Podcast | Spill The Tea | Episode 3 | Branding

Spill The Tea | Episode 3 – Branding Transcript:

[Ming Johanson]

What comes out of that. What I’ve realised as I’ve gotten older comes out of that is a very true sense of your own sense of identity.

[Kira Carlin]

There’s no hiding for you.

[Ming Johanson]

No

[Kira Carlin]

Whereas me, I am the business’s token white girl. It’s much easier for me to mask.

[Ming Johanson]

We might need to stop calling you that. [Laugh]

[Kira Carlin]

I think I’m the one who calls me that the most.

[Intro]

What if you could learn from the mistakes of others? The Spill The Tea podcast is a great way to get information on all things related with digital marketing and business. Hosts myself, Ming Johanson and Kira Carlin breakdown our knowledge in various fields, including business, sales and marketing. So whether you’re new or old at doing any of these things, tune in each week and hear the lessons learnt titbits of knowledge and talk of tea. 

[Ming Johanson]

Hi Kira.

[Kira Carlin]

Hi Ming.

[Ming Johanson]

We are here yet again. 

[Kira Carlin]

Once again we are here! What are we here for again?

[Ming Johanson]

Spill the Tea.

[Kira Carlin]

Spill The Tea. Trying not to do that, I’m trying to keep it in the cup.

[Ming Johanson]

Well and into my belly.

[Kira Carlin]

Into my belly.

[Ming Johanson]

What kind of tea are you drinking today?

[Kira Carlin]

I have dandelion tea with honey and milk.

[Ming Johanson]

Oh Yeah. Good. Good.

[Kira Carlin]

Smells amazing. What about you? What have you got?

[Ming Johanson]

Have a chai.

[Kira Carlin]

I’ve just discovered something horrifying about you. You leave the tea bag in.

[Ming Johanson]

[Laugh] Why is it horrifying?

[Kira Carlin]

It wigs me out and I can’t explain why.

[Ming Johanson]

Because the tea gets stronger as I drink more of it. And it’s more concentrated in the smaller amount of water. And then I get more of a tea kick.

[Kira Carlin]

No, my tea is practically a crime. I’ve been told by my previous co-workers that my tea shouldn’t be allowed.

[Ming Johanson]

Why? Because it just like, wisps past the water.

[Kira Carlin]

Yeah. Basically, you wave a teabag near it and by osmosis.

[Ming Johanson]

But you like tea so much, I don’t understand.

[Kira Carlin]

I love tea but I like it in a sort of a milky washing up water, kind of an effect.

[Ming Johanson]

Yep, yep [laugh]

[Kira Carlin]

You know, I had a co-worker who used to walk past me. Every time he’d see me with a cup of tea, he’d end up walking past me, and he’d just be like, What is this horror?

[Ming Johanson]

Didn’t you make your own? I thought you were making your own blends for a while there?

[Kira Carlin]

Yeah, I still make my own, but from time to time when I can be bothered. But again, that’s mostly not about flavour. That’s for a thing that’s, you know, to sleep better

[Ming Johanson]

Terrify people

[Kira Carlin]

Yeah

[Ming Johanson]

Yeah I feel like it’s to double down on witchcraft.

[Kira Carlin]

Different coworker used to call that one swamp water.

[Ming Johanson]

Love it. Good, good. Excellent.

[Kira Carlin]

In fairness, it did have a lot of bits floating in it.

[Ming Johanson]

So today’s episode, we’re talking about Branding.

[Kira Carlin]

Yes, we are.

[Ming Johanson]

You seem more excited about this.

[Kira Carlin]

I’m just more highly caffeinated.

[Ming Johanson]

Is that it? Okay. Good news.

[Kira Carlin]

Yeah, that’s us. Run on, Caffeine.

[Ming Johanson]

So, what have you learnt in your year and a half?

[Kira Carlin]

In my travels

[Ming Johanson]

About branding?

[Kira Carlin]

That it’s really massively underrated. 

[Ming Johanson]

Yes.

[Kira Carlin]

That really branding is the bedrock of everything else you do.

[Ming Johanson]

It informs everything.

[Kira Carlin]

Exactly. So something I’m seeing over and over again with particularly very small businesses, but up to quite large businesses, but mostly mostly in start ups and sole traders and things like that, is that they don’t really know who they are.

[Ming Johanson]

No.

[Kira Carlin]

They know what they’re doing, but they don’t know what their brand is that makes them special.

[Ming Johanson]

No.

[Kira Carlin]

So they’re trying to do all things, be all things to all people and none of it is really sticking.

[Ming Johanson]

So it’s worth pointing out to anybody that’s listening at the moment, something that is quite important in the concept of branding, a brand is not a logo.

[Kira Carlin]

A logo is part of a brand. It’s a piece of a puzzle.

[Ming Johanson]

A piece. It’s a piece of a brand. But branding is also the language around how you speak to your customers. It’s also to do with your colours and what colours you’re using to activate memory. It’s also to do with what other people are saying about you when you leave the room.

[Kira Carlin]

It’s an interesting one for me because you come in and there are these people with these fabulous ideas and these concepts of how they’re going to revolutionise their industry and their small corner of the globe and none of that comes across in their branding. So they’ll have these fabulous concepts. They feel like they have to bury it right down, so that they can kind of sneak it in.

[Ming Johanson]

As a ninja style marketing – nobody sees. [laugh]

[Kira Carlin]

In their actual branding, in their actual way they present themselves to customers. They have ironed themselves flat to be exactly like every other company that does what they do.

[Ming Johanson]

Yeah, there’s a lot of that. I think that’s often the confronting place for a lot of business owners is that they start by replicating and they replicate what they’ve seen of other people and other people in the industry that they see as a success but quite often aren’t or are successful in their particular type of business. But it also means that they’re not actually speaking their own language and they have to sort of second guess themselves in terms of what they’re doing and where they’re at. So we’ve just gone through our own branding. Care to comment on that?

[Kira Carlin]

The thing that’s been interesting for me is that you actually went outside of the company to do this. 

[Ming Johanson]

Yeah, yeah.

[Kira Carlin]

Which is normally, ordinarily we would do that ourselves in-house. Because it’s obviously something that we do.

[Ming Johanson]

Yes, well we do it for our clients.

[Kira Carlin]

Exactly, we do it for our clients. But, you know, we have traditionally done that ourselves. And I think what was really interesting this time around is that we’ve gone through so much growth in the last couple of years that it was becoming hard for us internally to put a pin in exactly who we are and what we’re doing.

[Ming Johanson]

Yeah.

[Kira Carlin]

So I think the fact that we went outside to get a second opinion was really interesting and we’ve come back with something that really feels like us.

[Ming Johanson]

Absolutely. Yeah. Yeah. I’m pretty excited. Pretty excited about the relaunch and the rebrand.

[Kira Carlin]

To be huge, but it’s really felt difficult to articulate what we are. And I think it’s given me a sense of perspective about why other businesses find it really hard to do that.

[Ming Johanson]

Yeah, that’s good. I think one of the challenges as well is that the business has for so long been me and and I think a testament to that growth and that change in our business, it has grown far beyond me as a human being. So we work with a toolset called brand personalities and brand magic. And one of the things that came out of that more recently was we redid the test, there’s a test for brand personalities.

And in the past we’ve always come up as the magician brand, which is about transformation, it’s about change, it’s about innovation. And that very much speaks to me as a human being. But then when I redid the brand personality test with the vision of Marketing Jumpstart, what’s happened is we’ve shifted, which is great, which is awesome.

[Kira Carlin]

But also our clientele is shifting over time. So without us really sort of doing it on purpose, our clientele is becoming different kinds of businesses because of course this is before my time in the business, you were very big in the startup community.

[Ming Johanson]

Yeah.

[Kira Carlin]

And they need a magician, they need somebody to take their ‘I had an idea in the shower and now I’m six months into trying to make it work and I’m about to pull my hair out’ moment and turn it into something that they can work with.

[Ming Johanson]

Yeah. 

[Kira Carlin]

They need outside help. They need outside focus. The businesses that we’re working with right now are much more established, and they really need somebody to step in and take over the things that they have been dabbling with for a long time – They need an expert.

[Ming Johanson]

Yeah, they very much need an expert in whatever it is that they’ve asked us to do to deliver, whether or not it’s SEO or Google Ads or even just web development. And a lot of that is really about just fixing their navigation and understanding where the position of their customers are and knowing how that works. Whereas in Start-Up there’s like, I think what people forget about Start-Ups is that your brand is going to evolve, it’s going to change two years in, it’s going to change six months in. And you need…  it’s really hard to constantly adapt your message around that when you’re in that early stage of business.

[Kira Carlin]

And I think the mistake a lot of people make is to try and create a brand. This is where they get really confused and trip themselves up is to try to create a brand that will be with them six months from now, and five years from now, and 20 years from now. That’s not how anything works.

[Ming Johanson]

No.

[Kira Carlin]

You look at big brands and how like big brands, global brands, and how often they rebrand this stuff, they keep the name and the colours, but that is it. 

[Ming Johanson]

Yeah.

[Kira Carlin]

Everything else goes under a metamorphosis every few years.

[Ming Johanson]

Absolutely. Like Nike is no longer Nike. It’s now a tick, right?

[Kira Carlin]

Yeah. So Coca-Cola, if you look at the logo designs they’ve had over the years, do they have things in common? Yes, but oh my god the change every few years. So I think people have to just lean into being the brand they are now and then worry about later-later.

[Ming Johanson]

Yeah. I think lately I have been finding it really jarring in terms of… well we had it this morning. One of our one of our apps that we used decided apropos of nothing to change that logo.

[Kira Carlin]

Oh yeah. That was…

[Ming Johanson]

The app logo, the app icon.

[Kira Carlin]

That was tripping me up. So it’s an app that I use to sign into work every morning. And the reason I remember to do that is because I go online and I check all my stuff. You know, everybody checks this stuff in the morning and I see the big pink logo and I go, Oh crap, I need to sign it.

[Ming Johanson]

And it stands out amongst the ocean of apps, right?

[Kira Carlin]

So when I say that pink, I know that I need to clock in if I haven’t done it already. And these last few days I just haven’t remembered. Yeah, because it’s this weird sort of purpley fadey thing going on and it just looks like every other thing that is on my phone.

[Ming Johanson]

Blue gradient that every app uses. [Laugh]

[Kira Carlin]

Exactly! Like a mauve colour, it’s just not useful to me at all.

[Ming Johanson]

Yeah.

[Kira Carlin]

So yeah, a little example of a brand change that I automatically hate [packaging] because that’s familiar. Yeah. Can’t say that word today, familiarity as a memory aid.  

[Ming Johanson]

Yeah. Google did it recently with that Google payment app and they changed it, to call it Wallet. Yah Think I can remember that?

[Kira Carlin]

No, You know, the one that gets me for Google is that they’ve got essentially stacked branding, so they’ve got different branding, similar colours, same colours, same thing. So same elements for like Google Drive and Google Calendar, Google things. So which is fine if you’ve only got one of those things on the homescreen of your phone, I do not.

[Ming Johanson]

Yeah.

[Kira Carlin]

I have like four that I use all the time and I’m always trying to press one over the other and it doesn’t work for me.

[Ming Johanson]

So you think about the wallet one, Google, G-Pay to wallet. Why? Why did you rename that? G-Pay was perfectly fine. Memorable because I’m looking for my Google pay app because I use Google phone

[Kira Carlin]

Kind of sounds like a sex app.

[Ming Johanson]

Apple pay, Apple pay? Right? They’re re-integrating their branding when you think about Apple products. Apple is everything. Apple TV, you know Apple Mac all of it.

[Kira Carlin]

But this is the thing about Apple is from day one they have had their branding on lock. [Yeah] Even when their technology hasn’t been on lock, the branding has been sweet. [Yeah] And that’s part of the reason they’ve been so successful. [Yeah] Is because they’ve put a lot of money into marketing and branding so that they became the thing.

[Ming Johanson]

Yes.

[Kira Carlin]

We still argue about it. I mean, we’ve had that argument this week over what’s better, Apple or everything else. [Yes] And this is still an argument we’re having, What how long has that brand been? Around 30 years?

[Ming Johanson]

Yeah. Well, the argument is really around what’s your system that you’re working with and what integrates well, like Apple kind of forces you to use everything. Apple or nothing Apple.

[Kira Carlin]

Yeah. So I am in that maelstrom and it’s fun. But yeah you go into those things not because necessarily the specs are better, but because it’s a cult. And I say that as a person in that cult and that’s branding done really, really well.

[Ming Johanson]

Yeah, it’s pretty seamless. No matter where you stand with branding or with business like Apple has been pretty consistent over the years. So what do you think our customers and our clients and business owners alike need to hear about their own branding journey no matter where they’re at?

[Kira Carlin]

I mean, first and foremost, go talk to an expert because it is really hard to do this stuff yourself.

[Ming Johanson]

So even we did that. Yeah. And part of the reasoning behind that is, and a lot of people might not, and you might not even realise this, I have actually outsourced our logo every single time.

[Kira Carlin]

Oh, I didn’t know that, I thought Vern did it.

[Ming Johanson]

No. [Laugh] No Vern has the job of integrating our logos into everything and turning it into branding and artwork and content from the logo passover. But in terms of the actual brand redesigns, I have outsourced that each time.

[Kira Carlin]

Well, I suppose I just assumed because Vern makes such nice logos.

[Ming Johanson]

Yes, he does.

[Kira Carlin]

He makes lovely logos, exceptional.

[Ming Johanson]

He is very good at that.

[Kira Carlin]

Well, yeah, it’s like the old thing about you going to a therapist who has a therapist.

[Ming Johanson]

Yes, yes, yes, we do. [laugh]

[Kira Carlin]

You can’t expect to be able to work all of this stuff out yourself all the time. So go see someone if you can afford to do that, absolutely go see someone. Often I’m finding that people just don’t know. And that’s not, you know, one or two people. That’s the majority of people.

[Ming Johanson]

Think about the message or the client that you’re attracting by your brand. So again, I come back to it’s not just a logo, it’s also how are you speaking to your customers? And that’s where the brand personalities became a really useful toolset because it’s based on psychology. It’s based on 12 Personalities by Carl Jung.

[Kira Carlin]

So, so recently, a really good example of this. Recently I was talking to a friend of mine who’s a business coach and she’s in the middle of a rebrand and she’s in the middle of the messy like, Oh my God, how do I put across everything that I am in this very truncated form? And people have been saying to her for some time, “your stuff doesn’t look like you.”

She’s this bright, bubbly, energetic person. And all of her stuff, all of her pictures, her website, her stuff is all very ironed down and corporate. [Yeah] She’s a business coach, right? So she’s working with corporations. The reason they’re bringing her in isn’t because they are, she is them. [No] They already have them. They’re bringing her in because she’s got a way of making things seem clearer and easier and bringing the passion back to their workforce. Where is that in her branding?

[Ming Johanson]

Yeah. And I think the mistake is you’re trying to get people to understand who you are, who you are and everything that it is that you do. They don’t need to understand the witchcraft that happens in your business. They just need to know that you solve it. And what they’re looking for in your branding is something that speaks and sparks something inside of them.

So often when we go through this process with our clients, we’re usually talking about ‘Tell us about your customer’. ‘Tell us about your favourite customer that you love working with’. ‘What is it about them that you love working with them?’. ‘Why are they working with you?’

[Kira Carlin]

Exactly. Which actually brings me to something I was going to bring up the fact that what I’m seeing over and over in branding, particularly again in small businesses, is that people are leaning into their weaknesses, in their branding. So they’re feeling like they’re not quite, let’s say, not quite professional enough in the way they bring themselves across or not quite expert enough or qualified enough, enough, enough, enough.

[Ming Johanson]

Yup.

[Kira Carlin]

So they try to make this stuff look more like that to compensate for a perceived weakness.

[Ming Johanson]

Absolutely.

[Kira Carlin]

Like my friend, the business coach. So she’s trying to make all of her stuff look like the businesses she wants to attract rather than leaning into her strengths. [Yeah] Which is her energy. [Yeah] And her approach and her out of the box thinking, [yeah] you need to be bringing across who you are, not who you wish you were.

[Ming Johanson]

Yeah. So, like, we’ve just been working on our website where you brand and there’s lots of things within our language that speaks to authenticity, that speaks to be your odd neurodiverse self, bring you all of your hobbies, including your three spinning wheels.

[Kira Carlin]

So many spinning wheels, I’ve run out of room. Apparently I’m not allowed anymore spinning wheels till I use all the ones I have.

[Ming Johanson]

At the same time.

[Kira Carlin]

Need more hands.

[Ming Johanson]

Cloning is illegal at the moment.

[Kira Carlin]

I can get the hands. It’s just plugging them in that’s the problem.

[Ming Johanson]

And that’s what I mean. We’re quite often the oddballs in the room and I love that about who we are as a business. And I have had so many people tell me in the past, “when are you going to dye your hair back to normal?” And it’s like this, you don’t understand – this is normal for me. Bright fluorescent hair is a normal statement for me.

[Kira Carlin]

That’s it. Your choices are not everybody else’s choice. Personally, if I had all of that pure black hair, I’d have not dye it for anything. But you love it? So why not?

[Ming Johanson]

I like to have black hair. I like that I can change my hair colour to my mood.

[Kira Carlin]

Hmm. Exactly. And it works for you. And you love it. It makes you feel good.

[Ming Johanson]

Yeah. I very much own that. But I have had so many people tell me, you know, I’ve had strangers in the street tell me to get a real job and it’s like, buddy do you not know how much this hair costs.

It’s a lot. It’s a big investment, you know, but it’s also part of my mental health maintenance. It’s also part of my identity and feeling secure in my identity. So, yeah, anytime anybody says, Oh, when are you going to go back to normal? It’s like, you know, most not a dial for me. it never has been.

[Kira Carlin]

And I do find that by leaning into that stuff, you know, for me, it’s the cats. Yes, I have a thousand cats.

[Ming Johanson]

Yes, I mean, not actually.

[Kira Carlin]

No but six cats. And I used to kind of be a little bit like, oh, if I get too many pets, people will think I’m weird. And now I’m like, I’m weird. Bring it on.

[Ming Johanson]

I very much remember that being a conversation we had early on where I was saying, just, you can just be yourself.

[Kira Carlin]

Yeah. So I find that now that I’m in a lot of rooms where I’m networking and doing things like meeting a lot of people for the first time, it is almost always one of the first things that somebody says about me is, this is Kira. She has a lot of cats and it’s almost always the thing that that new person remembers about me. [Yeah] So it’s that brain stickiness. [Yes] I never really intended to go at it this way. But now that we’re going at it this way, why not?

[Ming Johanson]

So that’s a really good point is that branding is also outside of the business, right? Each and every one of them, each and every one of us in the business has a personal brand. We have our own personality, our own approach to things, our own expertise, our own really hyper focussed madness, I guess about, you know, all the different things that we do in the business.

[Kira Carlin]

Hmm. The thing that I think people mistake when you talk about a personal brand is that it has to be very constructed. [Yeah] So that idea that I have a personal brand, this is me, the brand I’m going to wear this colour and this perfume and only talk in a fake British accent for the rest of time. And that you have to police every action that you perform in public to match this brand and that’s not the case at all. You have a personal brand whether you think you do or not.

[Ming Johanson]

Yeah.

[Kira Carlin]

And the more that you just lean into who you are, the easier it is to create that thing without it taking a whole lot of effort and time and space.

[Ming Johanson]

So I’ve I’ve spoken to this a couple of times about authenticity and understanding the concept that you will be a different person tomorrow than you were the day before, because you’ve had different interactions, you’ve read different information, you’ve watched different shows; just by the consumption of whatever you’re looking at at the time, it will change you as a person.

So we hold on to these ideas that we are a person that we used to be in our twenties or thirties or wherever, wherever you are, and really you are a constant evolving creature. And what I find fascinating in my own social media journey and all of that is that because I’m very open about my life, about my mental health, about my business, a lot of people uniquely know me before I’ve ever spoken to them and I don’t know who they are.

I have no idea who they are but they treat me in a way that we’re almost best friends before they’ve even had a conversation with me, or they forget that I haven’t actually physically seen me for like three years.

[Kira Carlin]

So it’s, it kind of makes me think of if I go out for, you know, I was out at breakfast with a friend quite recently and I was doing something I do quite often, but I apparently had never done with her, which was rant about weather instruments. Oh yeah.

[Ming Johanson]

Oh yeah, your barometers.

[Kira Carlin]

So yes. I believe I was talking about I think it might have been La Nina and she was like, okay, so what is and the like. And I went full weather nerd.

[Ming Johanson]

Which is very fun. Like I find weather nerd Kira, very fun. 

[Kira Carlin]

So we got talking about that and I went on a 20 minute monologue which nobody asked for. About barometers and all the barometers I own. And at the end of it I’m thinking, Oh my God, what have I done? And this poor woman… and she’s just looking at me, smiling at me, going, I love this for you. This makes so much sense for you. It’s that same kind of thing with personal brand is right. She didn’t know that about me, but she was like, You know what? This fits.

[Ming Johanson]

Yeah, absolutely. Because, like, so often we temper ourselves or we mask because we don’t think the true version of ourselves will be accepted in society. And I have, I guess, the fortunate and unfortunate experience of the fact that I’m Eurasian, so I’m half Chinese, half Swedish, Australian made and I’ve seen two sides of that where people have gone, Oh, you’re not Australian enough.

Oh you’re not fully Chinese. And you know, you’re sort of in this weird little vortex where you don’t fit in any world. And what comes out of that, what I’ve realised as I’ve gotten older and comes out of that, is a very true sense of your own sense of identity.

[Kira Carlin]

There’s no hiding for you.

[Ming Johanson]

No

[Kira Carlin]

Whereas me, I am the business’s token white girl. It’s much easier for me to mask.

[Ming Johanson]

We might need to stop calling you that. [Laugh]

[Kira Carlin]

I think I’m the one who calls me that the most.[laugh]

[Ming Johanson]

You are… It feels real problematic. [laugh]

[Kira Carlin]

It probably is. But again, the fact that it’s me calling me that.

[Ming Johanson]

I feel like calling you the company witch would be more acceptable.

[Kira Carlin]

Also true. I feel like maybe we are going to have to call me into an H.R. meeting with myself. Just be like, Dude. [laugh]

[Ming Johanson]

Yeah. So, you know, like, it’s being at the crux of it. I think it’s being comfortable with who you are as a person and I actually think there’s a lot of people that are not comfortable with who they are.

[Kira Carlin]

Hmm. I think that’s probably very true. And I think being in business, particularly small business, really brings that out. [Yes] Suddenly you’re being forced to show up and represent something that is important to you. [Yeah] So suddenly it brings up all those never enough monsters. Yes. About how you show up in the way that you present to people. And am I going to be good enough to have a business? Am I going to be blah, blah, blah enough for this?

[Ming Johanson]

So for a while I ran a digital marketing retreat. Which was also a digital disconnect. And I would have at least 70% of the attendees be like, So how are we supposed to do our marketing without all of that technology? And the crux of that retreat was actually more about you understanding who you are as a person, understanding your values and your identity so you could navigate your business world accurately without, you know, I guess, sacrificing yourself and sacrificing your personality.

[Kira Carlin]

Which makes a lot of sense to me.

[Ming Johanson]

Yeah.

[Kira Carlin]

Yeah. It’s funny because we talk about this, so we work with a lot of industry partners and there is no such thing as a one size fits all agency. So our customers are not, for example, his customers. Yeah, they want something different. Yeah. So when people want to lean into their authenticity and they want to make those parts of themselves come across in their branding, they find us. [Yeah] It’s unbelievable how they find us. It’s like they sniff us out. Yes. Whereas his customer is looking for something totally different. Yeah. And other agencies are looking for something totally different again.

[Ming Johanson]

Yeah. We don’t do very well with businesses that want to pretend to be something that they’re not. It’s always going to be the people who are looking to feel safe in their own skin.

[Kira Carlin]

But also I do find in those the ones that we have worked with. Yeah, they’re almost always trying to mask a deeper dysfunction in the business. Yeah. So there’s a big thing at the centre of it that they’re finding is not working and instead of dealing with that thing. Yeah, they go, ‘Oh well the branding is wrong.’

[Ming Johanson]

Or they think it’s a lot more complicated than it is. Yeah. And quite often it’s not. It’s usually a really simple fix.

[Kira Carlin]

Exactly. So I often find that, how am I phrasing this? The clients that really want to lean into their authenticity are much more open to dealing with the dysfunctions within their business because every business has them. [Yeah] every single one.

[Ming Johanson]

Every single business. Even the grown up businesses.

[Kira Carlin]

Especially the grown up businesses.

[Ming Johanson]

Yeah, so I think we’ve covered it. Yeah. We could probably talk for another three years just about branding on its own.

[Kira Carlin]

I think the one thing we haven’t covered is the fact that it’s the elements that make up branding. So we’ve said it’s more than a logo. Yeah, but it is. It is a logo, but it is at core the idea of who you are. But then that expresses itself.

[Ming Johanson]

Even fonts.

[Kira Carlin]

In a website, the way you communicate. So this is why people have style guides.

[Ming Johanson]

Yes. So brand…

[Kira Carlin]

Guides. Oh, we love a brand guide.

[Ming Johanson]

We love a client that brings us a brand guide.

[Kira Carlin]

Oh my god, I love a client with a brand guide.

[Ming Johanson]

A cause because it’s sort of a toolset that goes right here are the boundaries here. Here are the healthy boundaries for our brand. These are the edges of those boundaries in terms of language, in terms of words we can use. So you’ll notice a lot of the time in our language, in our brand language, we don’t say the words ‘can’t’, ‘can’t do anything’. We typically don’t say the words, you know, ‘have to’, ‘have to do this’, ‘should’.

[Kira Carlin]

‘Must’. It’s not really who we are. But if a client and most of our clients don’t come to us with a brand guide, and so I do a lot of the copy within the business and I’m finding that when I approach that, I often have to sit in a room absorbing. [Yeah, yeah] If they give me a brand guide to great, awesome, I don’t have to take that time.

[Ming Johanson]

Saves me so much time.

[Kira Carlin]

So much time. [Yeah] And this is the thing is people look at branding initially and they go, oh, this is expensive or difficult or time consuming or whatever the excuses. And they don’t realise how much getting that stuff right in the first instance will save time and money and expense and problems down the road.

[Ming Johanson]

And it will attract the right clients to you. Because certainly in our own brand evolution, we’ve evolved from being the magician now to the ruler, and the ruler is very much about being the expert in the room. And a lot of our disunity with clients has been because they don’t they don’t want an expert in the room, whereas the ones that we love working with are like, Oh God, you’ve got this, oh thank god.

[Kira Carlin]

They just want to step away from it. They want to hand it over to somebody who knows what they’re doing.

[Ming Johanson]

Yeah, can I just hand this to you? Great!

[Ming Johanson]

So if you want to have a conversation with us about your branding. [laugh]

[Kira Carlin]

We would love to do that.

[Ming Johanson]

We would love to do that. If you have a style guide, we’d love that even more. But if you don’t, we’ll make one for you.

[Kira Carlin]

We will make you one and then you can be that client with a style guide.

[Ming Johanson]

Yeah. And you can hand that to all of your people and they’ve got a cool style guide – awesome!

[Kira Carlin]

Amazing.

[Ming Johanson]

Yeah. Brand Guide, awesome!

[Kira Carlin]

Everyone loves a brand guide, Graphic designers, copy writers, everyone loves a brand guide.

[Ming Johanson]

Yeah, absolutely. Especially one that’s been thought through. You can contact us and connect with us on LinkedIn. My name is Ming Johanson.

[Kira Carlin]

I’m Kira Carlin.

[Ming Johanson]

Find us on the LinkedIn and we’ll talk to you in the next episode.

[Kira Carlin]

What are we talking about next? 

[Ming Johanson]

I can’t remember.

[Kira Carlin]

I can’t remember. Surprise. Next episode. Come and find out.

Liked this article? Share it!
LinkedIn
Twitter
Facebook
Email
About Michael
Transitioning from industries like hospitality, hotels, retail, and media into the realm of digital marketing was initially daunting. Yet, I quickly discovered that my diverse background held immense value in this dynamic field. Working in digital marketing has not only provided me with opportunities for growth and innovation but has also become a canvas for expressing my creativity. Beyond work, I’m known for my outgoing personality and passions for the Korean culture, music, movies, and games. And, just a heads up, I’m not one to enjoy pineapples on pizza—sorry, pineapple lovers!