PERSONAL BRANDING: A LA MOON
What is "a la moon" and what does it mean?
Naming is hard, especially when you're trying to name your own business. You want something that is true to yourself and what you offer to the world.
After having operated under my first and last name for so long, I wanted to build a different concept. I came up with "a la moon" as the name that I wanted to brand myself as (DBA doc in progress). I wish I could say that I went through a rigorous process to come up with it, but the truth is that it magically popped into my head as I was riding the M train home one day (maybe Patti Smith's mythical spirit had something to do with it...). I thought it was perfect; I love the moon. It's something that brings inspiration but also connects the human experience across the world.
- In Spanish, it translates to "to the moon," which is where I want to take my clients. Somewhere that seems out of reach, but is not impossible, and with a bit of work, we can create something beautiful together.
- In French, "à la moon" translates to "in the manner of the moon" or "with moon," which conveys the creativity and inspiration that I draw from, but also the importance of collaboration with other human beings.
Read below for the initial stages of the development of my personal brand.
Brand Development in progress...
1/ Brand Guideline Research
Because I've had no formal experience in branding, I decided to start by going through several brand style guides of companies that I have worked for or worked with over the past few years.
2/ Ethos & Feeling
I like to begin any new client relationship with an in-person kick-off meeting, which is an opportunity to get everyone involved and give them an opportunity to voice their opinions. For this specific meeting, I prepared a list of questions that covered three main categories: Mapos' personality, the current competitive landscape, and Mapos' voice & vision.
I also created a quick active exercise for the two founders of Mapos to complete. It was a series of opposite words on a spectrum, and both founders had to mark where they thought Mapos was on each one. It was a way for me to understand their thinking and to see if we were all on the same page.
To the left, you'll see a few of my notes from the meeting, and the two completed exercises.
3/ Creation of Project Plan
As a consultant, I always put together a project plan and timeline, to streamline communication and ensure that the client knows what is going on at all times. This project plan acts as a central place to refer back to.
When the contract was signed, there was an initial 4-phase approach outlined in it. I turned that info into a simple project plan spreadsheet to help us stay on track. Tasks are updated as needed with relevant changes and links.
4/ Mood Boards
After our kick-off meeting and creation of the project plan, it was time to dive in and create mood boards to define the overall direction of marketing efforts.
I created 3 initial different directions based on some of the concepts that we talked about from the kick-off meeting. Mapos and I worked together through revisions until we achieved a final result that we all liked that accurately conveyed their brand personality and helped them connect with their fans & followers.
I also created 3 different "voice variations" for marketing channels and "filters" to use on visuals.
5/ The rest is in progress...
I'm really excited to continue bringing Mapos' brand to life on all marketing channels! A few things that will be happening in the next few weeks are:
- First blog post: An Architectural Tour Through Chinatown
- Implementation of Google Analytics on Mapos' site
- Continued social maintenance & growth
To stay in consistent communication, the majority of correspondence is done through email—with a few check-in meetings and calls.