Building Strong Brand Foundations: A Conversation with Jen Bowers

Jan 05, 2024

Branding is often one of the last things entrepreneurs think about when starting their business. But as branding expert and Female Fusion member Jen Bowers shares in her recent interview on the Women on the Rise podcast, strong brand foundations are crucial to building a successful brand over the long run.

Jen draws an apt analogy comparing brand foundations to the foundation of a house. You can choose all the beautiful finishes, fixtures and design elements for a house, but without a solid foundation, the whole structure will be unstable. The same holds true for brands - without understanding your brand's core personality, values, vision and target audience, any visuals or messaging you create will lack coherence and consistency.

As a graphic designer turned branding consultant, Jen has seen firsthand the mistakes entrepreneurs make when they prioritize logos and websites before laying these important groundwork. "People will hire designers, spend thousands on coaching but if you don't know why you're doing what you're doing or who you're speaking to, you're just throwing money at the wall," she says. Jen advocates starting with exercises to uncover your brand personality, why you do what you do, your values and vision for the future, before spending on visual identity elements.

A key part of brand foundations is understanding who you want to connect with as your target audience. Jen shares that through her own branding process, she realized she couldn't appeal to everyone and needed to focus on her people. "I may not be everyone's cup of tea, but I'm sure as heck somebody's cup of coffee," she says. By connecting on a personal level with her audience through her authentic pink flamingo persona, Jen has built a strong community of customers who relate to her mission.

Jen also discusses the importance of personal branding versus corporate branding. With a personal brand, people are connecting to the actual person behind the brand through storytelling and authenticity. Her own personal brand story of overcoming hardship after divorce drives her passion for empowering other women entrepreneurs.

For those who realize they may have missed branding fundamentals, Jen offers quick steps to bring more consistency like defining your brand personality and why you do what you do. Her advice serves as a reminder that strong branding need not be intimidating - with the right foundations in place, it can even be fun.

With the global online landscape only growing more competitive, strong brand foundations will be key to standing out sustainably for years to come.

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