Branding, Copy, and PB&J Sandwiches

August 9, 2018

The title of this post is true, branding and copy do go together like peanut butter and jelly. Or chocolate and peanut butter, or really peanut butter and…anything! 

So what are talking about here?

For the purposes of this post:

  1. When I say “branding”, I’m referring to the visual branding aspects that most people think of when they get a “re-brand”. This will include things like your logo, color palette, new website, etc.
  2. When I say “copy”, I’m talking about your messaging or the words you use to communicate with your audience via your website, social media, etc.)

When approached correctly, updating your branding and copy should be a simultaneous process because these two elements of your business are very much intertwined. There is kind of a chicken and egg relationship between the two of them. If one is fresh and updated, then the other should be as well. Your audience will be able to sense the disconnect between the two and subconsciously begin to tune you out if its not. If you have a beautiful website, but your messaging lacks personality, people will lose interest. If you have snappy copy, but your visual branding is forgettable, people will forget about you. I don’t know about you, but neither one of those scenarios is very appealing to me!

Why is this so important?

I am going to use a house analogy to answer that question…

Imagine that you’ve been living in your current house for a couple of years. You’re feeling like it doesn’t quite reflect where you’re at in life anymore though. When you bought it with your partner, you were newlyweds. You had a smaller budget, and at the time this little fixer upper felt like your own little dream home… sans Joanna and Chip.

Now, a few years later, you’ve gotten a raise and have a little more money available to spend on your mortgage. Plus, you’ve figured out your decorating style so you’re more than ready for an upgrade. Oh, and there’s a couple of kids added to the equation just to make things fun. You’re also starting to notice the wear and tear on your current abode. Things like the paltry landscaping, the chipping paint, the busted toothbrush holder, and the stained countertops are starting to irk you. You don’t necessarily want to move because you like your house, but you just want to update it so it fits you and your family moving forward. (Pstttt–Your business is the house in the analogy if you hadn’t caught on yet!)

So first things first, you decide to tackle the exterior. You’re sick of driving up the driveway everyday and seeing your house looking less than stellar. Plus, as you’re looking around at everyone else’s curb appeal and perfectly manicured lawns, you realize in horror that your own yard could use a little help! Its probably also bringing down the home values on your street (which isn’t very neighborly of you). Oops! So you go all out, you hire a landscaper, you add a flower garden, some window boxes, you paint the house and get a new front door. Your house is totally gorge now! Perf!

Except not perf. Once the work is done outside, you look around at the inside of your house. You realize that the exterior now doesn’t match the interior anymore! Yes it’s functional. But it’s not pretty. As you look around you start to realize that you should have actually started with the INSIDE of the house. That’s what really matters. That’s where you’re spending your time. You want to be just as excited when you enter your house as you are when you see it in the driveway.

So you make the decision to redo the kitchen, update the bathrooms, paint the walls, add some shiplap, and voila! You’re in love! You have a totally updated, fresh new home to enjoy! And, if you really wanted to cash in on your investment you could put your house on the market tomorrow and you’d get a ton of bites from potential buyers because not only does it visually draw people in, but the interior is functional, pretty, and has all of the amenities anyone could want. Job well done!

Ok, so clearly I’ve binged way too much Fixer Upper. If you’re still with me you can probably see the point I’m trying to make here about your branding and copy:

The exterior of the house is your visual branding. It’s what catches people’s eye and draws them in. It’s important that the curb appeal is on fleek. No one is actually going to want to come in your house though if they look through the windows and see some 70’s shag carpet. Same if your website is pretty but there isn’t much on it. Or your insta photos are stunning, but your captions are lacking. People aren’t going to want to create that relationship with you that ultimately leads them to invest.

The interior of your house is your copy. Your messaging has to get people to cross the threshold. It should be a reflection of you and your personality. Potential buyers should also be able to tell that your home is well equipped with everything they need to be comfortable and happy too though! AKA, you know your stuff and have the tools and experience to help them. Your copy should quickly and clearly convey your value to potential buyers the way a gorge Carrara marble countertop would in your home. #class

Bottom line:
You can have beautiful branding. If you aren’t actually speaking to your clients in an effective way,  though, you’ve lost them! You could be saying amazing things and offering a ton of value. You’re not going to get as many potential buyers through the door if your visual branding is not attractive to your ideal clients though. YIKES!

Think about it. When people usually do a rebrand, they raise their prices. They want to elevate the level of clientele that they are attracting. They’ve just invested a ton of money making sure that everything looks flawless. If they don’t update their messaging as well, then they didn’t actually change any of the pieces of their business that convince a potential client to buy from them. 

A lot of times people are so focused on their logos and the visual pieces of their brand, that they forget that they should also update their voice and messaging. This will make sure that they are effectively communicating with their new ideal clients. When you do both together, you create a business that’s as awesome on the inside as it is from the outside. THAT would make both Jo and Chip proud.

Thanks for reading friend,

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