Branding

Ale Vidal

About every 3 years, I take time to reanalyze where I am in my business and how my message is being communicated online. These past 2 years were such a defining time in my work that I knew it was time to update my brand and visual presence. Not really re-brand... just truly communicate the evolution of my business and how it has been refined over these past 2 years.

Current Status:

New logo? Check. My logo was designed by Jen Olmstead (link) to introduce my current shift from "Imaginale" to "Ale Vidal." Website? Almost! It is currently in the final stages, designed by Creative Riot (link) --- who also happen to be my clients!

Aside from actually re-designing my logo, one of my favorite parts of this entire process was getting to do brand homework for myself. Part of my film process is giving my clients homework, and this time - I was on the other end. I was curious as to what kind of questions I would be asked and I think these 3 truly forced me to articulate what exactly it is that I do...

Who or what is Ale Vidal? 

My name is Ale Vidal – I’m a storytelling creative that connects brands to their audience in an emotional and intimate way. I specialize in directing cinematic, evocative content based on a brand’s worldview by producing short films and photographs. My goal is to create a story that is captivating and true – one that people can’t stop thinking about and find worthy of sharing.

What makes it special?

It makes people come alive. These films speak a language that transcend logic and so the audience is moved by the brand represented – wanting to further associate with that brand.  To me, these are the elements I focus on and transform: emotion, connection, and direction.

Why do your clients choose to work with you?

They either a) long to take their brand to another level – one that is different and creates a gripping connection or b) want to communicate a specific message (campaign) in a way that will create an emotional response with their audience.

I don't really use the word "re-branding" for this particular process of mine because it's not that my brand message or even visual identity is completely transforming. It's just that we all evolve in our business, our life stage, and who we are as people. That doesn't mean *change* per say, but life gives us clarity as time passes. I knew my current website was no longer communicating my vision moving forward and how it has already evolved. I'm a lot more focused on being a director and I believe that I was in a very photographer-centric arena where now I'd really like to expand my space to involve more agencies and other creatives. 

So that's a little glimpse into what has triggered all of this, and a process that has really been a year in the making. You should try answering those questions for your own business :) Stay tuned as we continue moving forward into this journey.... thanks for being a part of it! 

Your brand is not defined by a color

Your brand. It is not defined by a color or even your website. But yes, colors and a website should move your brand forward.

Rinse and repeat. Your brand is NOT defined by a color or a site. As you search for the colors you are attracted to, explore the idea of WHY you're attracted to them.

Pink, coral, nudes. Those embody feminine to me. And sometimes you start with colors and it helps you connect the dots, or sometimes you start with the word (i.e. feminine) and ask how that can be translated into color. The point is that your brand should consist of what feelings people associate with you/your business! It is your promise. I want my clients to feel like they are dreaming, that they are empowered, and that I will articulate their style along with the confidence to display it.

And when you finally get to a place where there is clarity to your brand, something amazing happens. You connect with other artists who's work resonate with your brand. They connect to the core of who you are and your collaboration is taken to a level you couldn't have done on your own.  That was this day. Christine Penny and I, Mignonne Handmade, and Angelberry Organics. But not just today, you guys, this past weekend, and this upcoming weekend, and the upcoming months. 

I took FOREVER writing this, but it was because I didn't want to JUST show you a set of photos. I want to help you get closer to this place because it will be so liberating. How? That's what I'm working on. Maybe with questions from others or continuing to share my journey. Either way, let's make it happen.

Femme Funk Style

One of the other things I loved about planning a shoot where I was in front of the camera was sitting down and trying to really verbalize my style.  I've tried it before but I couldn't find the words.  I'm obviously very feminine, but don't consider myself a super soft girly girl.  I am very attracted to bold and glam.  So what did I do? MARRY THE TWO!

Femme Funk.  I found an outfit on Pinterest that made me say "THAT right there is me."  And when I was trying to describe the outfit to a friend, I used the words "femme funk."  And then I had that huge-eye-loud-gasp aha moment.  If you could hear me when something occurs to me ... dramatic.

As promised, here's the inspiration behind the outfit...
 Audree from Simply Audree Kate was my stylist partner in crime.  Audree's first idea was to take one of her pink ballerina leotards and add some feathers to the shoulder to replicate the bottom left image up there.  I loved the look of it and the low back, but we decided to shop just in case.  Our goal was to find mint skinny jeans because I was really wanting to wear mint with a pop of pink.  And how cute would that be paired with a funky, pink leotard?!

We couldn't find ANY mint jeans, well, we found 2 but they didn't fit well.  Finally, we decided to pop in to Charlotte Russe which completely surprised me with their selection.  I felt like Charlotte Russe was getting too "teeny-bopper" so I stopped dropping in, but they had this BEAUTIFUL mint blouse!  Less than $25!  AND they had skirts on sale for $10!!  Yes, I got this white peplum skirt for $10!

(shop for top HERE

Audree thought it would look cute with a skinny belt (pink) for that pop.  But with the shoot just around the corner, I grabbed this necklace from World Market I had and made it into a "belt."  And those nude shoes?  TWENTY-DOLLARS.  Last Chance sells gently used (though some of their "gently used" are more like "gently chewed") and overstocked items.
And while I absolutely love the Nostra Style House earrings -- I didn't mean to wear those!  I had those on from the first outfit (a wedding inspired look) when all along I meant to wear THESE and forgot to grab them on the way out...
These were going to incorporate the "funk" to my outfit since everything else was pretty soft.  I LOVE using accessories to throw in a pop of color.  How awesome are those earrings?!  I got them from H&M.

And that's my story!  Audree is full of great ideas and it was so much fun to brainstorm this outfit with her.  Hopefully this gives you some idea for your own style too :)  I collect my favorite looks on my Fashion Pinterest board. If you have one, you should try writing down some words to describe your favorite outfits.  That might help you verbalize your own style and shop with purpose :)

My Creative Space

So this was pretty fun...

Yesterday on Facebook, The Music Bed held a little competition that asked "show us where you create."  At first I thought: hmm, well, I'll just take an iphone photo.  Aaand, it just didn't look right.  And y'all know me... I had to do this right.  Where are all those random instagram photos I've taken of my office?!

I fought bringing out my camera.  Sometimes it's just too much for only one photo.  But after 3 failed iphone attempts, the big boy had to come out.  Not to mention I just bought my Canon 35mm 1.4 lens a couple weeks ago and knew this was the perfect situation for it.  Let's keep it real -- I'm short and I wanted my heels in the photo... so I needed a reasonable wide angle.  I propped my DSW heels up and snapped away...


And I won!! The Music Bed literally said "the swanky shoes probably helped."  Ha! 

Moral of the story:  When you are putting anything out there that represents your business, even if it's just one image, spend whatever time you need for it to truly reflect you and your work.  And when all else fails, throw on some swanky shoes.

Twenty Brand Archetypes by Forty Agency

You guys.  I'm SO hungry!!! I'm literally pushing my lunch an hour later just so I can post this today.

I read the article last night as I was prepping for my Branding event tonight (ohmygoshimsonervous) and it was literally like something just exposed LIGHT to my thoughts.  So here we go..
One of my favorite places to be educated on marketing and branding is Forty Agency.  This article basically created twenty "brand archetypes" which is the idea that..
"brands are a basic human social concept, and that the same patterns and ideas tend to REPEAT themselves over time, such that what we now consider 'brands' are roughly equivalent to archetypal characters in literature, religion, folklore, etc."
In other words, think of your brand as characters.  There's a trait or behavior that if turned into a 'person' would look a little like this... 

These are the 20 universal brand archetypes that Forty Agency created:

MAVERICK (Rebel, Outlaw, Rogue)
    •    Brands: Harley Davidson, Virgin, MTV, Rimmel, Steve Madden, Urban Outfitters, Orbit
    •    People: Henry David Thoreau, Sid Vicious, George Washington
    •    Goal/method: To achieve freedom from the establishment through defiance, disobedience, and nonconformity.

EVERYMAN (Good Old Boy, Girl Next Door, Average Joe)
    •    Brands: Miller High Life, Sonic, Walmart, Lowe’s, Walgreens, Southwest, Visa, Covergirl, Hollister
    •    People: Jack Black, Homer Simpson, Tom Hanks, Princess Diana
    •    Goal/method: To bond with others by being humble, hard-working, and friendly

INNOCENT (Saint, Goody-Two-Shoes, Angel)
    •    Brands: IKEA, Google, Apple, Dove, Lysol, Master Card, Aveda
    •    People: Mr. Rogers, Gandhi, Boy Scouts, Oprah
    •    Goal/method: To achieve a simple, pure life by always doing the right thing

ENTERTAINER (Clown, Jester, Performer)
    •    Brands: Budweiser, Fanta, Jack in the Box, Hulu, Woot.com, Taco Bell, Doritos
    •    People: Robin Williams, Bob Hope, Jeff Foxworthy
    •    Goal/method: To make friends (and avoid making enemies) through humor and fun

VILLAIN (Bad Guy, Monster, Vampire)
    •    Brands: Megadeth, Hot Topic, LA Ink
    •    People: Marilyn Manson, Darth Vader, Dr. Horrible
    •    Goal/method: To satisfy internal drives or passions through whatever means necessary

INTELLECTUAL (Sage, Genius, Expert)
    •    Brands: Ask.com, CNN, Gallup, MIT, Harvard, CIA, Bloomberg
    •    People: Stephen Hawking, Marie Curie, Ken Jennings
    •    Goal/method: To find the truth through research, objectivity, and diligence

SENSUALIST (Hedonist, Pleasure Seeker)
    •    Brands: Victoria’s Secret, BMW, Godiva, Versace, Food Network, Nivea, Sephora
    •    People: Madonna, Paula Deen, Dracula
    •    Goal/method: To pursue perfect enjoyment through physical experiences

 SERVANT (Martyr, Slave, Monk)
    •    Brands: Red Cross, Amnesty International, Peace Corps, Humane Society, Police Department
    •    People: Mother Theresa, Pat Tillman
    •    Goal/method: To lose yourself through service to others

TRADITIONALIST (Conservative, Old School, Miser)
    •    Brands: Old Spice, Wendy’s, Procter & Gamble, Wells Fargo, Folger’s, GAP
    •    People: Norman Rockwell, Ronald Reagan
    •    Goal/method: To restore the world through a return to old-fashioned values

NURTURER (Mom, Mother Earth, Healer)
    •    Brands: Campbell’s, Pampers, Volvo, Johnson & Johnson, Loreal, Allstate
    •    People: June Cleaver, Paula Deen
    •    Goal/method: To help others feel loved by providing for their needs and wants

CONNECTOR (Networker, Politician, Talker)
    •    Brands: AT&T, Verizon, Facebook, Linkedin
    •    People: Oprah, Donald Trump
    •    Goal/method: To make things happen by knowing the right people

ARTIST (Creative, Creator, Craftsman)
    •    Brands: hp, Adobe, Lego, Home Depot, Michael’s, Black and Decker, HGTV
    •    People: Beethoven, Salvador Dali, William Shakespeare, Bob Villa
    •    Goal/method: To create something of enduring beauty and value

PHILOSOPHER (Sage, Prophet, Guru)
    •    Brands: Scientology, Calvin Klein, Nikon
    •    People: Plato, Deepak Chopra, Paulo Coelho
    •    Goal/method: To help people understand the world by seeing things from a different perspective.

DREAMER (Magician, Sorcerer, Wizard)
    •    Brands: Disney, Axe, Rock Band
    •    People: Tim Burton, Carlos Castaneda, Steven Spielberg, Harry Potter
    •    Goal/method: To help people achieve supernatural experiences by promoting faith and wonder (transformation).

MOTIVATOR (Mentor, Preacher, Promoter)
    •    Brands: Truth, (RED), Electronic Frontier Foundation, MoveOn.org
    •    People: Tony Robbins, Barack Obama, Richard Simmons
    •    Goal/method: To achieve amazing goals by getting people excited about a cause

RULER (King, Leader, Father)
    •    Brands: Microsoft, Rolex, Gillette, The New York Times, Jack Daniel’s
    •    People: Steve Jobs, Franklin Roosevelt, Moses
    •    Goal/method: To lead people to a common destination through confidence, determination, and influence

EXPLORER (Seeker, Wanderer)
    •    Brands: North Face, Pier One, Jeep, Greyhound, Subaru, Starbucks
    •    People: Christopher Columbus, Jacques Cousteau, Steve Irwin
    •    Goal/method: To learn what’s constant in life by always changing your environment

DEFENDER (Knight, Superhero, Warrior)
    •    Brands: U.S. Army, Greenpeace, Marlboro, Dial, Band aid
    •    People: Batman, George S. Patton, John Wayne
    •    Goal/method: To protect others from harm through bravery and service

THRILL-SEEKER (Gambler, Swashbuckler, Adventurer)
    •    Brands: X Games, Mountain Dew, Chrysler Crossfire, Carnival Cruise Ships, New Zealand, Camelback
    •    People: Richard Branson, Ben Saunders, Errol Flynn
    •    Goal/method: To achieve great rewards through great risks

ACHIEVER (Athlete, Hot Shot, Strongman)
    •    Brands: Nike, Ford, Home Depot, Adidas, Under Armor
    •    People: Lance Armstrong, Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods
    •    Goal/method: To prove yourself through amazing physical acts

I don't know if it's the point of where I'm at in my business, but I LOVE and crave these descriptions.  They sort of simplify my thoughts.  Which leads me to the three I immediately connected with:

ARTIST // DREAMER // MOTIVATOR

And you know we're going to talk more in depth about this later.  But for now, I would love to hear which one(s) stood out to you?!? As a business or even individual.  I feel like it will tell me a lot about you :)