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Building Your Branding

How to Create a Consistent Brand Experience (And Why You Need To) With Alicia Bauer

June 11, 2024

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I'm Candice, your new tell-it-like-it-is BFF (and purpose cheerleader). Are you ready to grow and scale a profitable business with purpose–and one that gives back to your meaningful life? Thought so!

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*cues up to the bar* Let's start the tab, shall we? Take the quiz and find your brand cocktail for success.

Branding and client experience are important as a wedding pro, and today, we are talking about where the two meet! In this episode, I'm chatting with Ally B of Ally B Designs all about the elements of brand experience, the role of branding in attracting ideal clients, the impact of templates on brand consistency, and the significance of customer service in the wedding industry.

We also dive into the key components of a strong brand, the importance of feedback and testimonials, and ways to audit the brand experience for improvement. In a saturated industry especially, it's so important to consider your brand consistency and the customer journey, and I absolutely loved this conversation.

It's more important now than ever to understand your client's behavior, create a brand guide, and maintain consistency across all touch points. And don't worry – we also talk about the role of team members in representing the brand and the value of creating a memorable brand experience.

In this episode with Alicia Baur, Honeybook Pro & Brand Strategist for Wedding Pros:

  • 00:00 Introduction to Brand Experience for Wedding Professionals
  • 03:45 Understanding Brand Experience and Its Importance
  • 06:20 The Impact of Templates on Brand Consistency
  • 09:42 Key Elements of a Strong Brand in the Wedding Industry
  • 13:32 The Significance of Customer Service and Customer Experience
  • 19:17 Auditing the Brand Experience for Improvement
  • 25:28 Understanding Client Behavior and Good Client Communication
  • 27:34 Creating a Consistent Brand Experience Across All Touch Points
  • 38:31 The Role of Team Members in Representing the Brand and Consistency
  • 43:29 Messaging, Values, and Interactions as Part of the Brand
  • 49:14 The Importance of a Memorable Brand in the Saturated Wedding Industry

About Alicia Baur, Honeybook Pro & Brand Strategist For Wedding Pros

Meet Ally, the award-winning brand and website designer and proud HoneyBook Pro behind Ally B Designs. With a specialty in Style-Infused Strategic Design for Wedding Pros and Photographers, Ally brings over two decades of professional design experience to the table. Her journey began in wedding stationery and planning back in 2011, and since then, she's evolved into a dedicated HoneyBook Pro and Brand and Website Designer. Her mission? To empower her clients with brands and websites that not only showcase their talent but also attract more of their ideal clients.

Candice Coppola (00:01.294)

I'd like to give it a second because you never know if it's recording. Hey, Ali, welcome to the show.

Alicia Bauer (00:04.254)

You

Alicia Bauer (00:09.534)

Thank you, I am so excited to be here.

Candice Coppola (00:12.238)

I am thrilled to be talking to you today about branding and client experience and how to be consistent with it all. This is a really interesting conversation. And I know branding and client experience are like two of one of two of the most important things for wedding pros. So combining them together today in our conversation, we should be, we should have a lot of fun.

Alicia Bauer (00:33.726)

Absolutely, yes.

Candice Coppola (00:34.99)

Yeah, yeah, very excited. Alright, so we're talking about how to create a consistent brand experience, what it means how to create a consistent brand experience in your business. And I would love for us to just start off with what is a brand experience. And let's kind of set the bench of what we're going to talk about today. What does brand experience mean?

Alicia Bauer (00:57.054)

So when I try to explain this to my clients, usually it's on the first call when we're just getting to know each other, because a lot of them reach out to me of, I want a new website. But they don't really understand that the website is developed from the brand foundation. So to me, the brand is every single interaction that a client has with you, or a potential client, or even your audience, when it comes, if they find you on social media, then they land on your website, and then you email them.

Candice Coppola (01:02.798)

Yeah.

Alicia Bauer (01:25.566)

Even the tone of your voice is part of every brand interaction, and that's where the entire experience comes from. So speaking in wedding pro terms, it's more of like from the save the date to the thank you card with the entire experience in between.

Candice Coppola (01:36.654)

that's a great example. I love that example. Because yes, this is the stationer at heart. Allie wears a lot of hats in her business and stationery is one of those hats. And so yeah, it's a great analogy from the save the date to the thank you note and everything that happens in between that entire experience that you give your clients and your customers.

Alicia Bauer (01:41.79)

stationary.

Alicia Bauer (01:45.822)

Yup.

Alicia Bauer (01:52.382)

Yeah.

Candice Coppola (02:02.702)

And even just with people, I assume interacting with your brand on social media or maybe they're not a customer, they have the potential to be one with those interactions look and feel like.

Alicia Bauer (02:06.078)

Mm -hmm.

Alicia Bauer (02:10.334)

Yeah. Yeah, I mean, how you present yourself on stories compared to how you present yourself on the feed and then in the DMs, like all of that messaging and anytime you interact with them as part of that experience that you provide.

Candice Coppola (02:23.246)

I would love to know your thoughts as a business coach. I see people get stuck a lot and so I'd love for you it just take a little detour here before we go into all of our all of our how to how to create a consistent brand experience. I feel like sometimes we can maybe get stuck in trying to make everything branded and perfect, which I'm sure you see on your end as well. And even as a business owner, you might find yourself stuck in this. I know I do.

Alicia Bauer (02:33.534)

Hahaha!

Alicia Bauer (02:46.302)

Mm -hmm. Yep.

Candice Coppola (02:50.063)

when we're thinking about the brand experience, what is something that you would tell somebody who might get stuck in trying to make everything feel super on brand to the point where maybe they don't do marketing or they don't do certain things in their business because they feel like if the experience isn't perfect, then I can't do it.

Alicia Bauer (03:10.782)

is, yep, where all of us end up sometimes or all the time. Done is better than perfect. I have it on my wall. I am a recovering perfectionist. I know how that feels completely. I have found that honestly templates help me get things done. And if that is creating your own templates, if that is buying a template and applying your brand to it,

Candice Coppola (03:12.75)

Yeah.

Mm -hmm. Yeah.

Alicia Bauer (03:38.558)

Even email templates, I have a template for everything and then I personalize that. I don't just automate things. I don't just send it out. I always send my own message with it, but the easier it is to access and the easier it is to send out keeps me out of that rut for the most part.

Candice Coppola (03:54.574)

That's interesting because I would agree with you. I think templates, I mean, there's so many great reasons to use templates. I mean, there's a few maybe cons in template and using templates, but outside of that, I think the pros do outweigh the cons. And one of those pros being that it can get you not feeling stuck of making everything perfect because templates are easy to use or easy to implement. They're easy to switch up to your brand and it just makes it easier to put things out there.

Alicia Bauer (04:21.79)

But yeah, so when you just mentioned the cons, I think where everybody kind of falls into the trap of templates is they purchase a template here and they just put their information in. And then they purchase another template here and then your brand experience isn't consistent because they all look different. They all have different messaging. So I will say, even as a web designer, I have a website template from Tonic. I have the Tonic template for Canva.

Candice Coppola (04:36.718)

Right?

Candice Coppola (04:48.942)

Yeah.

Alicia Bauer (04:49.438)

And I've applied my own brand that honestly, like, you can't tell that it's a template anymore. And it's not just because I'm a designer. It's because my brand is unique to me. And that's where the uniqueness comes through. But it's easier for me to get things done for my own business when I focus on my clients all the time if I can just put it out there.

Candice Coppola (04:54.094)

Mm -hmm.

Candice Coppola (04:58.19)

right?

Candice Coppola (05:07.022)

Yeah, it's so true. I'll say one of the reasons that I hired a sort of a brand manager, I would say, which is exactly what you do really is you help wedding pros manage their entire brand. What compelled me to hire a brand manager for my business was as I was getting templates from all different sources. So my brand experience, well, I think was really great in some areas. I felt subconscious.

Alicia Bauer (05:15.486)

Mm -hmm.

Alicia Bauer (05:25.598)

Mm -hmm.

Candice Coppola (05:31.694)

with all these different templates that didn't quite like match. And I've talked about this experience before. It's kind of like the house that you see in the neighborhood where they keep building additions onto it. Like every owner came and like left their fingerprints and it just looks crazy. It doesn't look like a home. It looks like something out of a horror movie. I felt like my brand looked like that. And I see that actually happening a lot with wedding pros where you're using templates from creative market and all different places by all different designers.

Alicia Bauer (05:44.254)

Yep.

Alicia Bauer (05:52.222)

Mm -hmm.

Alicia Bauer (05:57.854)

Yep. Yep.

Candice Coppola (06:00.206)

And it does feel disjointed and the brand experience maybe isn't something that you want to give people. Yeah.

Alicia Bauer (06:07.646)

Yeah. Well, and I mean, slightly yes and no. Like, I'm sure that they're thinking through the brand experience because they're purchasing these different templates to create that experience. But it's just the disconnect between them, like you said, of it doesn't flow all together.

Candice Coppola (06:14.83)

Yeah.

Candice Coppola (06:22.254)

Bye.

Yeah, that's a great point. I love that our conversation is kind of taking this turn. And I feel like this is actually setting up my first question for you, which is what are the key elements of a strong brand in the wedding industry? What do you think as a brand strategist, as a designer, and as somebody who manages brands, what should, what elements should we have?

Alicia Bauer (06:29.122)

Yes.

Alicia Bauer (06:47.774)

So weirdly, I'm going to say messaging is the top, which, well, typically, a designer should say visuals. But I'm going to go with messaging. Because you have to know who you are and what you stand for and how you're going to speak to everybody through every media. So if you're hopping on stories and speaking live, you have to be able to speak about your brand and the values that stand behind your brand and know who you're speaking to and the values that they have and how your brand connects with them.

Candice Coppola (06:51.022)

Ooh, that's not weird. That's number one.

Alicia Bauer (07:16.67)

And then you bring that into every single other part of every design and every email, like I said. Then it goes into the very strong visuals. And that includes like your logo. It includes your color palette. All of your fonts should stay consistent. There's a lot that goes into an all encompassing brand that a lot of people think, I have a logo that's good enough. And I'm like, actually.

Candice Coppola (07:39.79)

Okay.

Alicia Bauer (07:41.63)

It's all of these foundational points that lead into those templates that we talked about. Like once you change the colors to be the same on everything and all of the fonts, it doesn't look like that disjointed house anymore.

Candice Coppola (07:45.838)

Mm -hmm.

Candice Coppola (07:52.654)

Right. Yeah. I think the consistent, the visuals help to represent the messaging behind your brand and what your brand stands for. It's like the visual manifestation of your message. And once you get those two things together, things really start to take shape.

Alicia Bauer (08:00.062)

Mm -hmm.

Alicia Bauer (08:08.03)

Yeah, and especially when I design brands, I really like to make it twofold for my clients. Like, I want their own personality to really shine in their brand. So I have them create a Pinterest board with all of the things that they are attracted to in life. It doesn't matter, just pin it. I just want to see what you love visually. And then I have them fill out the questionnaire, which is so much fun, but it's necessary. And it's really just about all of the goals that you have. And then I pull out the key values that they have repeated in all of their questions and answers.

Candice Coppola (08:24.11)

Mm -hmm.

Alicia Bauer (08:37.47)

And I align those with color psychology and font psychology to make sure that we're communicating those values. What I love about it is that 99 % of the time it aligns perfectly and everything marries like their Pinterest board matches what it needs to be. And it's so perfect. And that's when you know, like you have the authentic brand coming out and they're going to be excited about it. So that means that they're going to want to share it and use it.

Candice Coppola (08:59.342)

Yeah. This is the power of having another brain come into your business and to take their expertise in branding, but also just being able to take a look at what your business looks like, what your branding looks like, what your messaging looks like, what comes up for you as you brainstorm about your business and putting those puzzle pieces together. It can really illuminate areas in your business that I don't think that you can see because we had a...

Alicia Bauer (09:15.582)

Mm -hmm.

Candice Coppola (09:25.358)

a guest on the podcast recently, Andrea Shaw, and she talked about reading the label from inside the jar. And I thought that was like such a great analogy. It's really hard sometimes to read that label when you're inside of the jar. But if you somebody with an outside perspective can help shine the light on things about your brand or you that you may not see.

Alicia Bauer (09:44.542)

One of the questions on my questionnaire that everybody always makes a comment to me on is, who are your most profitable clients? Because a lot of people always have their ideal clients, and we all have more of those clients that we want love, but we also have to speak to the ones that are paying us and how that aligns. And if we need to shift who we love or if we need to shift our messaging to match the client that we're trying to search for. And.

A lot of them are like, ooh, I book a lot of this and I don't want to be doing this anymore. And I'm like, well, then we need to stop speaking to that.

Candice Coppola (10:16.11)

Mm hmm. Yeah, knowing what you don't want to attract is so powerful, like what you desire to repel is so powerful and also an underrated thing to think about. And how your branding helps to both attract and repel people. What are some of the other key components that you think a wedding industry brand should have?

Alicia Bauer (10:36.862)

Very good customer service. I mean, I know from the wedding industry all of the years that I was in it, the number one thing I hear all the time is people just don't answer me. And you got back to me, which is so sad. Like you build your business, like respond to the clients and give them the best experience from the first time that you can. And just making sure that that remains consistent. Like everybody comes to me wanting a luxury brand.

Well, it doesn't always mean that it has to be fancy, sophisticated luxury. They want it to be high end, and they want the clients that are going to be very value their services. So a lot of them end up wanting approachable luxury. And that doesn't mean that you have to have a stuffy, fancy prom dress brand. It means that you have to give them the red carpet experience with your own personality.

Candice Coppola (11:26.894)

Right. That's such a great point. I love that, the red carpet experience with your own personality. Customer service and customer experience is definitely something that I think that all of us are thoughtful about and we try to do our best. But I don't think we necessarily recognize how much of a role it plays in the overall brand experience in your business and the consistency of it.

Alicia Bauer (11:28.862)

So.

Alicia Bauer (11:41.406)

Mm -hmm.

Alicia Bauer (11:54.206)

Yeah. And I mean, I know that the number one thing for me is using HoneyBook because I can keep all of my client messaging in one space. I can check in in one space with everything. I can keep everything branded because you can upload your own fonts and logos. Like that has been transformative. And the people that aren't ready for that, I completely understand. But there are beginner levels that you can still keep everything in one space and make it easier on yourself as well. So.

Candice Coppola (12:20.366)

Yeah, yeah. We don't, it's also, maybe you can tell me what you think. I think people undervalue like how important it is for that consistency to be across every touch point with your customer, that the visualization of your brand, so your messaging, your customer service, but just having your colors, your logos, that consistency helps to build trust and connection, right?

Alicia Bauer (12:40.062)

Yep. Yeah, so when somebody, I mean, I'll just use this example. If somebody sees you from a story on social media and your fonts and colors are like black and they're bold serif fonts, and then they go to your website and it's all blush and bashful, and like on social media you have purple hair and on your website you're blonde, like they don't know who you are consistently, let alone if your brand is different colors everywhere, they're going to think that they went somewhere else.

And that breaks the trust. Maybe they really loved you here. Now they don't know who you are here. Then you email them and you have a different voice or different logo in your email or different colors even in your email. Every disconnect just breaks down the entire experience.

Candice Coppola (13:27.918)

Mm -hmm, agreed. I think, too, the lack of polish or the lack of attention to detail in your branding is a red flag for customers because they see they're hiring you for a wedding. And there's an enormous amount of detail that goes into that. So any place where there is a disconnection, like you've mentioned, that

Alicia Bauer (13:36.67)

Mm -hmm.

Candice Coppola (13:53.486)

definitely is a red flag for them. And they're like, the lack of attention to detail or consistency, it could manifest in the planning process or in the process of working with you and spoiler, it often does. Yeah. Yeah. This is.

Alicia Bauer (14:06.238)

Yep. Yep. Yeah. And that's where I fell in love with branding was I actually loved to brand the entire wedding. And I knew that every little personal touch that you could put into a wedding made it even more special and a brighter experience for the guests. I almost had clients. But it's been a while since I've been in the weddings. But I mean, I've been in the wedding for a long time.

Candice Coppola (14:26.874)

Yeah.

Alicia Bauer (14:30.462)

Those little pieces that they get to get to know you as a couple even more, because most of them only know one side of the couple when they come to a wedding, that that's how it all comes together for them of being able to really dig deep into the relationship.

Candice Coppola (14:37.294)

Mm -hmm.

Candice Coppola (14:46.702)

Yeah, I agree. And just using that wedding analogy is just a great point too of a fully branded wedding experience feels cohesive and connected. It feels thoughtful. It's memorable. People feel like they're having an experience when they go to a wedding and everything has been thought about. And you definitely notice the difference when things feel a little slapped together or you can tell the couple doesn't know a lot about design. And so they've bought stuff from pretty much everywhere.

home goods and Etsy and this one and that one, and they're trying to make it all talk and it just doesn't look good. That also, you know, obviously it's a different type of experience and the same can be said for your business and your branding and that consistency in branding. Definitely it creates a tremendous amount of trust and it's a window into what it's like working with you that I think we don't often give enough credence to. Yeah.

Alicia Bauer (15:16.382)

Yep.

Candice Coppola (15:42.286)

I would also say too, and let me know your thoughts, but I think it is a way for you to be separated from your competition because your competition may not pay attention to those details in the way you do. And so if your brand is consistent throughout, it's just another way for you to shine in a saturated market.

Alicia Bauer (15:48.894)

Mm -hmm.

Alicia Bauer (16:01.438)

Yeah, and that's where I think that the luxury experience comes in. I mean, again, it doesn't have to be high level sophisticated or anything. Like the luxury experience is when everything is matching and everything is on point and you're on point in client experience and client or customer service. It is when you've put in that thought into every single touch point, not just with your brand in every messaging, like I said, but.

the colors, the fonts, and everything.

Candice Coppola (16:33.71)

Yeah. When I started my business, I don't think I realized how important all this stuff was. But once you can see the power of really solid, strong branding, solid, strong customer service experience throughout the entire process, you realize that it really is your secret weapon. So what are some ways that we can begin to audit our brand and our brand experience to see how it's performing and where we might have some gaps that we need to kind of fix?

Alicia Bauer (17:03.326)

So a lot of this comes in with just monthly check -ins or scheduled check -ins, like making sure that if you purchased something new that you actually applied your brand to it. If you have updated your website and you needed to add a page that you put the thought and care in and making sure that it remained consistent with the rest of it. Any of those add -ons, making sure that it has remained consistent, but also checking in with the way that your clients are interacting with you.

being able to listen to your clients and value what they have to say. So always ask for that testimonial at the end and take it in. While a lot are going to give us glowing reviews, sometimes it's not the like the easiest to hear, but that's where you can really make your experience shine for the next person if they do have feedback for you on changing something. I'm not a numbers girl, but always checking in with your metrics. So if you are active on social media, making sure that you are

following and reviewing what has been productive and what has ranked the best, and then applying that into your marketing later and the designs even. Is there one that really stands out and has gone viral? Then obviously that would be a good one to repeat. The ones that don't maybe need to fall off. The same with your website. If you have Google Analytics, what pages are ranking the highest? Is the messaging the same on those? Are your visuals the same on those?

What's making them better? What's bringing people into that? Is it Pinterest? Was it a pin? Like all of those things to follow and then know what is making your brand stand out. That was a lot.

Candice Coppola (18:42.062)

I love the feedback. Yeah, no, I love the feedback from customers and getting testimonials, but also maybe even just like.

surveying your customers and asking them some questions where you can kind of data mine regarding your brand experience. And what are some questions like maybe you would have a wedding pro ask a past client, maybe just throw out one question they can ask in something like this, where they can get some valuable feedback as to whether their brand consistency is right and they're giving the right experience.

Alicia Bauer (18:58.43)

Mm -hmm.

Alicia Bauer (19:16.062)

So I have actually, I like to hop on calls with clients that I have worked with. If it was a good experience, if it was not so great experience, I want to know that feedback. So I always ask what the highs of the experience were and tell me the best parts, and then tell me the lows. Because we want to add more highs, obviously, but we need to bring those lows up.

And if we don't know what they are, or we might think that it's a great point in our experience and the client's like, yeah, I didn't know what was going on. That's where we can fix it.

Candice Coppola (19:50.582)

Mm -hmm. That's a great, great question to ask. It's scary, though, getting on the phone with a couple or a client and inviting them to be critical or to give you feedback that might be hard to hear. Yeah.

Alicia Bauer (20:07.022)

I mean, a lot of them are the ones that I've had great rapport with. So it's very easy. Like, I have so many clients that I still email on a regular basis just because it's funny and we love each other and we get to still chat. So I can wing off a question to them. And I'm sure even those wedding pros, like I still have brides that I talk to. And I can still ask them questions when I was bringing back my stationary side. I did reach out to some of them and I'm like, what could I have done different?

And what now could I do? Well, I know you're not a bride anymore, but like in today's market, if you were looking like, what could it be?

Candice Coppola (20:44.502)

I think this is an area where we could all be so much better in communicating with that communication with clients is part of your brand experience too. And so offering open communication, especially after the project has been completed is a great way for you to understand where you might be dropping the ball or just where it might be perceived where you're dropping the ball or perceived where you could beef up communication or explain something better.

A lot of times it's not anything major like you're horrible and the work you do is terrible. Usually it's just minor things that you don't realize are happening or conversations are happening around your brand that you aren't a privy to or a part of. And it really helps you create a stronger, more solid business.

Alicia Bauer (21:19.454)

Mm -hmm.

Alicia Bauer (21:31.806)

And the other way that you can approach that too is if you notice working with clients consistently, like different couples, and that somebody asks the same question and then the next couple asks the same question, obviously that's a touch point that we could add in a brochure or a blog post or whatever that we can provide that information to them so they're not wondering what happens next or what they need to be doing.

Candice Coppola (21:56.078)

Yeah, that which is like the age old debacle of being a wedding pro is it's like sometimes your clients are just one step ahead of you and you're always trying to get a foot out in front of them. And that's so frustrating because they pay you to do a job and we feel bad if somebody is taking a step ahead before we're ready to begin something as service providers. It's hard.

Alicia Bauer (22:18.366)

yeah, and I mean it happens in every single profession. Like some people are so gung -ho about the project that they've already done all the research. And you're like, okay, but we still have to start back here. Like.

Candice Coppola (22:20.782)

Mm -hmm.

Candice Coppola (22:24.942)

Mm -hmm.

Love you, but can we slow down just a little bit? I have a form for that. Let me send it. I know. Well, that's where good client communication comes in, right? And understanding your processes, but also understanding a little bit more about human behavior and how people interact with certain milestones or touch points throughout the wedding process or how they might interact.

Alicia Bauer (22:32.382)

Yeah, I promise we'll get there.

Yeah.

Alicia Bauer (22:45.054)

Yes.

Candice Coppola (22:53.966)

whatever it is that you do, like being curious and observing your customers and figuring out where do they stumble? Where do they have tons of questions? Where are they insecure? Where are they stressed out? Where do they have fun?

Alicia Bauer (23:05.616)

Mm -hmm. And I was telling, I was talking to you about this before, but I have a Google Doc that I copy and paste these notes from my clients into. And that's so A, I know what I can change in my experience and what I need to add or what I need to take out if I'm giving too much. I mean, that's a problem too. Maybe we're just piling it all on and they're not reading it because that can happen. But also then I have the words that they have used for my messaging on social media.

Candice Coppola (23:28.206)

Mm -hmm.

Alicia Bauer (23:33.982)

or on my website. So I know that I can speak directly to that client that I'm working with and that wants to work with me.

Candice Coppola (23:40.462)

Yeah, it's a great one. It's something every business should do. It's your voice of customer, right? Like understanding what they're saying to you. And if you can even start creating that for yourself, when you're ready to bring in someone like Ali to help you manage your brand and make sense of it all, and create a more consistent experience, that's going to be Ali's jam. She's going to be like,

which first of all, she's going to ask you for all this information and create it, you know, because she needs it. But to be able to provide that will save you so much time and you can kind of get to the results that you're looking for faster.

Alicia Bauer (24:03.334)

Yep.

Alicia Bauer (24:10.782)

Yeah, and we have, I mean, if you have all of this information that your clients have already provided you, you have a deeper knowledge of how you want to communicate visually and verbally with your clients.

Candice Coppola (24:19.694)

Mm -hmm. yeah, 100%. So how can wedding pros now create a consistent brand experience across all touch points? And you know, let's, before you answer this, I would love for us to maybe just talk through the touch points of where we should be creating this brand experience. Maybe we kind of go from save the date to the thank you card and just kind of think through some of the common touch points and milestones that most wedding businesses have.

Alicia Bauer (24:45.47)

Sure, so if I'm helping somebody create their entire brand experience, we always start with the foundation, like I said. So to me that is getting the colors and the fonts and all of the logos and everything established. And then we create the brand guide.

And that is your brand Bible. This tells you how to keep your brand consistent with everything moving forward. This allows you that if you have a VA, you can hand it off and you know that they are going to execute your brand the way that it should be, not how they feel. Or it's your promise to yourself that you are going to worship the Bible and use it on your brand.

Candice Coppola (25:24.494)

Mm -hmm. Right.

Alicia Bauer (25:27.39)

past that, once all of that is established, it is, I always ask my clients to map out a customer journey. So if they are going to where they found most of the time. So most of my traffic comes from Pinterest. So I would have to think of my pins. Other people are very active on social media. So they would have to think of their templates there or their social media feed where they're posting if they are using stories and they're not using visuals.

We would just need to make sure that we're aligning all of that. And then what's the next touch point? Like, where do they go next? So if they reach out to you on social media, do they contact you in your DMs or do they go through your link? Is that link, like if it's a contact form, is it from HoneyBook that it's attached to your website or attached to your CRM that you can have an automation sent out? Is your automation branded? It's just every single step and we talk all of that through. So.

If you do have HoneyBook, we have a pricing guide that is branded and it's beautiful with your logos and your fonts and everything that we established ready to go that then they can just select your services.

Candice Coppola (26:34.542)

Isn't that lovely and that's what we want them to do and then we want them to sign a contract. Yay Let me get to hear that awesome cha -ching noise. I Love how you've been able to kind of we're thinking through the customer journey Which is something that we get so far removed from as business owners because we're in it again We're you can't see the label from inside the jar. So we're constantly like look We're not able to see what it's like for someone

Alicia Bauer (26:36.638)

Ta -da!

Alicia Bauer (26:40.67)

Cha -ching! Yup!

Alicia Bauer (26:50.686)

Mm -hmm.

Candice Coppola (27:01.518)

who is engaged, who is just now coming into the world of weddings, how they find you, what that looks like, what prompts them to connect with you. That entire journey is so fascinating. Paying attention to that is so important. And then also your sales, your onboarding, all the messy middle stuff, because you help your clients figure out that brand experience, communication, emails, touch points.

Alicia Bauer (27:12.4)

Yep. Yeah.

Alicia Bauer (27:27.678)

So for me, I try to break it down because I like to do everything in bite -sized steps. So I do the booking phase. And then we'll do what's the next step. So for me, that would be the brand journey. And then the next step would be the client experience. So all of those touch points that you would have with your client in the middle. And then we would have the end of making sure that you're sending the gift. And you're.

Candice Coppola (27:32.526)

Yes.

Candice Coppola (27:38.318)

Mm -hmm.

Candice Coppola (27:43.502)

Hmm.

Alicia Bauer (27:53.982)

I'm a paper goods girl, so you're always going to get a thank you card that is written with my monogram. I mean, like, I want those special little points that they're going to remember my brand. So even my gifts are branded, which I send them a branded gift of like a coffee mug with their logo on it. But the packaging is mine. So I just want to like make sure that every single little step, they're going to remember who this is and who it came from and feel special.

Candice Coppola (28:12.526)

that's fun. I love that.

Candice Coppola (28:22.158)

Mm -hmm.

Alicia Bauer (28:22.302)

And that's where, like with wedding pros, each step that they're taking with that client just needs to be broken down and then decided on like what they can do with that. So even if it's the wedding timeline, do you want to brand that for their wedding or do you want it branded for yours, like your brand? And that's just, I mean, to me, that's a personal opinion of how they want to present to the client.

Candice Coppola (28:31.886)

Yes, yeah.

Candice Coppola (28:45.39)

Right, right.

Alicia Bauer (28:46.078)

But I mean, those are all the little steps. So that's even more personalized if they're going to change every single one for each client so it matches their wedding.

Candice Coppola (28:54.126)

Yeah, that's next level stuff. That's like big bucks stuff. When you take on five big clients a year, you can really brand everything out while also adding your personal touches. This is a lot to think about and exciting. I love talking about branding and I love talking about the customer journey and processes. It's like one of those nerdy little things that I love to tweak in my own business and I love to talk about and I love to see.

Alicia Bauer (28:58.494)

It is.

Yeah.

Candice Coppola (29:20.622)

really good wedding industry brands like you can tell on social media when you're scrolling, you can tell somebody who somebody who has built a very consistent brand. Because before you even look at the avatar or the name, you know exactly who it is. Yeah.

Alicia Bauer (29:33.118)

who it was. Yep.

Yeah. And.

I might not be the hippest person on like who is the fanciest wedding pro like out there, but I know a lot of my clients have came to me of I love Hope Taylor. I love Caitlin James. I love Amy and Jordan. And for the most part, it's because their experience is on point no matter where you find them. I mean, you know their editing style. You know their pictures. I mean, like, you know them when they are in the feed or.

Candice Coppola (29:44.846)

Heheheheh!

Alicia Bauer (30:05.086)

I mean, I didn't even say this before because we were talking about the experience and where you're working with your clients. But then you go to their website and everything is, like every page is perfect and all of the images match because they're branded to go with their own colors. And that's the high level brand that everybody wants. And they just have to put the thought into achieving.

Candice Coppola (30:18.99)

Mm -hmm.

Candice Coppola (30:26.702)

Yeah, and it does take time. I mean, I think there's something too that needs to be said is you see any of those brands that were mentioned or you can think of a brand that immediately you're like, that person's always memorable. I know it's their stuff. It takes time to get there. And there maybe were many brand iterations before you see what you see today.

Alicia Bauer (30:32.35)

Mm -hmm.

Alicia Bauer (30:45.822)

Absolutely.

Candice Coppola (30:49.71)

And so, but we all have to begin somewhere and we all begin somewhere with our brand and with our brand experience and it evolves over time. Yeah.

Alicia Bauer (30:53.918)

Mm -hmm.

Alicia Bauer (30:57.79)

Yep. And I mean, I have even struggled with like what to call myself as a designer because I'm not just a brand designer. I'm not just a web designer. I really feel like I'm a client experience designer because I love to design every single part. Like I get excited about a sticker because I know how it's going to be used and where it's going to go and tissue paper. That's exciting. Like I get so pumped about the little things that bring in that personality.

Candice Coppola (31:02.702)

Mm -hmm.

Candice Coppola (31:19.758)

Mm -hmm.

Alicia Bauer (31:24.414)

Yes, the big things are so important and I know that and I focus on them too, but like the whole experience shines when the little touch points are part of it.

Candice Coppola (31:35.662)

I agree. And one thing you can do is take notice of the next time you interact with a brand. It could be a clothing brand. It could be a brand for your business. It could be something personal. Just take notice of how it makes you feel. And when it's done really well, what resonated with you and you can borrow some of those, those, I mean, kind of steal some of the things from that brand in a way of like, I loved how they package this. I want to do custom packaging.

Alicia Bauer (31:41.278)

Mm -hmm.

Alicia Bauer (31:49.918)

Mm -hmm.

Candice Coppola (32:01.006)

or I love the handwritten note touch, I want to include that or I love this email I got thanking me for my purchase. There are so many different brands that we interact with on a daily basis, many of which are doing things really well. I'll give you one example. I love how Peloton has a very personalized experience when I get engaged with the brand. So they have a ton of data on me, right? Like they know my heart rate, they know my weight, they know my age, they know

Alicia Bauer (32:23.887)

Yes they do.

Candice Coppola (32:27.726)

how I work out what I choose, what instructors I pick. And so they send me lots of emails, but there was one email that really stuck out and it was like some of your greatest hits, like some of your best classes. And I remember forwarding that to Kara, who's one of my marketing support folks. And I was like, I love this email. I love how curated and customized this is. How do we do this? Like, how do we create this kind of experience?

when somebody opts in to hear from us, how can we do something? And it was a catalyst to thinking through how to do that. And so you...

Alicia Bauer (33:04.222)

Is that when you sent the, I made a playlist for you? I have that email saved.

Candice Coppola (33:07.854)

Yes. my goodness. I love that you recognize that that's what that is. Yes. So you're interacting with brands all the time and you can borrow or be inspired by what you're seeing other people do because trust me, they're borrowing and inspiring from other brands as well.

Alicia Bauer (33:14.366)

Yup.

Alicia Bauer (33:30.046)

Yep. That is actually one of the exact questions that I work with my HoneyBook setup clients is on a customer service level, who is a brand that stands out to you, and then on a visual brand level, who is a brand that stands out to you and why. And what do you want to take from this and how do you want to add that into your own brand? And it's always very interesting to like...

Candice Coppola (33:34.318)

Hmm.

Candice Coppola (33:41.454)

Mm -hmm.

Candice Coppola (33:53.581)

Great question.

Alicia Bauer (33:56.126)

all of the different people with different brands, like I don't think anybody has ever repeated one to me and I think it's fun to go find something new because I'm like I've never heard of them.

Candice Coppola (34:03.758)

yeah. Yeah, that's fascinating. And also, it tells you a little bit too about like what brands they're attached to, which tells you a little bit more about their personality and their style, right? You can start to when I say Peloton, you can make some assumptions about me as a person, right? And it does tell you a little bit about me. So that's, that's interesting, too. Yeah.

Alicia Bauer (34:10.014)

Mm -hmm.

Yep.

Alicia Bauer (34:21.854)

And I brought that in because I really loved Emily Lay. I love what she does. I love her simple classic designs. I love the fun of her planner covers every year. They're great at marketing. There were so many tidbits that I could take. I buy a planner every year. I don't even use a paper planner. I have great intentions. Yes.

Candice Coppola (34:25.582)

Mmm.

Candice Coppola (34:33.39)

Yeah.

Candice Coppola (34:39.502)

But it makes you feel good. Yeah, it makes you feel good. You're like new year fresh planner. There's nothing better than a new year and a fresh planner.

Alicia Bauer (34:49.086)

Nope. But then like the packaging and the perfect box and the sticker and the sticker on the outside of the mailing box. I mean like it is perfection.

Candice Coppola (34:57.806)

Yeah. Yeah. And interacting with that brand can give you, it gives you ideas and also shows you like you're on the right track because experiencing it as a customer can show you that whatever you're doing is giving the same experience to your clients. As a planner, when I was designing, I used to ask my customer, my couple, like, what are some of your favorite brands? And especially if money was no object, what brands would you purchase from? Because, you know, we can...

Alicia Bauer (35:22.462)

There's a difference.

Candice Coppola (35:25.39)

There is a difference between like loving Chanel and affording Chanel, but brands tell you just a lot about people's personalities and what they like and their style and some of their habits and things like that. So just a little side note.

Alicia Bauer (35:31.678)

Mm -hmm.

Alicia Bauer (35:37.79)

I used to ask people who their brand would be if it was a celebrity. And I always thought that that would really dig in. But then I found that it was always like, who's the popular celebrity right now? I think it was just who's top of mind that always came out. So once I started asking about brands, that's where I really got to know them on a different level. Because I mean, some people share their protein powder.

Candice Coppola (35:45.006)

Mm -hmm.

Candice Coppola (35:53.29)

Yeah, yeah.

Alicia Bauer (36:03.71)

And they're like, it's because they send me this. And then I like, look at the website. It has so many fun things. I'm like, huh.

Candice Coppola (36:09.682)

I know you and I know you're googling that protein powder. Share the deeds. I want to know because I like my protein powder, but maybe there's a better one out there. Listen, I saw on threads the other day, like somebody was talking about nobody's working harder.

Alicia Bauer (36:12.478)

absolutely.

Alicia Bauer (36:20.19)

I haven't tried it.

Candice Coppola (36:27.598)

to rebrand protein than protein. And it's so funny because if you, if you even just casually are working out or you're watching your calorie intake or just being thoughtful about what you're eating, you will know that everywhere people are talking about protein, like protein is the, it's the Taylor Swift of food right now. I can't escape it.

Alicia Bauer (36:30.498)

I'm sorry.

Alicia Bauer (36:37.886)

Mm -hmm.

Alicia Bauer (36:43.39)

Huh?

Alicia Bauer (36:47.966)

Mm -hmm. Just scrolling all the like quick videos, how many recipes have I saved of like quick yogurt protein? And I'm like, I'm never going to go back to these, but I'm just going to keep saving them.

Candice Coppola (36:56.782)

Yeah, 100%. I have tons and tons of saved things on TikTok and Instagram of stuff I'll never cook of exercises I will never do of things I'll never do in my business, but whatever makes you feel good in the moment. This is true. Now, I guess one maybe final component to when we're thinking about consistent branding that we

Alicia Bauer (37:11.742)

Mm -hmm.

They stood out in the feed.

Candice Coppola (37:24.846)

that we haven't touched on is team members. And I know this is important to you and you think that we need to also consider how our brand is represented there. So do you wanna speak on brand consistency and experience when we have team members?

Alicia Bauer (37:27.838)

Yes.

Alicia Bauer (37:39.166)

Yes, so a lot of that comes from that brand guide and that brand Bible. So being able to provide exactly what you want them to use is the epitome of how it's going to be presented. If you're not giving them the exact information, they're going to try to mimic it, which is only going to become a copy of a copy of a copy of a copy, which means that the value and the look of it goes down every single time. And.

Candice Coppola (38:05.838)

Mm -hmm.

Alicia Bauer (38:07.902)

I'm going to go two -fold on this, sorry, random thought. It also is when you're branding yourself. You don't want to copy somebody else's brand. You want to be unique to yourself. Otherwise, you're going to be the B version of them. You're not going to stand out because you're trying to be somebody else. We all know that that doesn't work. Once we become adults, you can't try that hard anymore. So.

Candice Coppola (38:21.262)

Mm -hmm.

Candice Coppola (38:29.07)

No, no.

Alicia Bauer (38:31.582)

To be authentically yourself and be committed to that brand is going to be what makes it consistent. So with your team, when you are able to communicate, this is my messaging. Here's my messaging guide. Here are the scripts that I want to use. Run with it. Here are the colors. I want these colors. Some people have like,

Candice Coppola (38:48.398)

Mm -hmm.

Alicia Bauer (38:53.022)

So you always have your primary colors, and then you should have secondary colors. Some people have a different color in their color palette to represent the different services that they have. So if it's like navy and French blue and blush, like they could have the navy for weddings and then French blue for partial planning. So that page looks different, but still consistent. And that's what needs to be communicated to their team. So if it is an OBM or a project manager,

That's a lot of the messaging. They need your scripts. If it's a VA that's going to design for you, they need the brand guide. And they need to know what fonts are going to be used, if you're leaving spacing in the fonts, how you're using the fonts, and then being able to remain consistent. Also having a folder of brand images. And that includes your own brand images. Like I always say you need to have a photo shoot.

But it also means creating your own collection of stock images that they can grab from, so they're not picking something and you're like, that's not cool. I don't want that. Like being very clear about what you are going to provide to them is what's going to make it consistent.

Candice Coppola (40:00.078)

Yeah, when you add two thoughts, thought number one is when you were saying a copy of a copy of a copy of a copy. I was thinking of my Canva account, like, you know, like how you're just duplicate your copying stuff. Don't do that. Always go to your original brand, you know, template and copy from the original don't copy from a copy from a copy from a copy, because it's so far removed from the original template and the intentions you had behind it that it looks freaking crazy.

Alicia Bauer (40:07.87)

god. Yep.

Alicia Bauer (40:15.614)

you

Alicia Bauer (40:26.718)

Yes, I have one that says do not use for copy.

Candice Coppola (40:30.446)

Yes. Yeah. Never touch this by any means. Don't make any changes. The other thought I had to in addition to the team members you mentioned, also the staff that works with you on the wedding on wedding days or who might even interact with your customers, right? Your brand experience, brand colors and fonts, all of that is important, but also like your messaging and your values and what to do in situations and what

Alicia Bauer (40:34.654)

Don't make changes, but just copy it.

Alicia Bauer (40:45.214)

Yeah.

Candice Coppola (40:59.31)

not to do in situations, how to carry yourself, are all part of your brand.

Alicia Bauer (41:04.638)

Yeah. And I mean, this is like trivial, but like a lot of people have shirts made with their logos on it and making sure that that's in your brand colors and making sure that your staff is looking presentable and not a homeless person because that represents you. No matter what part it is of the planning day, like that is you and you're the one that they're going to remember because they hired you. So.

Candice Coppola (41:20.078)

Yeah.

Candice Coppola (41:26.638)

Yeah.

Alicia Bauer (41:27.998)

I mean, implementing that, but also again communicating like if you want them answering questions to the client or if they need to say, hang on, let me go find so and so.

Candice Coppola (41:39.342)

Yeah, we haven't had an employee manual. I'm sure the business still has it. An employee manual and we had an SOP. And it wasn't just like click here, drag this, drop this here. It was also what to do in certain situations that would be very on brand for our business. How to answer certain questions, what to do when a common occurrence happens, our approach to certain things.

Alicia Bauer (41:45.022)

Mm -hmm. Yes.

Candice Coppola (42:03.79)

You know, I had rules like, for instance, it would be off -brand for you to say anything negative at the event about anybody attending. You know, we all are snarky or we all have comments or we all might be like, what is she wearing or what is she saying or this guest is annoying. I get it. But this is not the time or the place because there are ears everywhere. And it's also very unprofessional to be talking about people like that. We're adults. We do that in the privacy of our own home.

Alicia Bauer (42:13.438)

Thanks for watching!

Alicia Bauer (42:31.614)

Yep. Absolutely. Yep.

Candice Coppola (42:35.054)

Right. But in all seriousness, it was a policy we had and for many reasons, but one of which it was not on brand because we're welcoming, we're open, we're not just non -judgmental. We're not going to be here talking about what somebody is wearing at this event. So that was one of our policies. So when you think about your brand and consistency and your messaging and your voice and your values and everything, it even boils down into your interactions with people, how you talk, what you do and what you don't do.

Alicia Bauer (42:58.142)

And that's where I develop the brand from those values. Like I said, that I pull out from the questionnaire. And my brand, I feel it's very important for me to be welcoming. I want people to be able to ask me questions and not be like, I don't know. I might annoy her. So then I know that even if it is a question that I've answered four times, that I have to answer it back friendly to the point, but still very like, I'm here to help. Don't be scared. You know?

Candice Coppola (43:01.646)

Mm -hmm.

Candice Coppola (43:20.238)

Yes.

Candice Coppola (43:25.614)

Yeah.

Alicia Bauer (43:25.95)

And that's important to me. And I want people to find those things that are important to them and make sure that it's brought through.

Candice Coppola (43:28.398)

Mm -hmm.

Candice Coppola (43:32.782)

Well, this has been such a great conversation. I have to thank you for joining us today, Allie. I have learned so much and I've really enjoyed talking about this topic with you. And I think anyone listening has some things to think about when it comes to brand consistency, auditing that and thinking about branding as more than just a logo, but as an entire experience that you offer your customers from save the date to the thank you note.

Alicia Bauer (43:55.934)

Yes.

Candice Coppola (43:57.486)

You offer tons of services for anybody who's looking to really refine their brand, rebrand, redo their website, but even look at some of these touch points we've talked about today and make sure their brand is properly represented. How can someone who is ready to engage a brand manager get in contact with you?

Alicia Bauer (44:17.766)

Yeah. Mainly my website. I want you to really see my work and know that I'm the one for you. I really pride myself that I design for the client and not my style. So take that into consideration when you're looking at the portfolio. Every single one is different because that's what the client and who the client is. So alibdesigns .com, I want you to get to know me and then reach out. It's just booking a call and then we get a chat on video and get to know each other more.

Candice Coppola (44:45.038)

Yay. And then you get to fill out this amazing questionnaire and really start thinking about the brands that you like and some of the questions that Ali has mentioned today. One thing I love about Ali too is that she is a HoneyBook pro and she helps HoneyBook users set up their HoneyBook account and get their brand consistent in there. And she makes sure that your HoneyBook doesn't look like a hot mess and that you're also using the platform.

Alicia Bauer (45:09.438)

Yes.

Candice Coppola (45:09.55)

to its fullest extent and really leaning on it in your business. You know, HoneyBook is a sponsor of this podcast and I love them so much. So even from that perspective, if you're a HoneyBook user and you feel like that's where I'm lacking brand consistency, Allie has a ton of resources, one -on -one, and then also things that you can DIY yourself using some of her resources and templates that you can use too.

Alicia Bauer (45:31.07)

Yep, and the shop will be launching soon too with templates.

Candice Coppola (45:34.062)

Yay. That's so exciting, which just makes things easy for somebody who's like, I got it, but I just don't want to start from scratch. And we, at the beginning, we talked about how great templates are. Right. I love it. Well, Ali, thank you so much for today's conversation.

Alicia Bauer (45:45.086)

Yep, just make sure you apply your brand.

Thank you for having me.

Thanks for tuning into today’s episode of The Power in Purpose Podcast. I want to know– what was your biggest takeaway? Head to my Instagram to join the conversation!

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Is your brand experience attracting and repelling the right people? 🤔🤔🤔🤔

Branding and client experience are important as a wedding pro, and today, we are talking about where the two meet! 

In this episode, I’m chatting with Ally Baur of @allybdesigns all about the elements of brand experience, the role of branding in attracting ideal clients, the impact of templates on brand consistency, and the significance of customer service in the wedding industry. 

It’s an episode you’re gonna want to listen to if you want make sure your brand and brand experience is up to snuff.

Comment 133 below and I’ll DM you a direct link to listen! 

#powerinpurposepodcast #thepowerinpurposepodcast #brandidentity #brandexperience #weddingindustry #weddingpro #weddingpros #candicdcoppola #weddingproinsiders #clientexperience #brandstrategy #brandingtips
Today was a GREAT day to chop off all my hair. This is your sign to shed anything that’s not serving you. ✨

Special thanks to @naomihairsyou and @ronavictoriaa_ 🥰😍

#hairtransformation #hairchop #shorthair #bluntbob #blondebob #candicecoppola #hairbeforeandafter #barbados #summerhairgoals #chopoffyourhair
Can you get sued for networking? How should you be LEGALLY protecting yourself while building relationships within the wedding industry?

This is an interesting question we are exploring and answering in the latest episode of The Power in Purpose Podcast! My guest is attorney @nicolecheriodenlaw and she’s breaking down the steps you need to take to make sure you’re protecting your biz.

👇🏻 Comment the term LEGAL below and I’ll DM you a link this episode! 

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