The Foundation to a Brand Audit

Foundation to a Brand Audit

Looks and first impressions are shallow.

Only, if they don’t have a strong foundation and a reason for being there.

We do make an impression on anyone and anything within seconds, so to tell someone to not judge the book by its cover is sort of hypocritical, it’s just how our human minds work.

My philosophy is to make sure you have a cover that reflects you and then let people judge away.

Which just made me think of a little incident a while back…

I was with a group of friends and acquaintances who like to dress very differently from me, glitter in the face, interesting headpieces, wild patterns, etc. not my jam but that doesn’t defer me from hanging out and loving them for expressing themselves. 

I was dressed in a way that reflects who I am and how I feel good, which typically means I’m in clothing that is more minimalistic, classic with clean lines and something with a touch of an edge.

Because there were more of “them” than me, I was standing out. One of them came up to me and said, in a slightly condescending way:  “You look very Swedish.”

I said: “Thank you!”

He was spot on. I am proudly Swedish. 😉

Knowing who you are and what jives with you is the first step in a brand audit. And even the first step in life. It’s something that can take some time to develop so don’t fret, go with your best guess until it feels right.

Keep being curious and questioning yourself.

 It helps to refine what really feels like you and how you want to present yourself, who you like to work with, what type of work you thrive on etc.

So now to make it apply to business…

Often when people think of brands, they think of a logo, but the logo is just one piece of the puzzle. The whole experience working with you/your company is part of your brand.

To make the puzzle, you need to know the foundation. Sort of like collecting your ingredients before you cook your meal.

So let’s collect some good ingredients by answering these questions:

  • Besides, the occupation you are in, how do you want to be presented? (For example, Swedish, kind, funny, bold etc)
  • Who can you help the most? Who do you understand? Who do you thrive on from working with? (Ex, new business owners, mid-career doctors, french-americans, stay at home dads…)
  • Which problem are you uniquely solving for those folks? (Ex, step-by-step guidance on how to gain financial freedom, the ____ framework to build a closet that has you ready to take on casual to dressy) 

Now make sure that is communicated on all touchpoints from email signature, social media platforms to website.

That might be easier said than done, so I’d like to invite you all to follow along as this is a 2 part article. I will be giving you all my tips + tricks for a website plus brand audit in the next one!

Business Highlight: Oculto 477

Forgive me Father for I have sinned….

Believe it or not that line can get you into the hippest speakeasy in San Diego that is Oculto 477. 

Where does Oculto 477 come from? Why it is the brain-child of its home! Right next to the second oldest cemetery in San Diego, with you guessed it–477 graves! 

Located within Tahona, Oculto 477’s entry is still a secret within the walls of the restaurant (and that’s part of the fun) and reservations are required. 

Entering Oculto, you are submersed into an intimate and ambient room where mixologists cater to your every tasting desire. Despite its location, Oculto sways away from Tahona’s mezcal love towards Prohibition-inspired cocktails giving choices from low-proof sippers to famous cocktails with a twist.

The website opens with a short video curated to entice viewers into the world of Oculto 477, from the cemetery to cocktail creation shots, you get a small taste of the experience. 

The whole look and feel of the site/brand creates a secretive and ghost-like aura while still maintaining the class and elegance of a lounge. Let’s be honest though the highlight is the cool, flippable menu, that KHD created. I know I love to look at bar offerings before my experience because it is so exciting!  I feel like putting this on the site for a speakeasy is incredible and daunting as these things are often kept secret. But I like it!

Finally, they offer a spot to make reservations which is important since that’s likely what you are there for! 😉

Now, for social media, recently the grid has been following a pattern with black + white photos down the center. I love to see that because these photos are often from the Prohibition era which Oculto is deeply influenced by. 

Other colored photos are a fantastical cocktail pictures that beg for you to take a taste. Or a quiet nook awaiting for you and a partner to sit in. 

The quality photos make all the difference, on the site and the social media platforms. I heavily encourage anyone building a website to get great photos precisely because a picture is worth a thousand words and you can use those words in numerous ways! 

If you find yourself in need of a rather nice “juice joint” (word for bar during Prohibition) then I highly recommend you make yourself a reservation for Oculto 477, and prepare yourself to confess a sin.