Late to the party (I blame having kids!) hubby and I both recently read that Marie Kondo book. The one about the ‘life-changing’ magic tidying up. Her big message is to surround yourself with only things that ‘spark joy’.
I’ve always thought I was pretty good at decluttering, what could she teach me? But this admittedly bonkers* woman takes it to the next level. (*Marie, love, I’m not talking to my handbag for anyone!)
It was an odd concept at first…how could, say, mundane items such as my socks ‘spark joy’?
Then I looked down, saw the thinning-but-not-yet-holey socks on my feet and I understood…I pulled them off, threw them into the ‘textiles recycling’ bag and slid on a much nicer pair.
Suddenly acutely aware of how much better that felt, my mindset immediately shifted: “I deserve lovely socks every day!”
Letting go of stuff that didn’t ‘spark joy’ suddenly became easy.
My mum’s from India, where things are used till they literally fall to pieces (and then are fixed again for reuse!). I think it’s partly why I hate waste or contributing to land-fill. I obsessively fix, recycle, repurpose, resell or give away rather than bin anything, so as a family of four, we only generate a shopping bag’s worth of rubbish a week.
But I didn’t like to get rid of things that had cost ‘a lot’ at the time or that I still might use.
I realised I’d also been a bit of an emotional hoarder. Kondo finally gave me the courage to get rid of a handbag from a beloved, departed friend that had long been broken (I have many other memories of her)…some mediocre art by the 8-year-old me….and a LOT of old letters, cards and photos. A lot more recycling was generated that day!
I took a big breath and finally also got rid of a Missoni skinny scarf I paid a fortune for and never wore…an ALLSAINTS belt I again splurged on but will never wear again…and some gorgeous but too-high shoes that I’ve simply not worn since having my boys. We also charity-shopped six huge boxes of books, in storage (ready for when we get a house big enough for a library, my husband’s dream!) for nearly a decade.
Now living Kondo-style, everything’s so much more beautiful, organised and easy to find!
My understairs cupboard contents no longer attack me when I open the door, and I’ve also not needed to tidy as much (clutter is gone and everything has its place).
The house feels lighter, calmer…and has brought a new clarity for me and ‘headspace’ to deal with the important stuff. I’m getting more done as a result.
It got me thinking about branding that ‘sparks joy’ – i.e. the joy clients have shown when presented with their new look.
So many business owners hold onto branding that does not work for them and sparks no joy for themselves – or their potential clients.
Do you recognise any of the scenarios below…?
Perhaps you your wasted money on sub-standard design and are ‘putting up with it’ for now but are not truly happy. Or you did it on the cheap when you started out and it doesn’t represent the image you want to project now. Maybe times have moved on and your branding suddenly looks dated. Perhaps you never even spent any time considering your branding!
Don’t you deserve better?
Your branding, like your business, is a living, breathing entity. Your needs, your clients’ needs, your business offerings and services, even your target market – may be changing all the time, and with technology moving so quickly nowadays, styles and concepts can date more quickly than ever.
Indulge me for a minute. Get your business card out, pull up your website, grab your brochure…anything and everything that represents your company.
Really take a look (or ask trusted others to).
Does your branding ‘spark joy’ for you – or them?
Your branding is the first impression you give your future clients.
Does handing over your business card or brochure thrill you with a sense of pride and happiness – maybe even disbelief – that you and your company can look this amazing, ‘grown up’ and professional?
Do people stop to admire, smile, double-take or compliment you on your business card or brochure when you hand it over?
These things represent a huge part of you, your business (and therefore your life). Do they communicate clearly to the world and project the image you would like them to?
Is your branding clean, modern and stylish or do have an amateurish and dated logo, too many words and clichéd pictures? Is your company information (like my newly-Kondo’d drawers) clear, well-curated and easy to find?. Or is the vital message hidden in a busy, confusing and cluttered mess?
Branding that ‘will do’ is the equivalent of my OK-but-not-yet-holey socks. Yes, I could have lived with them a while longer, but, I deserved better!
Consider how your branding reflects on you and your company.
Look at it through the eyes of your future clients. Look at all the other brands you love – and then back again at your own branding.
Now ask yourself, “Does my branding ‘spark joy’?”
If your branding does not spark joy, you deserve better.
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