Being brave enough to be distinctively YOU

Being brave enough to be yourself

I admit it. I’m a people-pleaser.

Or at least, I used to be. I’d say yes to things I didn’t want to do. Fret about winning over people I didn’t particularly like. I wanted EVERYONE to like me, and love our business.

Thing is, that’s just not realistic, is it? You simply can’t be best friends with everyone. You can’t please everyone. Take it from me, trying to do so is exhausting, and totally unfulfilling. You end up being a very diluted version of your true personality. A bit nothing. A bit vanilla.

Those of you who have been with me for a while will probably have noticed a bit of a change in the air on this blog lately. I’m blogging more confidently, sharing much more of our work and talking about the things that we’re really great at. I’m no longer writing about the things I feel that I ought to, just the things we love. It’s totally liberating. My blog stats are totally off the chart, and I’ve never had so much interaction on social media which tells me I’ve definitely done the right thing.

The same is true in the business – we’ve given every aspect of the business a rigorous shake-up, and injected our personality wherever we can; even our terms of business are written with a sense of fun. It’s certainly a risk; I know that some people will run a mile and be utterly turned off by our approach. But that’s ok, because the people I really want to work with LOVE it.

The point I’m getting to is that it takes bravery and confidence to be distinctive with your brand personality. Some won’t like it, and that can hurt. But if you go for it and communicate your personality with flair and confidence, you’ll attract people who are the most rewarding clients in the world to work with.

Go out there and be the best version of you that you can be. Go on – be distinctive!


Filed under Business Tips, Powerful Branding

On how far we’ve come, and celebrating success

Stuart McMahon sketches

Flicking through my notebook today, I came across a page with ‘GOALS’ very firmly written at the top, in capitals, and underlined. This is not like me – I don’t like goals and targets, and I have to be bullied into writing them. That’s not to say that I’m not ambitious, but that the idea of writing down my goals (and therefore having to really commit and be held accountable to them, rather than keeping them in my own head) scares the bajeezus out of me.

I digress. The page listed 6 specific targets that we set when working with our fabulous mentor, Fiona Humberstone, 5 months ago. On the list was a pledge to start speaking publicly about our work in 2015, a note about how much revenue I wanted to generate from our brand styling work, and a target for the number of new clients I wanted to attract every month. And you know what? We’ve achieved almost all of them.

I’ve been asked to speak at 3 events between now and November (two of which are next week – eeek!). We’re about 75% of the way there with my sales target (I’d allowed until May 2015 to reach this one, so daft did it seem), and we’re currently exceeding my goal for new client enquiries.

I can’t believe how far we’ve come as a team since May. It makes me slightly shivery to think that the goals I had to be pestered into committing to paper just 5 months ago are starting to become reality. The targets we all thought were fairly ridiculous are taking shape.

I’m so pleased to be able to share our progress with you lovely readers, who are so generous with your support. Our experience as a team over the last few months has just gone to show that if you really, really want something, you can definitely make it happen.

What a great note to finish Monday on!


Filed under Thinking Big

Proud to Present: Brand Styling for Guy Barnes

Guy Barnes - vision board by Ditto Brand Stylists

Guy Barnes is a Tunbridge Wells based painter and decorator, working with both domestic and commercial customers. While the core of his services centres around painting, decorating and plastering, he take pride in being able to provide a more complete service – working alongside sub contractors, he’s able to provide clients with much more value. Guy Barnes is known for being reliable, punctual, thorough and working to a high standard, and came to Ditto for a brand identity which tells the world that you are strong, established and high quality.

Before we got started, Guy made the big decision to change the name of his business from ‘GB Decorating’ to ‘Guy Barnes’, which reflects a real shift in the way he wants the business to be perceived moving forwards. We spoke at some length about the pros and cons of this, but I really feel he made the right choice – using his full name sounds so much more confident, don’t you think?

Guy Barnes vision board

The season personality

Guy Barnes is an Autumn personality, with Winter subordinates. Autumn businesses are authentic, genuine and grounded. They’re personalities of substance; they’re grounded and have a strong moral compass. They’re hard workers and care very deeply about getting the job done properly. On the Winter side, there’s a strength and no-nonsense approach that’s really important to the new identity. Efficiency, quality and trust are very important to Winter personalities – they’re grounded, focussed and get the job done with minimal fuss.

The colour palette

The colour palette for Guy Barnes is confident and traditional, with a modern twist. The soft shades of pigeon and putty are given gravitas by the reassuring shades of blue, which provide an established, almost heritage feel. The blues communicate a strength, trust and capability which is perfect for the new brand direction.

The brand board

Guy Barnes logo design and Brand Styling by Ditto Creative


The primary logo for Guy Barnes is strong, confident and feels very established. I really love the secondary logo elements – absolutely perfect for social media, favicons and any situation where the whole logo would be a bit too much. The illustrations provide exactly the hand-rendered look that we wanted, which fits in with the Autumnal side of the brand personality perfectly. They really convey the care and attention that Guy and his team provide to their clients, and these beautiful illustrations will work beautifully as website icons.

The visualisation

Guy Barnes logo design and brand styling by Ditto Creative

Guy Barnes logo design and brand styling by Ditto Creative

Guy Barnes logo design and brand styling by Ditto Creative

We always consider the practicalities when we design a logo and style a brand – it’s all well and good to produce a design that looks stunning on screen, but it’s useless if it isn’t practical. With this in mind, we road-test our designs by putting together a range of visualisations – great for us, and really exciting for our clients. Don’t these look great?!

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Filed under Brand Styling, Powerful Branding, Proud to Present