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Lesson 2 from: How to Bring Your Brand to Life

Meg Lewis

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Lesson Info

2. Community

Lesson Info


Community is kind of a hot word right now, right? People would get hired to work at companies to work on their brand's community and all of that. And I think we think about community in many ways, one of them being social media. But even everyone with a brand, like solo entrepreneurs, people who work for themselves, people with larger corporations or smaller businesses. Everyone has a community. All of the people that you're interacting with, that are enjoying the experience you're creating for them, is your community. Alright? So, I think something important to note is that we really need to stop thinking of them as our audience. We need to stop thinking of them as our users, because that sounds so inhuman, and it sounds really robotic, and that's not what we are, we're people. And communities are so beautiful. Everyone deserves to have a wonderful community where they feel safe and encouraged to be themselves. So let's start reframing the way that we think about our community and sta...

rt actually calling them what it is, which is a community of wonderful people that are loving your brand. Alright, hoo! So, your community is something that has a common bond. So everyone has a common bond and that's your brand, which is really powerful, okay? It's really important that they are all gathering together around something that they love. This is how communities form. We all have something in common and we like to talk about that. It gives people something to chat about to get to know each other. That's why we all talk about the weather. Because Earth beings have something in common, and it's the weather! And so, we have a community here on Earth and that's sort of what we gather around. The weather is the brand of Earth. (audience laughs) What a beautiful quote! I'm gonna put that on my website? (laughs) Alright, so it's important that your community feels safe in the environment that you've created for them. We're gonna talk a little bit more and do some exercises on this later; building trust. But we need to make sure that our community is constantly feeling like they can be themselves. Like they are safe and protected under the arm and the warm embrace of your brand. Alright, so your community, it's important to remember that they're real people. It's easy to get really involved in analytics, and metrics, and numbers, and think about them as just statistics and information. But it's really, really important to always reframe and remember that these are people with real feelings and real emotions, and you really, really, really wanna tap into that as often as possible. The human aspect. Okay, you're community is smart. They're not idiots. Alright? So, I think a lot of brands are trying to be so strategic about things, that they create these inhuman ways of communicating with their community. And community members, humans, real humans, can see through anything that you're trying to feed them that's fake. So it's important to make sure to be really honest, and vulnerable, and real, as a brand. I think it's easy as a brand, to not put yourself into it too much. To make it feel like a company rather than a person. But this class is all about how to reframe thinking of our brand as being very human, and being very much a real person, because there are real people behind your brand, and you're also communicating with your community, which are real people too. Ooh. So, every decision that you make should be serving your community. I think one of the biggest things that I wanna communicate in this class is that you should always be thinking of your community before your brand, which seems counter-intuitive, but, again, we're talking about how to be a good person as a brand and a company. And one of the best qualities of being a good person and being a well-liked person, is putting others in front of yourself, okay? So, to be a happy company, to be a company of today, it's really important that you're actually putting the happiness of your community in front of yourself at all times. So, every decision that you make should be to serve your community and those wonderful people that are following, and representing, and cheering you on. Okay, so, in order to figure out who your community is, we'll do a little bit of these exercises later. I just want you to be able to define things like: What are their tastes? Easy. What do they like to do? What do they like to eat? What are their tastes and opinions? What are their hobbies? What do they do in their free time? It's important to be able to tap into those little activities that they like to do in their spare time. What are their insecurities? So, we talk a lot about what makes your community happy, but we also need to think about what they're insecure about. What are those points in their lives when they're feeling low, and how can you pick them up out of that and help them to feel a little bit better? And then again, easy one. What are their personalities? So, maybe your community is really niche, and they have a very similar personality, or maybe it's quite wide and you're dealing with a lot of different types of personalities that you need to cater to. It's important to be able to define that. Okay. So, community profiles, I think, are something that a lot of people roll their eyes about, and I definitely learned about doing this in school. This was a school project. Not this one. This, I actually made for a client recently. But thinking about community profiles and doing an exercise like this, kind of, even still today, makes me feel like, "Ugh, I'm back in school! I don't wanna do this for somebody!" But, I actually do this with my client projects and anything I'm making for my own brands, is create these community profiles. And the reason why you wanna create a community profile, is so that you could remember who you're creating things for. So what is a community profile? It's simply just highlighting certain members of your community. They can either be real or fake. And you want to do as many community profiles as personality types represent your community, okay? So, like I said, if it's a niche brand that you're serving, a niche community, maybe you only have two community members that have slightly different tastes. But if you have a huge corporation or company, and you have a wide variety of people that you're serving in your community, maybe you wanna create more than just a couple of community profiles. So, what I like to do, is take a picture of a friend or find someone on the internet, and then make up a fake name for them. Write a fake bio for them. Write down their personality traits, their insecurities, their hobbies, their tastes, all of that, and put it into one beautiful document that I can print out. So, it kind of tells me a little bit more about what they're interested in, what their emotions are. I can put a face to the name that I'm creating. I print it out and I put it by my desk. So that way, anytime I'm making a business decision, or a brand decision, I remember, "Okay, I'm going to think of my community first "and my brand second." So, I look at these community profiles that are always by my desk and I remember how much I care about them, and how important they are to me, and I can say, "What would Rick Klein think if I did this? "Would he be happy by this decision?" If the answer is yes, then I'm gonna make that decision for my brand.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

How to Bring Your Brand to Life - Workbook

Ratings and Reviews

a Creativelive Student

It was so incredible to hang out in the live studio audience for this class!(Despite having NO voice! ...thanks for being so kind and patient with me!) As a brand designer, it's actually so hard to get outside of my own business and think about my brand in new ways and Meg's course was so helpful in doing just that. Thank you for your fun and super helpful knowledge bombs, Meg!


I just absolutely love this course and keep coming back to it. As a creative freelancer i love that i can relate to Meg's advices and to her " imperfect " and funny side - which i totally have too and it feels sooooooo freeing to hear someone whose work you admire admitting and being proud of it !

Annie Wong

I know a lot of artists and designers like myself that cringe at traditional business marketing advice because it sounds gross and antithetical to the creative process. Meg has the amazing ability to humanize the idea of branding in a way that makes complete sense. The a-ha moment for me was when she reframes thinking about our "audience" and "users" as our "community." This was so helpful for me because a few days after the class a couple of members of my community expressed some concerns to me and I was able to address them in a way that was authentic. I might have dismissed their concerns before, but I realized that I have a responsibility as the steward of my brand to cultivate a safe space for my community. Thanks, Meg!

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