New Year, New You

After the holiday rush: the egg-nog cocktail parties, the last-minute shopping, the frantic but festive family reunions, the jing-jing-jingling of Salvation Army bells, you suddenly run smack dab into The New Year. Yup, that time of year when you look yourself up and down and you ask yourself the hard questions:

Is my business on the right path? Is it doing all it could be?

You feel giddy, but slightly nervous. This is your chance to really dig in and figure out what went well last year and what didn’t go so well. Being candid with yourself isn’t easy, but some insights may start bubbling to the top. Perhaps there’s a new product or service you’d like to add to the line-up. Maybe you’re ready to finally hire an assistant. Or maybe, just maybe, it’s time to take a frank look at your brand. Like life itself, brands are continually evolving.

Once you recycle the champagne bottles, here are three questions to ask yourself:

  1. Why does my business matter?
  2. Who can’t imagine living without my products or services?
  3. Am I expressing the essence of my business through the right colors, fonts, and voice?

Feel daunting? We agree. And we know first hand, because we, ourselves, are in the midst of a re-brand. After sitting ourselves down and having the tough conversations, we realized some things weren’t quite right.

For one thing, we were focusing on the wrong audience.

We always knew our best customer was a woman entrepreneur. Over the past four years, she’s come to us in many sizes and shapes: life coaches, spiritual coaches, marketing consultants, digital experts, accountants, boutique shop owners, nurse practitioners, personal trainers, PR consultants, the list goes on.

In spite of her differences, there are common threads. Our best customer is ambitious, but values a balanced life. She’s an expert in her field, but doesn’t mind asking for a helping hand. She values design and beautiful branding, but thinks it’s ridiculous to pay the going rate for agencies and freelancers.

We realized it was high time to give this woman a big Brand Genie hug and truly celebrate her. We didn’t need to cloak our adoration for her in gender-neutral language. Nope, we could look her squarely in the eyes and say – we love you and want to make you feel at home.

So, the brand remodeling has begun.

We’ve crafted a new brand platform that’s an internal mantra for all that we do. We call it “Nest of Magic.” By intentionally creating a haven for women small business owners and helping them craft truly meaningful brands, our hope is give these women wings to fly.

To show our support for these brave women entrepreneurs, we’re designing a softer color palette with a robin’s egg blue and a warm tan and brown, but with a pop of orange that says a happy hello. The fonts are more rounded and less blocky.

We’re also crafting a whole new website, due to launch on February 14th – a fitting day for how we feel about our customers. We’ll be featuring a “Real Stories” section that will highlight individual customer stories to build on our vision of creating a community of women business owners who can lean on and grow with each other.

Our upcoming re-brand has been a true labor of love, but one we’re infinitely glad to be undertaking. We feel a renewed vigor and a sharpened sense of purpose. It’s exhausting – but exhilarating.

So, let’s re-visit the questions we began with.

Why does your business matter?

Who would be devastated if you closed your doors? Are you expressing the heart of what you do through the right colors, fonts, and voice?

Perhaps you’ve answered these questions with a bold sense of confidence and you know you’re on the right path. Terrific!

But maybe not. Maybe you’re feeling an itchy sense of discomfort. A sinking feeling that something’s amiss. That’s terrific too! Your “spidey sense” is telling you to try something different.

So now what?

Here are a couple of ideas. Try going through our Brand Genie Quiz. Even if you’ve already been through it, see if going through it again sparks new ways of looking at who you are and why it matters.

Study competitors in your industry and see if there’s an upstart who’s doing something in a new, fresh, and interesting way. Or better yet, study some companies outside of your industry for unexpected ways of doing business.

Take a trip. Anywhere that you’ve never been before. I’ve always found that visiting a new place stirs the creative juices and gets me thinking about the same old problems in an entirely different way.

Once the ideas start to come, the discomfort will start to thaw into a tingly sense of excitement. Keep going. Write the ideas down, pull together a team of friends who can honestly assess your new direction and pick the ideas that seem to have legs. And then, try them out!

Changing paths for your direction can be scary. It takes guts and it takes troves of energy. But ultimately, it could be the navigation re-set that leads you to that nirvana where everything just “clicks,” where customers are madly in love with your products or services, and where you’re able to finally acknowledge the raw talent you’re bringing to the world.

Feel like sharing?

Whether you have a renewed sense of conviction or you recognize that perhaps some things need to change, feel free to add your stories in the comments. Your stories are the fuel for what we do.

And now, let’s set forth together for a New Year of being curious, adventurous, and above all, being kind.

Happy 2017!