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Lesson 4 from: How to Bring Your Brand to Life

Meg Lewis

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Lesson Info

4. Trust

Lesson Info


So when we think about trust, what does that mean exactly? It means a lot about creating a safe space and being a good person, as a a company, and being a good friend to your community. All right, so I've said this a lot, of being a good person as a brand and I think it's really important to keep saying it over and over again. There are so many qualities that we identify as what makes a good person and I'll outline some of these in a bit but it's also important to translate that into brands because being a good person means you're gonna be well liked and respected by many. A lot of people are going to trust you and that also can translate so easily into companies and into brands. Of being a good brand that people love and admire and trust. The most wonderful thing is that it creates brand loyalty if you're trusted as a brand it creates people that feel like they can trust you so they feel like they want to share you with the people that they love too because they know that you're good ...

on your word and you're a good company and so they're just gonna share it and be loyal to you and follow your every move and even your every mistake, if they trust you. OK, so let's talk about, and this is something that, the exercise that I did for this one is what are the qualities of a good person and how we can translate that into being a good person as a brand. All right, so a good person obviously donates and supports to organizations. They interact with other brands that your community admires, OK? So with a good person, you probably, you know, you give away some of your money to help others, to donate to causes that you admire, that you're really passionate about. That's important for brands too. It's important to give back to the communities, to your community and to other communities that your community admires. How many times can I say community in one sentence? Oh, we should have a tally counter of how many times I say community in this class. Too late. Someone online probably will though. If you're watching at home I highly recommend that you maybe tally how many times I said community. I'm gonna say, oo I'm gonna guess, 107 times. Does anybody feel like that, does that seem right? I don't know. It's hard to say. Oo I can't wait to find out. OK. All right, community, community. There's two more. OK. So it's important to donate and to be a good person as a company and a brand. It's important to be a friend to other brands. I think it's so easy to think of other brands as your competition, especially if they're also serving your community because it's easy to think, Oh my community doesn't have much time. They don't have enough space in their brain for all of these brands and so these brands that are also serving my community are my competition. Let's stop thinking about that altogether. It's so important that we don't think of other brands as our competition. There's always room for everyone and if you can lift up and support other brands that your community loves your community is going to be so into that. A good person is never putting other people down. A good person lifts up and supports and cheerleads for other people so that's what we want to do as a brand as well and be a good person as a brand. We want to support and encourage and share and be kind and friendly to other companies that our community loves. Oo yeah, this one is hard because this is showing behind the scenes, this is showing what isn't perfect and it's being transparent. Good people are always honest, especially when things are going wrong with them. It's OK to open up and say I'm not doing so well or I'm figuring it out or, like with this class, I have no idea what I'm doing, which is not true, I seem to know what I'm doing. But it's important to be transparent and say I don't know what I'm doing but I'm figuring it out and I'm qualified and capable, and it's fun for people to watch you go through that journey and it's fun for people to watch you be transparent and they love that and it creates trust to see someone being vulnerable and real. That's what makes a good person so that's what also makes a really good company is when you can be transparent and honest about your process, maybe when you make a mistake being really honest about how you made that mistake and what you'll do to fix that mistake from now on. It's really important to be transparent about whatever it is, like company earnings or how much you're paying different people so that you can keep things fair and equal. It's really important that you're transparent with your community at all times to continue building that trust and being a good person as a brand. All right, safe spaces are so important in creating trust. We want to create a safe place for your community to feel encouraged and supported and feel like they can be themselves within the experience you're creating for them so it's really really important that you're making sure your community feels safe to be who they are within the space that you're creating for them. And there are a few things that we can do to make that happen very easily, OK? So be a good friend to your community. Like, we're talking about being a good person. There are a lot of qualities that make a good friend. So think about what makes a good friend. Someone who's supportive and cheerleads for them. Someone who's challenging, you want to challenge your friends when, maybe they're not thinking clearly, or maybe they need some help, you want to challenge and help and support your community. It's very important that they feel like you're a good friend to them, Like you're there for them. It's really important to create a safe space by encouraging and allowing your community members to feel like they can be themselves in your space. It takes a lot for us to feel comfortable enough to actually be who we really are around other people. That's why when you get together with someone new or you're meeting somebody for coffee it takes you so long to finally feel comfortable with them. Because at first you talk, like, oh the weather and then maybe you go a little deeper and then you start to learn, oh they have these little quirks and they're kind of funny and then you start to get to know them a little bit more and more. And then eventually, maybe it takes an hour or maybe it takes months or years for you to feel comfortable around someone. It's really important, with your environment, that you create a safe space by allowing your audience and your community to feel like they can be themselves in your space as rapidly and fast as possible. We'll talk a little bit more, maybe, about how you can do that later. OK, it's really important to create a safe space with your community by making them feel free of judgment. There's a difference between being judgy and challenging people. It's fun to have really constructive conversations with your community and challenge their thinking. That's very important but we don't want to judge our community because we want them to feel like they can be themselves but we want to also challenge them at the same time and there's a very fine line between that and we just want to make sure that we're not judging because that will make them retreat and make them feel bad about who they are and that will make them distance themselves from your brand. So it's important to have the qualities of a friend who will challenge and support your community without having judgment because you shouldn't have friends that are constantly judging you. That's not a good quality of a friend. All right, so we also want to create experiences for our community that makes them feel like they can be their true selves, makes them feel like they trust you and love your brand. So what does an experience mean? I talked a little bit about this before but an experience can be anything that you're making for your community, whether that's an in-person experience, maybe you have a retail pop-up shop or maybe you want to just have a little booth at a market, maybe it's more of a Instagram-able experience like is so popular now. It doesn't have to be in person though, it can be online. Social media can be experiences. You can have a series of posts allowing your community to open up and being themselves online. You can create a wonderful experience for them to be who they are there as well. Your experience can also be the product or service. So if you're making handbags or jewelry or logos or web design or product design that is an experience, that act of creating that product or giving them that service, that is also a serious experience that they can be enjoying and feel like they can be themselves while they're interacting with you during that. All right, another way that we can create trust is by actually bringing your community deep into your brand in so many ways. Community members love to be a part of your brand because they love it and they trust you so much already so if you give them an opportunity to where they can just hop right into your brand they're gonna love that so much. They're gonna love to feel noticed and included. It's gonna make them feel really great and really trust you and really want to follow you anywhere if you can actually listen to them and bring them in. So let's think of some ways that we can bring our community into our brand a little bit more. So we can obviously highlight and celebrate and cheerlead on our community. There are a few ways we could do that. That could be online on social media by just featuring or reposting things by our community members and saying these are our community members and they are doing amazing things in the world. Let's support them and let's show that off. It's really fun to be able to lift other people up and celebrate them in that way. You can bring your community into your brand by collaborating with them. So I think a really easy way is that, for example, if you have a blog, instead of just putting up a blog on your blog (laughs) ♪ putting up a blog on your blog... Instead of putting up a blog on your blog blog blog you could (laughs) hire an illustrator, a different freelance illustrator to create an illustration that goes along with each post. That's an easy way to bring in an illustrator from your community. It's an easy way to bring people into your brand that admire and trust your brand. There's so many ways that we can collaborate with our community members, make little projects with them, make new things, if your sponsoring a conference that's really great way to collaborate with your community members to get in there and to support them and cheerlead for them. Another way is to actually get yourself out of your office and inject yourself and your brand into their atmosphere. So into these other places where they feel really comfortable, like maybe their neighborhoods, maybe other environments where they feel safe and encouraged. Get out and get into those environments, however that could be. So again, sponsoring a conference is a really great one or just being involved in an event that they might also be at. It doesn't have to be a sales event. It doesn't have to be this thing where you're handing out flyers. Be a good person. Show up and just be there for them and if you happen to mention who your brand is along the way, good job, you're doing it right. All right, so just get out and actually inject yourself into their environments. It's gonna feel great and they're gonna love that you're there supporting them. So asking, just ask. Ask your community. Do you want to be part of what I have going on? This is an open call for contributors to my brand. Ask them to be involved. It's really great if you could pay them to also be involved, a little bit. That's always helpful. Don't ask for free work. But it's great because people really want to be involved with your brand so rather than being afraid to even ask it's really always great to ask for something that you need and that's gonna show off that transparency if you just say, hey, I'm really interested in featuring some community members who are doing amazing things. Does anyone want to be featured? You'll probably get a lot of hands being raised.

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!

Student Work