How to Figure Out Your Brand "Vibe" in 3 Easy Steps
"What's my vibe?" 😬
I remember asking myself this question when I was faced with the daunting task of rebranding myself at the start of this year... and drawing a complete blank.
I actually didn't know how I was coming off to other people. There was so much noise in my head that I wasn't able to distinguish what was fact or fiction.
Tell me if this internal conversation sounds familiar
Voice 1: "I think I'm funny!"
Voice 2: "No, you just think you're funny. No one actually likes your jokes"
Voice 1: "Yeah but I love seeing people smile..."
Voice 2: "It doesn't mean that you're good at making it happen."
As it turns out, it can be tricky figuring out how to bridge that gap between who you know you are on the inside, and how you want to appear on the outside. So where to begin?
Step 1: Figure out how you see yourself
Branding always starts from the inside. Take some time to write out the following things, and answer honestly! Remember, there's no such thing as a "good" or "bad" attribute. Those are just labels that we assign to parts of ourselves that we have a personal bias towards... and oftentimes, the seemingly "bad" attributes can be the strongest attraction points of our brand:
What's your personality? (i.e. your traits & mannerisms)
What are your characteristics? (i.e. your morals & beliefs)
What are your quirks? (i.e. your unique tendencies)
Here's an example of what I wrote
What's your personality?
Creative & Playful
Caring & Thoughtful
High Energy & Hardworking
What are your characteristics?
Open-handed / open-hearted
What are your quirks?
Obsessed with dinos & cats
Still has imaginary friends
Step 2: Figure out how you present yourself
The way you present yourself is often just an outward expression of your internal traits! Oftentimes, these expressions are so second-nature that we don't give them much of a second thought. But when you take some time to really dissect the way you're putting yourself out there, you might make some interesting discoveries:
What's your style? (i.e. what do you usually wear)
What's your expression? (i.e. how do you usually express yourself)
What's your posture? (i.e. how do you carry yourself)
Here's an example of what I wrote
What's your style?
Street / Casual — T-shirt & sweats, hoodie & tights
Colour — Black & White
Makeup & Accessories — Minimal & purely functional
What's your expression?
Visuals (Primary) — Digital illustration, design & mind-mapping
Words (Secondary) — Written preferred over verbal
What's your posture?
Walk — Energetic hop-skip
Stance — Leaning in
Step 3: Figure out how others receive you
Here's the hard part... you won't know how others see you until you ask them! (Yep, that's right, you actually need to talk to people). If there's one thing I learned, no matter how conscious you are about how you're putting yourself out there, people will (somehow) always find a way to interpret it differently. And this might not be a bad thing!
Find 5 people in your life who have experienced you in a full capacity, (whether that be a family member, your best friend or your client), and ask them this one simple question:
Q: How do I make you feel?
When I did this exercise, I received this feedback from various people
A: I make people feel joyful & inspired
Final Step: Put everything together
Congratulations! Now that you have all the pieces, you can slowly stitch together a picture of what your overall brand "vibe" is going to be. Take a look at what you answered in each step, and pick out the main qualities that trigger your, "Yes, that is SO me" gut reaction. These qualities are what make up your brand vibe!
I'll use the examples I shared about my own brand in this post to show you what I mean!
Step 1: Brand Essence = Creative & Playful
Step 2: Brand Expression = Black & White with Pink splashes & Cartoon Illustrations
Step 3: Brand Experience = Feeling the joy of inspiration
And VOILA! You now have your brand "vibe" 🎉