"How To Style Your Brand" is a fantastic best selling book from author Fiona Humberstone. Fiona is a previous guest blogger for Create with her post on How to use the Psychology of Colour to Brand your Business.
When I heard "How To Style Your Brand" was being released, I couldn't wait to get my hands on a copy. It truly is a work of art and full of inspiration, broken down into handy steps from start to finish!
As part of the "How To Style Your Brand" blog book tour, I had the opportunity to grab 10 minutes with Fiona. Read on to find out about her very exciting book and get some brilliant styling tips from a true expert.
Fiona, I have to say “How To Style Your Brand” is truly a treat for the eyes! What inspired you to write the book?
Thank you! I’d been keen to create a coffee-table style business book for years and I’m thrilled with how it’s turned out.
I’m an avid collector of illustrated books and have hundreds on our shelves at home: everything from cookbooks to craft books, gardening to sewing. They’re so inspirational and I’d felt for years that I could do the same with a business book. Why on earth shouldn’t they be packed with colour and beautiful examples of great branding? And with a subject as visual as branding it just seemed to make sense to me.
There are plenty of branding books for small business owners but they tend to be black and white textbooks. There are also plenty of visually inspiring design books for professionals, but they aren’t accessible to entrepreneurs. I could see a gap in the market for a beautiful book that would act as a workbook – a ‘how to’ for entrepreneurs and designers alike that would give people the advice they needed.
I’d had this book in the back of my mind for years, but it was only when I was on sabbatical a couple of years ago, having sold my branding company, that I had the time and headspace to really make it happen. I was also having so many conversations with friends who were confused, frustrated and overwhelmed with the whole process of branding their businesses and needed some solid, sensible advice to help them move forwards.
For businesses just starting out, what would you say are the first steps in creating a strong brand identity for the business?
The most important thing is to take a step back and think about how you want to come across. Take the time to think about what makes your business special, what your clients value about what you do and how you want your business to feel to prospective clients. All too often we jump in and start thinking about colours or a specific font when what we really need to do is slow down and take a more considered approach.
My process is all about designing with intention. So if you know, for example, that you want your business to come across as creative, approachable and inspirational then there are fonts and colours that you can use that will communicate that. Start by getting focused, learn about how design works and everything else falls into place.
By following a robust, tried and tested process you’ll create something that will withstand the whims of fashion, that gives you the confidence to get out there and fulfil your business potential and importantly, proves irresistible to your ideal clients.
How important is it to get your brand identity right straight from the get go?
Getting your branding right at the outset can make a huge difference to the success of your business but it’s never too late! When you launch a startup with a clear and compelling brand that reflects your solid business aspirations you’ll find that doing business becomes much easier. That will have a direct impact on your confidence and how you price your products and services as well as how attractive your business is to prospective clients.
If you’re struggling to get your clients to take you seriously; find that you’re having to compete on price all too often or you simply find that you’re not gaining the traction you’d like to, it’s worth taking a look at your brand. Getting your branding right means that your clients will see your business the way you do. They’ll see the value in what you do, they’ll aspire to work with you.
You wrote a really inspiring blog for us last year on How to use the Psychology of Colour to Brand your Business. How did you determine the colour personality of your business?
Thank you! I worked through exactly the same process I advise readers to in my book. Designing your own branding can be tough: it’s often difficult to see the wood for the trees so was essential for me to fill out a written brief for myself so that I had something to refer back to as a sanity check. I also worked through the sorts of questions I have in my Planning chapter of the book and then pulled out key words that would represent my brand best. Those key words determined the season of my business and have stood me in great stead.
Photo credit- Matt Pereira ©
Finally, where can we get our hands on a copy of "How To Style Your Brand'?
Thank you Fiona, it has been great to talk and get these wonderful tips!