You don’t need a business, you need a brand.
That might sound a little strange, but it’s true.
A business is the tool with which you can provide things for sale (services or products), but a Brand is what sells those things.
Take for example the amazing Joanna Gaines (and Chip of course). Whether you like them or not, you know who they are.
Did you know that they have over nine business ventures? Magnolia Market at the Silos (of course), paint, rug, wallpaper and furniture lines by Joanna Gaines, a real estate company (Magnolia Realty), a quarterly magazine, a luxury vacation rental (I totally want to stay here), a new restaurant (in the works), and a New York Times best-selling book (with a second in the works already). That’s a total of 11 business ventures, but who’s counting?
Each of these business ventures has provided something new for purchase. But if these same items were sold by, Joanna Johnson (who’s that? I don’t know, I just made her up), you wouldn’t give it much thought and probably move on to the next thing.
This is what I mean by you need a brand,
not just a business.
Chip & Joanna Gaines are a Brand. A brand that people across America absolutely LOVE. In fact people love them so much they travel from all over the states (and some countries, too) to visit the Magnolia Silos and see their beautifully flipped homes. (Approx. 40,000 visitors every week.)
Joanna has created her own furniture, rug, wallpaper and paint lines, just because people love her style so much. She helped get Harp Designs on the map and they just had their own show picked up by DIY Network. She made the Magnolia Silos a vacation destination - in Waco, TX. Can you imagine Waco, TX being a vacation destination without Joanna & Chip Gaines? (**Spoiler Alert: It wasn’t.)
Joanna Gaines is my spirit animal
- this is something people say ALL. THE. TIME.
People don’t say stuff like that for no reason. ;)
Joanna Gaines has built such an amazing Brand Experience that people flock to it, throw their money at it, travel to be a part of it and binge watch it all day long (hand raised - who’s watched the Fixer Upper marathons on HGTV? haha!).
So I want to dissect this Brand a bit for you. Now, in this one blog post alone I won’t be able to cover all there is to unlock about this Brand Experience, but don’t worry, I have a plan to help with this (Coming in 2018).
The Brand that is Chip and Joanna Gaines isn’t magical. It’s thoughtful, intentional and courageously authentic (Chip Gaines eating a cockroach anyone?? <so gross>).
Yes, Chip & Joanna have a keen sense for all things business, and they have created multiple revenue streams to support their family. Their kiddos and their kiddos’ kiddos are all going to be taken care of because of her sweet business smarts.
Yes, Chip & Joanna have leveraged their brand to create an entire empire.
Yes, Chip & Joanna know how to make a dollar go a long way.
No, those things are not what make them a Brand...I mean, they kind of do, but let me elaborate.
Chip & Joanna have held very strongly to their values. They’ve made known what those values are and they live them out daily. They love each other, they love their kids, they love God and they’re not happy with just being “content” - they believe in trying new things and never settling.
Their Brand is one of love, family, faith, restoration and hard-work.
People flock to them because they love them and relate to them. (Chip even reminds me of my Uncles James & Larry, so that makes me love him even more.) I see myself in Joanna (or at least what I’d hope to be) and that draws me to her, as well.
When you visit the Magnolia Silos, you’re drawn into this mixture of rustic/modern beauty. There’s a huge emphasis on family at the Silos, with an entire green space to play in.
Surrounding the green space are several local food shops, being represented via food carts, because they both value supporting local businesses and their community.
They value taking beautifully worn items, even the Silos themselves, and giving them new life. This also is super relatable to people - it provides the feeling of acceptance and love. :)
When you walk into their retail store, you immediately get the sense of Joanna’s style and attention to detail. She gives you the feeling of home, love and inspiration through creation and being welcomed. This is her brand.
She is also brilliant at providing you the visual scheme of her brand. Color combinations and the mix of old and modern. Her style in and of itself is a beautiful visual brand, if you walk into a Joanna Gaines home, you know it’s a Joanna Gaines home. ;)
When you watch Fixer Upper and Chip jumps through a wall, eats a cockroach, jumps into a lake or attempts to climb a tree… You love him. You’re hooked. You want to see more. So then, when he says #DemoDay several times on every episode, that becomes his tagline. You repeat that tagline with him, “It’s Demo day!”. You LOVE Demo Day too! Perhaps you’ll take a sledgehammer to your own house, or safer yet you should probably just buy the t-shirt. ;)
This is the power of Branding. You totally love them and you love everything they create. You’re invested in them and you not only want to be their friend, you want to be a part of the magic.