Brand Challenge Day 5: Make a list of 5 brand keywords

So much of branding has to do with communication.

In fact, while I often tell people that I majored in graphic design in college, my real degree was in “Visual Communication Design.”

Because the visuals in every design are always communicating something to people.

That’s why it’s important to make sure that the design of your brand is saying the right things to potential clients and customers.

And that’s why we’ve been spending so much time on this “groundwork” stage of the branding process. Through your future goals, mission statement, client profile, and the 5 adjectives you’ll come up with to summarize your brand in today’s action step, you’re determining what needs to be communicated.

This post is part of Elle & Company’s 4-week Brand Challenge. Click here to see more details, sign up, and access the free workbook.

Brand Challenge Day 5: Make a list of 5 brand keywords | Elle & Company


Make a list of 5 brand keywords

This is actually my favorite part of the “groundwork” process.

Now that you’ve written your mission statement and outlined your ideal client/customer profile, choose 5 adjectives that best describe/summarize your brand.

They should fit in well with your mission statement and appeal to your ideal audience (which is why I had you tackle those action steps first).

I often find it helpful to brainstorm a bunch of relevant words on one page and then go back through and circle the big contenders. A thesaurus can be very helpful for this step, too.

I left plenty of space for you to brainstorm adjectives and list your top 5 on page 8 of this week’s workbook.

These 5 words will come in handy as you build your inspiration board and make other brand decisions in the weeks to come.

And because we’re often so visual when it comes to branding, I want you to take this exercise one step further by considering the following questions:

  • How does your brand feel?

  • What does your brand sound like?

  • How does your brand taste?

  • What does your brand smell like?

I heard an Annapolis wedding photographer share her results from the exercise at a conference once, and I loved her answers:

  • Her brand felt like the warm sun kissing her skin

  • Her brand sounded like the ocean waves softly crashing on the shore

  • Her brand tasted like sea salt caramel

  • And her brand smelled like the salty ocean air

Do you see how those descriptions made her brand feel much more like an experience?

I know that this exercise seems a little crazy, but I want you to get out of your comfort zone and give it a try. Your brand will be much more well-rounded as a result.

I left space for you to brainstorm and fill in your answers on page 8 of your workbook, too.

When you’re done with your 5 adjectives and sensory answers, share them in the Elle & Company Facebook Group! I’d love to see what you’ve come up with.

Congrats on completing the first week of the Brand Challenge! I hope you’re enjoying it so far. You’ll start to build on everything you’ve done up until this point on Monday - stay tuned!