Have you ever run into a brand whose content is so aligned with their values (*cough* Patagonia) that every part of the experience reminds you what they’re all about?
This is the power of creating value-aligned content.
To create content like this, it is paramount that you work on your brand positioning first.
In this three-part series, we’ll walk you through how to position yourself and create content from a solid foundation that will make your (or your client’s!) brand stand out. Welcome to Part Two, diving into the brand beyond the logo.
Once you’ve thought about why you want to show up in the world, your branding establishes how you’ll show up.
Your values, customer personas, and mission influence everything in your brand from your typeface to the music in your video content. They’re your North Star, your gut check.
A solid brand helps you make internal and external decisions. Think: what to offer next, who to collaborate with, which platform to pursue.
You have a persona of your core audience and your mission, now you need to connect with them. Use mission-forward messaging that makes your values shine through. This builds loyalty around shared values, not only with your team, but also amongst customers.
Strong, values-driven messaging signals to your audience that they’re in the right place. You know that feeling when you see a brand and think, “Oh my gosh, they get me!”? That’s what you’re aiming for.
Building a Mood Board
Mood boards can be used for entire brands, individual projects, or campaigns. They are the next step to positioning your brand.
Mood boards are especially helpful if your client has a mission statement and/or audience personas, but no brand kit.
Brainstorm aesthetics that visualize your mission statement.
“We’re a menstrual product company that helps busy women with their personal health. Unlike our competitors, all of our products are 100% organic, sustainably sourced, and pH balanced.”
Three aesthetics that could visually represent this brand are:
- Natural, organic & minimal
- Pink, girly & fun
- Hippie & quirky
Always brainstorm at least three options—sometimes your first instinct is wrong.
Pick the aesthetic that will resonate best with your audience. (This is where developing a persona for your core audience is super useful!) Remember not to pick your favorite but rather, your audience’s favorite. Those psychographics you mapped out come in handy here.
Open Pinterest and type your keywords from your aesthetic into the search bar. Start pinning the images that will resonate with your audience to your mood board.
Once you have 5-10 pins as your base, flesh out your board.
Open the board and go to the “more ideas” tab. Pinterest’s algorithm will select images that match your pins. This will help you narrow your aesthetic.
You can also open the pin that most resonates with your brand and scroll through the pins that are populated below it. Let Pinterest do the hard work for you!
Now that you have a better idea of your brand visuals, pin images from somewhere beyond Pinterest. This keeps your mood board from being a rehash of everyone else’s brand.
First, make your board private to be mindful of intellectual property.
Second, download the Pinterest browser extension.
Get some great ideas from:
Go old school and get off the internet for even more unique ideas. Just take a pic with your phone and upload to your board. Draw from:
- Photo books
- Antiques, books, and interesting trinkets around your house
Open your board and click the “organize” tab. Move your favorite pins to the top and delete pins that no longer resonate with your visuals once you see them next to your other pins.
This is a great time to loop in your clients. Ask them to “like” their favorite images or drag their favorites to the top. You can also share your screen on a video call and work through the process together.
If you are creating a mood board for an entire brand, throw together a brand kit, focusing especially on key colors and fonts.
About the authors:
Content Strategist & Copywriter
Ashlee Sang shares messages that matter with purpose-driven brands. Ashlee works with conscious companies to increase their impact through brand messaging strategy and copywriting. Founders come to Ashlee Sang Consulting LLC to organize their thoughts and ideas so that the words they use and the actions they take are aligned to make progress toward their company’s mission, vision, and values.
Freelance Video Creator
Emma Parker of Chickadee Films is a freelance video creator that works with purpose-driven brands to holistically develop their videos and motion graphics from concept to color grade. She is also the lady behind the courses How to Look Better on Video (free) and Video Creation for Small Businesses: Create With Your Phone (paid).