McDowell’s from Coming to America, YouTube

"Someone STOLE my design!!"

Which means (in their eyes) the dirty scoundrel used the same color palette and fonts that are available to anyone who can access Canva.


Shame on this bandit!


But they didn't steal anything. Copied the template, maybe.

And this is where having a strong brand, plays a role in never having to scream "THIEF!"

Everyone knows about the Golden Arches of McDonald's.

You can spot them from a mile away, right?

Imagine this.

All of a sudden you get hungry for fast food. You drive down the street and make a sharp left, when you should have stayed straight but you ended up finding those golden arches.

You do a double take and realize -- this is no McDonald's.

What the heck is a McDowell's?

Do you shrug it off as another McDonald's option or would you think it's a complete rip-off of the original brand?

You would probably feel duped, lead astray and bamboozled.

The beloved golden arches that you've grown to know have been violated by a poor attempt to pull in the same customer base (you).

Knowing automatically, (no matter what current diet you're on) you wouldn't be able to supersize your big mack and have those addictive, perfectly salted fries. And your child is left to play with a DIY version of a happy meal toy.

You would be ordering the knock-off edition (and be hangry).

Do you want to prevent yourself from becoming a brand bandit or STOP one dead in their tracks?

Here's the difference between branding, marketing & design and how to make your biz an unmistakable Golden Arch.

Let's break it down.



If you can develop a strong brand DNA...

You make it very, very difficult for someone to replicate who you are & how you do business.

What branding is NOT: a style, font, color palette, mood board, etc.

What branding is: your reputation & your customer’s idea of you.

Branding is a strategy, not a Canva template.

Here are the perils of a non-existent brand. You make it difficult for prospects to know why they should hire you, so you become invisible. Leaving it up to your customers to form the idea of what your business is and what it does.

Which makes it easy for others to “steal” your brand.

Branding has the power to influence and control buying decisions --when done right.  You become known for “that one thing” that sets you apart, that THING belongs to you and you only.

That's when it becomes nearly impossible to duplicate.

What's your one thing?


"Consumers do not buy what you sell. They buy what has value to them." - Peter Drucker

What marketing is NOT: pushing your stuff onto whoever has hands

What marketing is: tactical & what you do to activate your audience to buy

People have become so accustomed to tuning out the noise on social media. How your message stays afloat the tsunami of pitches is your marketing plan.

- Direct Mail

- Social Selling

- Content Marketing

- Email Marketing

- Word-of-Mouth

    There are many strategic directions towards an effective marketing plan but without it, you're talking to an empty room. There is no focus, no goal to work towards or track record to pull data from.

    Marketing is the action you take to implement your (branding) strategy and reach brand goals.

    You must be able to track and adjust to meet the needs and give meaning to your niche audience.

    What do they care about?


    I shouldn't go to your website, and it feel, like a carbon copy of someone else's. Ever.

    What design is NOT: just your logo

    What design is: graphics & visuals that tell the story of your brand

    The design is the visual identity of your brand.

    If you don’t have a clearly defined brand then your visual identity becomes ineffective, and so does your voice. Stop paying $5 to some random on Fiverr to design your logo or worse select a premade one. The key is to focus on making your logo timeless, not trendy, to avoid brand bandits.

    Say no to generic.

    Fuchsia, gold dots & office supplies, stop with the fads. Please. And the confetti, flat lay header photos with that sloppy brushstroke calligraphy, muted watercolor wreaths. Trust me, give it a year that brush font will be the new Comic Sans, a bad joke. And it's popularity will go down the drain along with your brand's reputation. 

    I get it, it’s beautiful but not distinct when 300 people are using the same font and logo “style”. It's been done to death. You're dating yourself and your business.

    What does it say about YOUR brand if everyone (and Timone) is using the same imagery? Who’s who?

    People from a distance can't tell who the real thief is.

    What story are you telling?


    They all work together. You can't have one without the other.


    Any questions?

    I help creative entrepreneurs (like you) birth a brand, market their message & design their dreams.

    • Posted byKimberly Lofton /
    • Branding


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