do. But, if you're really clear on what you need to achieve and that consistency, that clarity of story, that stand out then you're putting your best foot forward. You're investing in the right kind of places.
Flori Pyke [00:41:57] Yeah. No, I love it. OK. So, just to recap in terms of some of the fundamentals that so often time businesses get wrong. But you know, we really need to ensure that we're covering our bases on when it comes to your brand is story, the message, to ensure that it's relatable. You need to get that stand out, getting the presentation right and then that consistent messaging. So, I love it. Yeah. All right. So, Becky, tell us a little bit more where can our audience find more about you? And yeah. Is there anything special that you'd like to share as well? I'll let you kind of take the stage here.
Becky Hughes [00:42:31] Yeah. So, if you want to find out a bit more about me or the clients that I've worked with you can visit my website which is white-space.com.au. And then, when you get to the homepage, I've got a little 10-point checklist which is a way for companies to kind of I suppose give their brand a little health check. So, there are 10 fundamentals about your brand and you can just kind of run through them and ask yourself a few questions which will give you a sense of is your brand performing well or are you weak in areas that you might need to focus on. So, when you get to the homepage, above the fold you'll be pleased to hear, Flori. [both laugh] Look and just download that little e-guide.
Flori Pyke [00:43:13] OK. That's awesome. All right. Awesome and for our listeners to get your hands on the show notes and to learn more about Becky you can head over to theelevatory.com/podcast. Becky, I'm putting you on the spot, parting thought. You know what I'm all about here because you did the episode once before. So, yeah. Give it to us. What's a bit of a parting thought for today?
Becky Hughes [00:43:32] Look, I think it’s kind of related to all the content that we've just talked about. And, I think for me the term that comes all the time when I talk to people about their brand is opportunity cost and what that means is if you try DIY-ing your brand and you spend hours and hours trying to do it and then you find out six months later that it didn't resonate and it wasn't right. Then you've got to ask yourself, what opportunities did you miss? What did it cost you in terms of opportunity by doing that? So, very often people DIY because they think it will save them some money but actually it ends up costing them far more in time and money because they then go to revisit. So, always ask yourself, can I be doing something better with my time than trying to DIY.
Flori Pyke [00:44:16] Which I can definitely say chances are unless you're a graphic designer. The answer is yes. So, moral of the story don't DIY it basically. But it's so true. Like I can't tell you enough how many times we see different businesses trying to DIY this and then spending way more time, energy and money in the long run of the opportunities lost and trying to get it right without exactly just doing it right from the first, you know from the outset, from the get-go. So, so much truth. All right, Becky. Well, thank you so much for coming on the show today. I've really enjoyed talking with you. It's been great. [Becky says "Thank you. And Thank you for having me again."] No, it's been... it's funny right because they are the last time we recorded, we kind of started to go down this brand route. So, it's been great being able to really pick your brains about this so that our listeners and our audience can wrap their heads around you know the importance of the stuff and how huge of a role and impact this plays when it comes to driving your business forward. So, it's been awesome. All right. All right ladies. That is a wrap. And, remember to always elevate your business game.
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