But this 137-page paperback book by creative brand expert Yvonne Fuchs hasn’t got a single image in it, and is printed fully in black and white.
But let that not deter you!
This book is one of the most useful and practical (work)books you will find out there if you are looking for practical advice on how to create your own creative brand!
Yvonne self-published book What’s the difference that makes the difference? A workbook from The Branding Workshop, is based on her 20+ years experience as an award-winning branding and licensing consultant for creative businesses, especially in fashion, homewares and the like.
Yvonne’s first experience of commerce was with her family’s manufacturing business and subsequently as a designer and manager in her own creative fashion businesses. Since 2000 she is also a vibrant, knowledgeable and passionate creative business adviser who has helped 100’s of creative business owners to grow their businesses, in particular through branding and licensing.
I have worked with Yvonne (in fact she is one of The Design Trust selected partners) and I know many of the creative businesses who she has worked with over the years. She is one of the most enthusiastic and knowledgeable people I know, combined with fabulous negotiation powers. Definitely somebody you want to have on your team!
In What’s the difference that makes the difference? A workbook from The Branding Workshop Yvonne takes you in 6 chapters step-by-step through the entire branding process, the DIY route. From ‘what branding is’, to ‘getting to know you and your clients’, ‘developing your brand’, ‘building and growing your brand-led business’ to ‘how to review your brand regularly and keep it alive’.
Many people think that branding is just about a pretty logo and a website, and that it’s something that only big businesses need to work on, not smaller, micro-business ones.
But if you look at successful creative businesses (small, growing or large ones) ALL will have a strong branding, communicating what they are really about, standing out from the crowd, attracting dream clients, expressing what’s so unique about them.
I love Yvonne’s definition of what branding is:
“Branding is … What people say about you when you are not in the room.”
At the start of the book Yvonne asked some poignant, thought-provoking questions:
- What goal do I want to achieve?
- What will that do for me?
- How will I know when I’m there?
- What will I be seeing, hearing and feeling when I have got it?
- What will I be saying to myself?
- What will I hear others saying about me?
- What are you really passionate about?
- What makes you mad? (I especially like that one!)
- How do you like to work?
Step-by-step you are identifying the essence of your brand, which Yvonne calls ‘your PVC’: Personality, values and culture.
Or: what are you really about & how will you express YOU?
Yvonne shows you how to position yourself in a crowded market place and develop emotional closeness with your (potential) customers. You will create your own positioning statement, brand strategy and stories, and rituals to share internally and externally.
She doesn’t just talk about your visual identity, but goes far deeper and beyond that, including staff training and even staff reward systems.
Her 5C framework will help you to develop a strong brand; by being Credible, Congruent, Consistent, Coherent, and Connected your brand will shine.
If you want to be admired start looking at the big (creative) brands you admire yourself!
The combination of your quality and financial performance, your consistency, credibility, innovativeness and inspiration will play a key role in your brand being remembered and admired.
In the final part of this workbook Yvonne shows how to create a step-by-step action plan and how to review your branding strategy annually to keep your brand alive.
She shares a handy list with the 7 habits of effective small brands:
- They have a vision, focus and leadership. They understand themselves and know what they stand for.
- They dominate their niche, however small they or their niche is.
- They are very customer-centric, they really understand their customers deeply.
- They have a distinctive offer that they communicate well, differentiating them clearly in their market.
- They are highly creative and imaginative in their marketing.
- They have credibility and build trust.
- They form emotional, genuine and personal connections with their customers. Their customers are treated as individuals.
And then it’s over to you!
By then you will have discovered the answer to the title question: ‘What’s the difference that makes the difference?’ loud and clear: it’s YOU, and every single bit of how you communicate yourself.
If you want to get started with creating your own creative brand then purchase Yvonne Fuch’s book What’s the difference that makes the difference? A workbook from The Branding Workshop here.