Refine your brand style with this easy exercise

August 24, 2022

I’m Michelle.
A modern maker with a classic approach to design. Ever in search
of beautiful typography and
baked goods.
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In this post, I help you to refine your brand style by using a three-word method that will help you to create more digital content with ease.

One might think that being a graphic designer would mean your artistry would extend to areas like fashion, but sadly, it’s not the case for me. And since putting together outfits does not come as easily as putting together font combinations, I depend on others to lead the way.

How having no fashion sense helped strengthen my brand

Earlier this summer, a new YouTube video popped up in my feed as a recommendation, and it was a superb one. Fast forward to today, and I haven’t missed a single of Alyssa’s weekly videos. My new favorite follow, Alyssa Beltempo, is a fashion expert whose motto is: more creativity, less consumption.

I’ve learned much from her channel, but one video stood out above the rest. It was called “The three-word rule to find your personal style.” In it, she guides you through a few exercises to pinpoint three descriptors you can use to guide your fashion decisions.

Using the three-word method in digital branding

I couldn’t help but think that we need to do the same as we develop our online brands and establish our aesthetic. If you’ve already downloaded this Digital Brand Blueprint, you know that I ask you to describe your brand using 3-5 words or phrases. But I love how Alyssa encourages us to limit our selections to three words, helping to refine our presence further so that we can emerge as strong, capable brands.

Let’s take that section of the Digital Brand Blueprint and bring it a step further. By honing in on three strong words, it will help your digital brand to:

  • Create content with more confidence.
  • Establish consistency in your messaging and aesthetic.
  • Rise and stand out in your niche.

And best of all, it simplifies your content creation process, meaning less effort and more results for you.

Tips for choosing three words to define your brand

Practice on another brand first

It might feel uncomfortable to get so introspective out of the gate. Start by practicing this three-word exercise on another company, celebrity, or character you know and love. If you caught my recent Instagram Reel, you saw the four words I chose to describe the city of Nashville. 

Reflect where you’re coming from

Take some time to review the content you’ve already shared. If you use social media, take an overview of your feed. If you have a shop, scroll through your listings. If you have a website, click around. Take note of the elements you love most and want to take with you into the future.

Think about where you want to go

What do you see when you look at your Pinterest feed or the posts you’ve saved on Instagram? Are there particular styles that keep popping up again and again? Take note if you feel they align with your brand’s aesthetic or what you wish your brand to be.

Start with ten

Narrowing your choices down to three words is challenging. You saw with my Nashville Reel that I used four words! Allow yourself to do some free writing. Don’t worry about getting your words just right immediately.

Jot down anything that pops into your head, even if it sounds silly. Try to get a list of at least ten words. If more ideas come to mind, don’t worry if you end up with something lengthy.

Refine your list of words

Head to the website I kept open 24/7 while writing my book to refine your list further. Plug in some or all of the words on your list and see if you spot others more aligned with your style.

Review your list

Close your eyes. Open them. Look at your list. What are the three words that first jump out at you? Circle, underline, or highlight them. Review the rest of the words you’ve cultivated. Do any of them stand out as favorites? Add them to the running.

Continue to review until you feel happy with the three words you’ve selected as the ones that best represent your brand. If you’re having trouble deciding, ask a family member, friend, or your online community to weigh in.

What to do with your words once you’ve established them?

Record them in your Digital Brand Blueprint 

See if your three words make it easier to fill in some of the other areas of your document that you may have left blank.

Write them down on a sticky note or put them into a decorative frame

Your three words will act as your compass as you hone your aesthetic and create content, so keep them handy. If you are feeling stuck, you should be able to look to your three words to guide your decisions. If you work with a team, ensure they keep them top of mind.

Share your three words with your audience

If you are using your words correctly, your brand should exemplify your tone without spelling it out. However, I see a great opportunity to turn your three words into a content piece to let your community know what they can expect going forward.

Make brand updates to refine your brand style

Are your assets (site, shop, blog, social media profiles) in alignment with your three words? Make some quick updates so that everything is consistent. Check out this post more for easy digital makeover ideas.

Parameters lead to freedom

Nobody likes to be put inside of a box, especially creative people. But when it comes to establishing a digital brand presence, choosing three words will give you the freedom to create more, with ease. 

Like a capsule wardrobe helps us make fewer decisions about our clothing, your three words will help you move forward confidently!

What are the three words you’re using to refine your brand style?

Share below or send me a message on Instagram: what are the three words you’ve chosen for your brand?

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