Will you help me pick the title for my book?

I found this on Pinterest today, it comes via Awfully Big Adventure blog. It pretty much sums up the emotion I’m feeling now whilst working on the design of the book. The full gamut within the hour and then on a rotating basis…

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Moving forwards… I’d really love you to help me pick the title for my book.

I’ve had this book in my head for so long. And last year was just the right time to start writing. Over the course of a few months, every lunchtime whilst Poppy napped, I would pull out my laptop and write. The words came easily and there was none of the angst you might expect of someone writing their life’s work. None of the pained evenings; the writers block or the frustration at not being able to explain it all clearly. Just inspiration and a steady flow of words.

It was amazing.

A book on branding for small business owners

Mid way through writing I went out for lunch with a few fellow creatives and conversation turned to a set of logos an interior designer had been sent and her disappointment, confusion and general underwhelm at them. Without even seeing the samples I knew the issue straight away. She had worked with the wrong person. Someone who had been picked out of loyalty as a friend rather than on the strength of his portfolio. She was frustrated, bewildered and losing time.

The rebrand was holding up the website; the lack of website was stopping her getting business. It’s a familiar story with an all too familiar ending. She felt she needed to find more direction, give him the answers, tell him what to do. Those of you that design brand identities for a living will understand that actually, that’s the last thing she needed to do. What she really needed to do was get the designer to take a step back and create a strategy; create a vision for the brand that sent out the signals that this designer was looking for.

I sent Daisy over the first couple of chapters of my book to help her understand how to focus, plan and commission a brand identity that reflected her business goals. Armed with the first chapter of my book Daisy gained clarity, momentum and a clear route forwards. In her own words:

I love the relaxed, easy, fun style of your book. It’s clear, well structured and very thorough without being too technical or patronising. It kept me engaged and has inspired me to create a new website that better reflects and communicates what my design style, service and brand is all about… It feels as though you wrote this book specifically for me, and I’m sure many others will feel the same.

That was just what I needed to hear! I knew from experience that there are lots of Daisy’s who want to get their branding right but don’t know where to start and this was a sign for me that I was on the right track.

I’ve written the book to help those of you that are rebranding or starting a business work through the process of creating or commissioning a brand identity from start to finish with confidence and clarity. Getting your branding right doesn’t need to be about pot luck, it doesn’t need to be about throwing lots of money at it either (I could share plenty of horror stories of people paying a lot for very little…): it’s about making smart, empowered choices. It’s about creating something that’s authentically, distinctively you.

I’ve peppered the book with incredibly inspiring examples from some of my favourite brand stylists as well as beautiful photography and engaging content. This is going to be a business book with a difference.

And so to the title.

How to Style Your Brand: Everything you need to know about creating a distinctive brand identity that’ll get your small business noticed is the title I’ve had in my head since the project began. It neatly sums up what the book is about; it gets over the issue of the Branding Police whinging about the fact that branding is more than a logo (of course it is, but I don’t cover brand strategy in the book…); it feels right. But do you get it? Would you buy it? Is it compelling?

The Compelling Brand: A step by step guide to styling a distinctive brand identity that’ll get your business noticed is a punchier title, it’s more, erm, compelling but I don’t love the fact that the title alone quite possibly implies that I’m talking about building a brand rather than styling a brand identity. I’d love your thoughts.

Be distinctive: Everything you need to know about creating a brilliant brand identity for your small business I love that this links back to my strap line and core values. I think every small business owner should be distinctive, and with a little savvy it’s well within the reach of everyone. My book will help you be distinctive. But does it promise ‘purple cow’ type brand strategy content rather than a book on how to create or commission a knockout brand identity?

Have your say!

Please share your thoughts below and I would love it if you’d vote for your favourite title. Which of the titles above would make you most likely to buy the book?

This poll is closed! Poll activity:
Start date 08-01-2015 19:39:41
End date 16-01-2015 23:59:59
Poll Results:
Which book would you buy?
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17 Comments

Sophie Taylor / Castlefield Bridal Company & Branding Atelier

Hi Fiona,

I have a collection of more than 980 design books, and if I came across these titles in a search, all three would catch my eye, although “How to Style Your Brand” and “The Compelling Brand” would probably intrigue me the most. Of the three, I think that “How to Style Your Brand” is the best choice as it ties in directly with your company/brand. Perhaps the subtitle could be: “Everything you need to know about creating a distinctive/compelling brand identity that’ll get your small business noticed” — I think that adding the word “distinctive” or “compelling” in there adds a little something. 🙂

All the best,

Sophie Taylor / Castlefield Bridal Company & Branding Atelier
http://www.castlefield.co

Reply
FionaHumberstone

Thank you so much Sophie! I really appreciate your thoughts: especially from such a design book aficionado!

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Corinne - Emerald Green Interiors

As a small business owner I find the third option “Be distinctive: Everything you need to know about creating a brilliant brand identity for your small business” the best. Although I love the two first versions as well, I find this one more approachable. “To style” is a term that sounds professional and somehow implies a certain know-how. It could be seen as intimidating/complicated to the novice your book is targeted at.
Best, Corinne

Reply
Sophie Taylor / Castlefield Bridal Company & Branding Atelier

Hi Corinne,

That’s very interesting because for me, I feel like using “style” makes branding sound more fun or approachable (I think branding’s fun, but some people might hear the word and not think that it is!!). I think that people typically relate “styling” to fashion, and when I think of styling a brand (or a room, or a wedding), I think of something coming together that has a well-defined, cohesive style but is also chic and eye-catching. I think that the first titles suggests that the reader will be guided through the process, which would hopefully take some of the intimidation factor out of it. 🙂

Best wishes,

Sophie Taylor / Castlefield Bridal Company & Branding Atelier
http://www.castlefield.co

Reply
Naomi

Hi Fiona,

I think that the first title – How to Style Your Brand – sounds creative, fun & tangible. As a designer, that would be the one I would look at in a bookstore and I think it definitely works well for creative small business owners looking for a stronger brand identity. The other titles are a bit more general and I would say more focused on the business / strategy part than on the creative / visual part. I think that using the word ‘distinctive’ in the subtitle like Sophie suggested would be a great idea!

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FionaHumberstone

Thanks so much Naomi. And you know the funny thing is, I actually planned to have distinctive in there, but copied and pasted an edited title rather than the one in the book 🙂 For me I think it’s the winner but I’m still very interested in the opinions of you guys as sometimes you can be too close to something.

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Allison Sadler

Hello lovely Fiona!
All sounds very exciting, can’t wait for this book to happen 🙂 I love the first title the best because it tells me exactly what I’m getting. I feel when you’re thinking about your ‘style and brand’ you need clarity and simple clear solutions and advice, that is nice and easy to understand and relate too. Styling your brand says all of that to me

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FionaHumberstone

Thank you so much Allison! I really appreciate you taking the time out to comment xx

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Dianna Jazwinski

I really like the first and it says it all. Your brand is so distinctive, chic and ‘stylish’, though I am not sure it says it enough . Perhaps playing with the word ‘style’ in the title?

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FionaHumberstone

Thank you Dianna! I really appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts

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Kate Barlow

Hi Fiona

I used to be in marketing and worked on the creation and execution of brands, big and small. It was easy (well, sort of) as it was ultimately an objective decision.

I’m now an interior designer working on my own launch and suddenly it has become much more of a personal and subjective decision – it has to say me, but not me at the same time – does that make sense?

So for me (too many ‘me’s?!), I’d like to see a name development of your blog brand – why can’t the book be called that or be an equally quirky derivative of it, after all it worked for Holly Becker and Decor8 which became Decorate. Isn’t the book is an extension of the blog from which it is born….?

(You can take the girl out of marketing, but……)

PS meant to send you my branding but forgot…!

Reply
FionaHumberstone

Hi Kate, thank you so much for your thoughtful comments. Yes, creating your own brand identity is SO HARD and most certainly is about finding the balance between you and the business. It’s a difficult line to tread. All the best with your business and do send me your work for the next book.

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Angela

I was torn between the first two..but that first one is so descriptive it works really well! Especially thinking in terms of searching online…that’s typically what someone would search 😉 CANNOT wait to see it come to life more and more!

Reply

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