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Branding: It’s Not Just for the Cows Anymore

Rootid's Quick Branding Tips

What is branding? Designers, strategists, marketers all throw this term around, but do you really know what it means? You know what your brand is, but what is “branding?” Well, it is composed of a few different things:

  1. Your Mission – This includes your core values, who are you serving, and what service or product are you providing…hopefully you already know this or are in the process of developing it.
  2.  Your Messaging – Yes, I hate this word too, but it is the easiest way to describe the words you are using to talk about your mission and goals. Your brand needs to have a personality that your target audiences (and community at large) can relate to, so your messaging is the “way” your brand talks about itself. One of our design partners often asks their clients, “If your brand were at a party, who would it be?” ie. Is your brand charismatic and outgoing…the life of the party? Is your brand friendly and open, but more on the calm and sophisticated side? …you get the idea.
  3. Your Visual Identity – This includes your logo, color palette, imagery and overall look and feel that you are using to express your mission and values. A picture really does say a thousands words, so what first impression do you want to give? Note: This is often also described as your visual language.

In the great wisdom of recently deceased Maya Angelou, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”  

Help your audience feel what your organization and brand represent—create a personality they want to be friends with and support—this is what will give you the strength to grow and sustain long-term.

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Val Neumark Mickela - director of strategic initiatives & education, founder, headshot

Val Neumark

Val is a brand strategist, educator, facilitator and coach focused on using communications, design-thinking and technology as vehicles to advance equity. Through partnerships and collaborations, Val endeavors to co-design anti-racist, anti-oppressive spaces and tools that facilitate strategic-thinking, community building and sustainable growth for non-profits and social impact organizations.

Val has a Bachelor's Degree in Visual Arts & Media from University of California San Diego and a Master's Degree in Education from Pepperdine University. A 2016 recipient of Pepperdine University's inaugural 40 under 40 Award. In their free time Val plays soccer, loves to hike, watch baseball and read Mia Mayhem books with their daughter.