In today's interconnected world, the premise of brand-building gets increasingly broader and more hazy. You may be familiar with the term "brand," but do you know what it takes to build one?
Building a brand is a journey of self-awareness, conviction, and finding yourself in your business. Whether you're a CEO, a marketing expert, a freelancer, or even a regular joe, if you want to make an impact, you need to get your branding right.
Every business name and logo you see today is a product of labor-intensive branding.
The business card you received at that executive function didn’t just appear out of thin air. Someone put immense thought and heart into its design before deciding to hand it out for the world to see.
As an entrepreneur, building a brand for your business is a never-ending effort. But know this: The companies that invest in establishing great brands have a substantial competitive edge.
While the rewards are sweet, the journey to get there rarely is. But we want to change that.
Branding can be fun, quick, and easy with #BrandInMinutes
With our Brand Plan, it’s simpler than ever to #BrandInMinutes with our collection of professional branding templates and tools to help you launch the brand you’ve dreamt of for so long.
The only way to understand the impact of having a #BrandInMinutes is to take a dive into the stories of entrepreneurs who have had to make it happen on their own.
And Mandie Brice of Mama’s Breastaurant is the perfect example of this.
We spoke to Mandie about her journey in building her brand for Mama’s Breastaurant.
Hopefully, her inspiring story can motivate new entrepreneurs, such as you, to take the leap and get your businesses out there.
1. Tell us about your business.
Like probably a lot of similar businesses, I began as a joke!
I was at the beginning stages of motherhood and struggling to adjust. I felt like all I was doing was breastfeeding my baby, and I was talking to my mom about it.
Initially, she made a joke about feeling like a cow, but then one day, she referred to my chest as the Breastaurant, and I thought, “That should be on a T-shirt!”
I was surprised it wasn’t already, and the rest is history!
2. Was it (emotionally) challenging to take the first step?
I wouldn’t say it was necessarily emotionally challenging, with the exception of the fact that I have a baby to take care of as my primary responsibility.
So of course, I am tired and have limited time because of that.
3. When did you know that you were ready to take the leap?
Before having my baby, I was primarily a makeup artist and model. The pandemic made those industries challenging, to say the least. I pivoted a bit to writing and doing some other things that I could do remotely, which is still the main portion of my income now.
We moved to a new city for the fourth time in eight years this past December, and it just seemed like the perfect time for a new beginning.
This is especially because it is so much work to establish a new network as a model and makeup artist in a new state, and now I would’ve had to factor in childcare, which is also challenging when you don’t have a local family.
It seemed like the perfect mixture of circumstances to start something that I can do no matter where we move. I made it a goal to launch during International Women’s Month, and barely made it on the last day!
4. How did you go about building a brand for your business?
This is definitely still a work in progress. Because it is a physical product, visual design is important! However, I think a cohesive overall brand is still an area of improvement for Mama's Breastaurant.
5. Talk us through your logo design process. Did you use a designer or a logo maker?
Because the inspiration for the brand was feeling like you run a 24-hour diner, I wanted the logo design to be diner-inspired.
Coincidentally, I saw the logo for a 24-hour diner I used to be a patron of after going to nightclubs about a decade ago and used that as an inspiration.
My brother-in-law is a cartoonist, and he made the cartoon of me, and then my podcast producer/virtual assistant put that into a logo for the main Mama’s Breastaurant logo.
6. How did you go about creating other collateral, such as business cards, email signatures, branded stationery, and swag?
I didn’t do a business card, at least not yet, because I think they are next to obsolete by this point with everything being digital. Plus, I rarely meet anyone new in person since being a mom is my primary responsibility.
My email signature is from Scribe, which I got as an App Sumo deal. The brand itself is swag, so that is something I spent a lot of time researching.
I wanted to make sure that I was supporting a company that used materials that were made in the USA as well as organic materials to be more sustainable. Those are priorities to me, so it took me a while to find that.
7. Was the process haphazard and time-consuming?
I feel like everything as a new parent is pretty haphazard, and having somebody to do it for me would be a great luxury, as long as they were able to honor my priorities!
8. In your opinion, how important is it for a business to build a credible brand?
I think it’s incredibly important. First impressions are huge and looks matter, especially with something people are going to wear.
9. How does having a professional-looking and credible brand help your overall business?
I think when people are placing orders online, they want to feel like they can trust the business with which they are giving their credit card information.
Having an unprofessional-looking site could cause people to be concerned that it isn’t safe to use their card on your site, or to worry about the quality of what they receive, or if they will even receive it at all.
10. How did you get your first customers?
Currently, my customers have either been people I know or one degree of separation from people I know. I’ve recently hired a marketing intern, and I hope that that will be a game-changer in terms of attracting business beyond friends and family. Maybe this interview will help, too!
I know from my other experience that consistency is key and that going deep rather than wide can be a game-changer. By that, I mean that you don’t have to have a presence on every social networking platform, but picking the one that is best for your brand and spending more time on it can be way more beneficial than trying to be everything and be everywhere.
I’m excited in this endeavor to have a well-defined niche because instead of trying to appeal to everyone, I can create relationships with lactation consultants, doulas, etc., and help people who are in a very specific stage of life that is similar to where I am. I have heard that that helps a lot, and I’m excited to prove that as true!
11. What are your future plans with respect to building your business?
From a branding standpoint, I would love to be able to hire somebody to do a full brand bible, complete with consistent fonts to use, verbiage, etc.
I’d also love a selection of templates to use for social media posts that are cohesive, rather than random ones chosen at the last minute from Canva. It’s a great resource, but I don’t think it’s a replacement for input from a professional.
Outside of just the visuals and branding, I would love to expand my product line and potentially get some placements in some retail stores.
Over To You
Branding has no exact formula to it, but we do know there are a few key characteristics impactful brands have in common.
And it might be tempting to look at the successful businesses and say, “I’ll take that brand, please!” But what makes a brand work is how it speaks to you.
What makes your business authentically you? Businesses that manage to be true to who they are, what they do, and why they do it are able to create lasting, evolving connections with their audiences. This authenticity is the core of your branding.
What are you waiting for? Shine bright and #BrandInMinutes today!