It's not always possible to have a firm plan, a plan that allows you to totally focus on, well, the plan. Some of the most known brands are grown from very little, apparently no preconceived thoughts, no plan. I don't mean just products, I mean branding of anything and anyone.
They (the Brand) just become. They become an unstoppable force, self feeding, self regenerating.
The plan then comes into manage the success of this 'thing' that had no apparent plan to start with. Think Nike Swoosh.
The best laid branding plans can lead to nothing but misery and failure. Think Pepsi Am.
So back to the plan or lack of plan.
Brands can created by the public, not by a team of professionals. The public speak, the public see something they want and 'the Brand' becomes. The Branding of humans is not always planned out. There is often no plan. The personal Branding 'just' happens. What happens next is that a management plan has to be, well, planned. If not, then it can fail, and the very people, the public that created, needed this personal Brand, end up being the slayers. The classic victim of mismanaged success.
Some cynics may call it luck or being in the right place at the right time. Some realists may say that there is always a plan regardless of if you say you had a plan or not. Some may say whatever comes out of their mouth because everyone else is talking and the don't want to appear to have nothing to say.
Admittedly, I seem to have a knack of being able to create life from nothing, evolve it on the spur of the moment and live with it whilst it grows. The plan, if you really want to call it that, is really made up as I go along, I like the 'winging it' nature in life. I'm good at that, I allow myself that positive reinforcement.
This is where I feel being able to just wing it, to make stuff up as you go along without a brief, a plan, some kind of firm idea set in stone helps immeasurably with the flip side. Yeah, I can do both. Being a 'free spirit' helps me no end when there is a brief, when there is a plan and a foundation to adhere to.
Maybe this is true for everyone, I don't know. I am unique in many areas, personally and professionally. I do kick sand in the face of 'normality' when it feels right and good to do so. I also stick rigidly to the rules when it will allow me to achieve whatever it is I'm not sure I'm about to set out to achieve, because of course, I have no plan.
Here to where?
I look at Point A and I look at what might as well be Point Z. You can go through all the other points if someone says you have to, but if you have the experience, the knowledge and the confidence, you can just apply whatever 'limit limitations' you want to succeed in your objective.
Confidence from years of experience in knowing yourself, to know that ultimately there is a part of your inner self, part of the professional that is on auto pilot. An auto pilot that is acutely aware of everything going on around it. Sensitivity to the forces that help or hinder growth of any kind.
I am a Brand
Might seem a little arrogant or even flighty, starry eyed ideals of what I would like to be. But regardless, Graham Smith is ImJustCreative. A brand based around my photo, my logo, my initials, my black beanie, my preference for black and white imagery, the video posts all in black with my face floating in a black void, even my onscreen 'waffling', all this is becoming my brand. And I will also say here it is becoming a strong brand because I see it, I acknowledge it and I feed it. I like what I see, I like how my Brand makes me feel and that's a great feeling. I see opportunities and I go for it.
There was no real personal branding plan at the inception of ImJustCreative over a year ago. My focus was on becoming a freelancer by whatever means necessary. It happened. I made some posts, I made a few calculated decisions and then people were saying, 'I love your brand Graham, it's really strong'.
The personal brand evolved.
The plan, or lack of plan is really neither here or there in some cases. It can cause you to contradict yourself, or limit yourself. I'm not saying this is how to conduct yourself in all manner of professional branding exercises, like that would really go down well.
But having a open mind, trusting the years of experience you have that often things 'can just happen'.
I need to make it clear that all this talk of plan, no plan, winging it is in relation to the comfy confines of ImJustCreative and other personal aspects of my life.
But there is a point here also that can't be ignored. Some of the best brands did happen by accident or were not planned. But as a rule, I am not for one moment suggesting you choose to take this 'no plan' action with paying clients. That's not such a hot idea.
The trick, the art, the key to success is to see it and act on it and then maybe, just maybe you need to bring a plan in to plan out whatever you didn't plan for in the beginning.
So now yes. I have a plan. There are big plans because ImJustCreative now has a plan. The plan, my experience, my skills will ensure Graham Smith, me, will be here in one form or another for as long as is possible.
Interview over at Fuel Your Creativity
If you want more of me you can check out the interview over at Fuel Your Creativity.
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