4 Steps to Create a Simple Brand Style

You might be thinking – why do I need a brand style? Establishing a set of brand elements for your business will help you easily create consistent marketing collateral to appeal to your ideal clients, allow you to be more easily recognized, and save you time. Be sure to have a clear outline of your business plan prior to starting this process. Knowing what you offer, to who, and why is an important part of a cohesive brand and marketing strategy and will lay the foundation for many of the following aspects. Here are the essential elements for brand style, along with our favorite free resources:

VOICE & TONE

1. Voice Voice refers to the “personality” of your brand and how it expresses itself to your target audience. It should be unique to you and what you offer, and is closely tied to the values of your business.  When considering aspects of your brand voice, be authentic. If it is real, it feels real. Try to describe your brand voice in three words or less. For example, a brand can be friendly, approachable, inspiring, professorial, playful etc. Also consider what your brand isn’t: fun but not childish, clever but not silly, smart but not stodgy and so on. Regardless of your specific voice attributes, keep it personal, professional and clear. Here are some questions to help define your brand’s voice:
  • If your brand was a person, what kind of personality would it have?
  • If your brand was a person, what’s their relationship to the consumer? 
  • Describe in adjectives what your company’s personality is not.
  • How do you want your customers to think about your company?
2. Tone Tone gives specificity to your messaging and includes the moods and attitudes representative of your brand’s personality.  Voice remains steady and embodies your brands values and identity, whereas tone can vary depending on the platform, context and audience.  Consider who you are talking to and what feelings you want to elicit with the specific information you are sharing. Example tone elements include: helpful, informative, approachable, honest, humble, direct, clinical, scientific, educational, entertaining, delightful, informative, engaging and so on.

LOGO & VARIATIONS

Hiring a graphic designer for your logo can cost anywhere from $500 – $5,000. If that’s not in the cards, there are many online resources for creating your logo. Your logo could be as simple as the name of your business in a special font, that you use consistently. If you want to get a little fancier with design elements, try starting with one of Canva’s free logo templates and customize with your brand’s personality, by easily editing the text, colors fonts and more. You’ll likely need multiple formats of your logo. Generally, 250 px (width) x 100 px (height) are the optimal logo dimensions for a web page.  You’ll also need a square “icon” version for social media sites. See more logo size formats for different platforms here.

FONTS

When it comes to fonts, keep it simple for cohesiveness and consistency. We recommend choosing two or three fonts for your brand: 1. Body Choose a font that is easy to read, for text on your website and materials. Sans Serif (“without the little tiny feet”), or Serif (classic) fonts general work best here. 2. Headings Choose a display typeface to stand out. Display typefaces will often have more eccentric and variable designs than the simple, relatively restrained typefaces generally used for body text. 3. Accent Font (optional) Find an additional handwriting or display for flair on marketing materials for short amounts of eye catching text. Pinterest is a great place to look for font combinations & ideas – check out our favorites!

COLOR

We recommend choosing 5 main colors for your brand. A great rule of thumb is to have the following color elements represented: Bold, Complimentary, Neutral, Dark & Light. Consider the psychology of color and the different emotions they are known to elicit when choosing colors for your brand.  Need more inspiration? Try creating a Pinterest board with photos that represent the look and feel you are going for, as a guide to choosing your final five. Have a photo you love with your desired color scheme in mind? Try this FREE color palette tool from Canva, which generates five Hex Color Codes of colors found in the photo. Not even sure where to start? This super simple, super fast color scheme generator can help you narrow it down. Lock colors you like and keep the generator going to complete the set. Any other tips or tools you’ve used for creating your brand? Leave them in the comments!

Top 10 Self-Care Products

In an effort to rid my beauty regimen of toxic ingredients, I explored a plethora of “safe” product options, and let me just say, they are not created equal. Some of the natural deodorants out there left me smelling worse that if I just didn’t use anything (which is pretty bad, I must say), and many of the natural skin care products caused me to break out or feel dry. That being said, what I’ve found that works for me, may not be what works best for you, so do your own exploring – we’d love to hear what you find!

What I look for are products that are paraben free, free of sulfates and not tested on animals. I also love to support conscientious brands that use post consumer waste recycled and compostable packaging. On top of all that, they need to be effective!

Here are the top 10 Self-Care Products on my carefully curated list.

1. Cosmic Glow Botanical Face Mask

This face mask by Moon Bath is the perfect addition to my weekly self care routine. It’s fun to apply – you just add a generous teaspoon with water, even add some local honey for a super indulgent mask – then brush it on your face.  One jar lasts me for months. Best part, it’s the brain child of some fierce and fabulous women celebrating plant medicine who are dedicated to sustainable and ethical practices – check out their complete line of products here.

2. Nature’s Love Organic Topical ReLeaf Salve

It is no secret that cannabinoids found in hemp plants are proving to help with a wide range of symptoms from inflammation to anxiety. This topical relief salve is USDA Certified Organic with 500mg of Full Spectrum Hemp Extract per 2oz bottle. This is the best quality for the best price, from a vertically integrated company here in Colorado that is dedicated to sustainable agriculture and manufacturing.

3. Balancing Oil – Himalayan Geranium & Pomegranate

Just a drop a day of this luxurious and complex blend of precious, plant-based ingredients, Pangea’s Balancing Oil delivers the most impactful, restorative and hydrating effects possible.

4. EltaMD UV Clear Broad-Spectrum SPF 46 Tinted

Let’s be real. Who likes wrinkles? This luxurious tinted foam leaves my face feeling soft and smooth while shielding my complexion from the suns harmful rays.

5. Botanical Bath Tea

Moon Bath’s Lunar Blends are intentionally crafted Botanical Bath Teas that enhance your connection to the energy of each of the moon’s phases.

All of the Lunar Blends promote healthy skin, healing and relaxation, and are formulated to correspond with the current moon phases: New, Waxing, Full or Waning.

Enjoy their Nasty Woman Bath Tea anytime, to be reminded of how powerful, courageous and resilient you are. Plus, you’ll be donating $2 to plant parenthood with each purchase. 

6. Tea Tree Oil

A strong yet gentle oil that has many uses.  For quick results on blemishes, apply tea tree oil in the evenings. Use in foot baths, diffusers, DIY cleaners and more. I’m not partial to a particular brand, but like to unsure it’s certified organic.

7. Schmidt’s BERGAMOT + LIME Deodorant Jar

I think I’ve literally tried them all. Even took a long shot on the crystal deodorant (seriously, don’t bother). But this keeps me smelling fresh for DAYS and has changed my life. You do have to use a cute little scoop and rub it together in your hands before applying, but it easily washes off. They have a stick option, but it leaves your shirt looking like a deodorant crime scene, so I’d say stick with the jar.

8. Jojoba Oil

Pronounced “ho-ho’ba” oil, this is actually a liquid wax that is super hydrating, anti-microbial, non-greasy, anti-aging and suitable for all skin types. I buy this in bulk (which last me for years), and use a glass jar and pump from our local apothecary for daily application.

9. Natures Gate Jojoba Shampoo & Conditioner

I’ve been using this for YEARS for an every day shampoo & conditioner, and am often given compliments on how healthy my hair looks. It’s super nourishing and best part, it costs as low as $4 a bottle.

10. Devi Steam Yoni Steaming Herbs

The Vibrant Souls Devi Steam™ relieves discomfort associated with the female cycle and reconnects women with the wisdom of their bodies through the ancient practice of yoni steaming.

What’s in your self care regimen that you cannot live without? Tell us in the comments!

*Please note: none of the links included gives me a kickback of any kind, other than knowing I’m supporting great companies that I trust and admire. 

Productivity Tip: The Pomodoro Technique

If you’re into life hacks, you’ve likely heard of the Pomodoro Technique. If not, then I’m super excited to share this amazingly simple way you can improve your productivity.

Simply put, the the idea is to break apart your day into 25 minute chunks with a 5 minute break in between. After about 4 cycles you take a longer 20-ish minute break. The trick is to limit distractions during those 25 minutes, so you are solely focused on the designated task. No checking instagram notifications or emails. Just 25 minutes of attention focused on one (or maybe 2) things.

I just use my phone as a timer, (“Hey siri, set a timer for 25 minutes.”) but you could also use an online tool like https://tomato-timer.com/.  

I use pomodoros for big chunks of my work day, including scheduling out my time spent going through emails or social networks (making sure to close out those browsers when I’m working on something else to limit distraction from notifications). If I’m home I can use the 5 minute breaks to switch a load of laundry or empty the dishwasher. They’re also a great time do to a few stretches and shake out any desk kinks that can come from sitting in the same position for too long.

To be honest, it does takes some practice to get a hang of it, but once you’ve started the pomodoros you’ll notice a hyper productivity and for some a greater feeling of accomplishment at the end of the day.

If you’ve tried this method let us know what you think in the comments!

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