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Brand image

If you've been following my blogs you should now have a list of brand values and a namestyle that you feel best represents your desired reader experience. So now it's time to move on to your brand image.

Think first about your desired reader experience and make a collection or collage or images that your think or feel represent that experience, or parts of it. These images can literally come from anywhere, including other authors book covers, or just textures or typefaces. If you're really stuck, try typing your brand value words into google images and see what comes up.

When you can fill the equivalent of an A1 poster with images that in some way represent your desired reader experience, write down a couple of sentences that describe how you feel when you stare at them. Once again, feel free to ask other people to do the same thing and then cross check the sentences with your list of brand values. They should be similar, if not, it's time to think again: Are you more of a visual person? Do the pictures 'feel' more accurate than the words or vice versa?

Do your words and pictures vary a lot or a little from other peoples? Try to understand what others are seeing and feeling.

Fundamentally, YOU are the person who needs to feel happy with your brand image, so you have the final veto; but if you're poles apart it's worth finding out why and making some amendments so that everyone is seeing and feeling pretty much the same thing.

Once you're happy with the images, 'summarise' the dominant colours. I say 'summarise' because terms like: brights, nature, and gloomy are more relevant and often more helpful than 'blues'. If there is a dominant 'colour' try to be specific. It's important to remember that carrying colour is like having perfect pitch, very few people see colours accurately, and what might be turquoise to you could translate as aqua, cyan, teal, peacock or petrol! Both Word and Powerpoint have 'more colour options' within the 'fill' section in the toolbar, so identifying a pantone or RGB reference is a safer option. Again, please remember that colours differ from screen to screen, gloss, matt or satin varnished print.

Alternatively, texture might be your thing: rust, bark, cork or wool; but try to be specific as Aaron wool and cashmere appear very different.

Once again, live with and consider your choices carefully as the ONLY reason for changing a brand is if it's doing you harm by association e.g. FIFA! So before investing any money, be absolutely sure that it's representative of you and your desired reader experience. When you're happy, move on to my next blog...

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