5 Creative business tips from a branding expert

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In this installment, we’re diving into branding tips to spotlight Amanda Guerassio, brand strategy expert with our partner NOMAWO. NOMAWO offers training tracks around business growth and branding. Wethos users receive 10% savings on cohort programs. Sign in or sign up to redeem! 

Meet branding expert Amanda Guerassio!

Amanda is a brand strategist and designer based out of Austin, Texas. She’s been an independent designer for 15 years, and currently runs Studio Guerassio. She’s been playing in Photoshop since middle school, and (more formally) received her BFA in Graphic Design in 2006. Fate brought her down to Austin after college, and a love of independence took her into freelancing. She’s been a one-woman design studio ever since.

For NOMAWO, Amanda leads the branding track, an 8-week intensive on building a distinctive brand. She believes that pretty design and strategic design aren’t mutually exclusive. Well-thought-out branding (visual and otherwise) can start your business off on the right foot, or give it new life. Join her for the next cohort and access your 10% discount on the program by signing into or signing up for Wethos!

So, how did you get into brand strategy and design?

I have always been interested in art and design, as far back as I can remember. When it came time for college, graphic design seemed like the perfect choice to blend my love of art and tech. I majored in Graphic Design (BFA) and have been an independent designer ever since. I started out as a jack-of-all-trades, as most designers do, and eventually narrowed in on exactly the kind of work I want to be doing. I’ve been specializing in branding for the past 6 years. It’s what I’m good at, enjoy, and what can bring the most impact and transformation for my clients.

Tell us a bit about why branding is so important for successful entrepreneurship.

Branding is all about being intentional – intentional about why you’re running a business, who you want to serve, how you want to show up. Having a solid foundation or strategy behind all of that (aka. branding) not only makes walking the entrepreneurial path that much easier, since you have some guidelines to help you, but it also makes success that more likely because you’re not just throwing spaghetti at the wall, you have thought and purpose behind what you’re doing. Branding can be your cornerstone, your compass, your megaphone and your magnet for your business, all at once. But you have to put some effort into it.

What would you say are the basic building blocks of a brand for someone who’s just starting out with their own company?

For your core brand: take time to brainstorm and get really clear on why you’re running this business, your vision for it, how you want to be perceived, who you want to work with, and what makes you/your business different. Simply having those things set down will be super helpful in guiding all sorts of business decisions.

For your visual brand: use your core brand to steer design direction. Ask if it’s communicating what you want it to, with colors and font personalities and general impression. Have an official logo, and a color palette and font set you stick to for consistency. Consistency builds recognition, recognition builds trust, trust leads to sales.

What’s one question you always have people ask themselves when they’re setting out to build a brand?

I ask far more than 1 question!! It’s actually more like 30+ in our brand exploration phase. But probably the one that takes the most thought, but can be the most useful, is this: What makes your business unique? If you can pinpoint that, and really communicate it in your branding and marketing, that will take you far.

When you’re teaching the Branding Track at NOMAWO, what’s your top piece of advice that you always find yourself sharing?

It’s a two-parter: be intentional, and be consistent. The first part helps you do things strategically, and the second part helps you grow your business.

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