2013 is my seventh year as a Leadership Coach under the brand name of Essence Consultancy.  In these seven years, I have coached a 100 professionals per year, facilitated over a 100 workshops, written a workbook on preparing for Leadership and most recently, I have served as Faculty for the Leadership Module that is part of a Certificate course on Ecology & Conservation.

Over this period, my practice as a coach has evolved, my client has become younger and most of all, I have completely changed as a person.  And this year, I realized that my brand did not reflect this growth, this movement at all.  Also, it did not fully represent my work and address my client needs.  So over six weeks in June and early July, I revamped my logo, my website design and rewrote all the text to reflect the Essence Consultancy brand TODAY.  I wanted to share some learnings about this rebranding exercise not from a marketing or branding 101 perspective – this is more inside out, how I translated my mission, core values and client offer into a brand.  Hope it helps you too in any entrepreneurial venture you might be cooking up!

  1. Start with colors – Just look at many pictures, magazines, images and see what colors appeal to you.  This is a no-mind exercise so really see what just pops up and grabs your fancy.  For me, the colors were green, silver and black
  2. Choose an image – It really helps to have an image that represents your brand rather than just text.  I chose an elephant because they are gentle, collaborative, loyal and nurture others.  Also, it gives my brand a little touch of India!
  3. Website Design – I strongly recommend using templates.  Why reinvent the wheel?  And this makes it so much easier for your designer to modify and for you to exactly get what you have in your brain.  I scanned literally hundreds of templates before I chose one from Themeforest.  I love the crisp and clean design features that came with the template
  4. Choose a designer who is responsive – The two young professionals who helped me design my logo and my website were quick, responsive and had TIME FOR ME.  As a small business owner with small budgets, it is important to work with others who value your “small” business and can make it a priority.  I interviewed 17 designers before I could zero in on someone.
  5. The right time for feedback – Be explicit in asking for feedback.  My designers did not offer any suggestions till I specifically asked them to do so and then they were very insightful.  Also, take feedback while you are building the site – once it is ready, it is cumbersome to incorporate feedback (on a small budget).

And my last and biggest learning is that for a service provider and a solopreneur, you have to start with your core values because you are your brand in most ways!  So, once you are true to those core values and your mission, the brand building process is fun- filled and has an easy rhythm and flow.  Please check out the Essence Consultancy website and drop me a note!