What the CEO of SoulCycle wants you to know about branding

Written for and published on PR Couture.

We all know how important branding is for your career, whether you’re working your way up the PR agency ladder, leading a business of your own or establishing your personal brand. And if there’s anyone who understands branding, it’s the women who spoke at the Create & Cultivate pop-up that went down during this year’s SXSW conference.

Each panel that took place throughout the one-day event dropped some serious knowledge on entrepreneurship, female empowerment, all things business and the thing that ties it all together, branding.

Here’s what some of these talented brand builders and content creators had to say about crafting a brand that stands out from the crowd.

1. EMBRACE WHAT MAKES YOU UNIQUE

For all brands, blogs and businesses alike, determining your niche or purpose is key to standing out in the crowd. Camille Styles of the eponymous lifestyle blog, knew that blogging was a crowded space and in order to stand out she had to figure out what made her website different from the rest. “If 99% of the brands in your space are essentially the same, then “find the 1% difference that makes you unique,” she noted.

If you need some guidance on figuring out how to best describe your brand, try a helpful exercise that Gaby Dalkin of What’s Gaby Cooking did when determining what made her food blog uniquely her: word vomit. She enlisted the help of friends to throw out words that described her and her blog, and eventually landed on a few key phrases that encompassed what she’s all about. A brainstorming session like this can help you figure out what makes your brand different and what kind of message you want to communicate to your audience.

2. CONSISTENT BRANDING IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN YOU MIGHT THINK

We all know that consistency is key when it comes to building a brand (and most everything in life) but what exactly does that entail? Ashley Rose of the blog Sugar and Cloth offered tips for creating a cohesive aesthetic and brand voice. When curating an aesthetic that is authentically you, start by picking out 5-6 photos that you’re drawn to. Whether it’s the color palette, the subject matter or the photo quality, there will likely be something that is consistent in every photo that you choose. Then, use those photos as a reference for everything you post. This not only helps you figure out what your brand aesthetic is, but it will also help refine your content.

Your visuals aren’t the only factor that goes into creating a cohesive brand; your voice also plays a big role. Figure out your brand’s tone and make sure it’s evident throughout all of your content, whether that’s your website copy, blog posts or Instagram captions. Is your brand lighthearted and playful? Serious and informative? Inspirational? Determine what tone of voice best reflects your business and maintain that with everything you put out into the world.

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