The One Reason Why Your Branding Isn’t Working

It’s easy to fall into the trap of branding trends going around on Instagram, Pinterest… Asking family and friends for approval on your new website design… and maybe that’s resulted in a beautiful brand – it’s aesthetic, it’s cohesive, but do you really see it moving the needle for you?

The biggest mistake we see businesses make is looking for approval from people who are not your target market.  When we try to appeal to IG trends, Mom’s opinion, etc. – we are in most cases creating dissonance between our essence and vision as entrepreneurs, and distancing ourselves from the people who would work well with and be attracted to our business’s mission. 

To have a brand that resonates with you & the people who share your values, mission, vision, you need to find alignment.  True alignment is an act of honesty and deep authenticity.  And it is what will differentiate you in your market. 

Ask Yourself:

What Inspired You to Start Your Business?

For me, it was seeing the power of the brand to connect businesses and communities.  When people resonate with the way you convey your mission and identity, there is a different kind of connection that goes beyond the ones you can individually make.  

Does Your Mission Connect to Your Past?

A pivotal moment was my experience in my MBA program’s business plan competition where I tested the combination of business principles & strategic design – when I won (twice), I realized how much the intersection of the two had the potential to help other entrepreneurs. 

What Does Success Look Like for You?

Empowering visionary entrepreneurs to make their full potential impact.  I would love to one day have programs, workshops, etc. helping young women especially feel equipped to go after their dreams.  I grew up in small town Wisconsin where creative jobs didn’t really exist.  It took me a long time to learn that I could embrace my creativity (beyond a hobby) – and was helped along the way by many amazing mentors.  I want to help the next generation make the impact and live the authentic lives they were born to live. 

Who Do You Admire, & What Qualities Do they Have in Common?

(The Old) Kanye, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kelly Wearstler

They are visionary, have their own style, are business-owners spreading their own unique ideas to connect industries, ideas, create social change & impact – trust in self.  Since I recognized this years ago, I’ve worked to shift my own self to embody more of these traits. 

Think of Your Highest Self

Who are you?  What do you wear?  How do you carry yourself?  Where do you live/spend time?  Who do you surround yourself with?

A leader to women in both the career and entrepreneurship spaces

A woman with my own sense of style – bespoke, high-quality, structured & detailed, feminine, vintage, a product of the “hunt” for perfect pieces

Someone who carries myself with confidence, grace, and strength

I hope to continue to be worldly and curious.  I would love to live in Miami during my career years, spending time along the way in Malibu, Europe, Japan… and eventually retreat to a beautiful marble-filled sunlit home  in Montana with appaloosa horses, chickens and a family. 

What is Holding You Back Right Now?

Fear of Success?  Fear of Failure?  Something else?

The Fear that I will have to get uncomfortable to succeed in my purpose – constantly learning, expanding, failing.. And being resilient enough to come back after small and large failures to reach the successes. 

What Would Happen if you were unstuck?

I believe I would be further on my way to building my dream business – but I will keep learning until it is successful.

What is your Favorite thing about you?

I love my empathy, kindness, and creative vision. 

What do the people you love most say about you?

I am sweet, creative, driven, determined, kind.

What makes you feel most alive?

I feel most like myself when I am creating & curating.  I love discovering myself and new ideas through travel, vintage shopping, fashion, and creating beauty in interiors, fashion, self, brand worlds, websites. 

If nothing was holding you back, where would you see your business in 5-10 years?

I would love to create education & resources for both entrepreneurs and women in corporate.  Ideally, there will be several branches of Alia Design Studio, including personal branding for career women, programs at universities for personal branding, workshops to help entrepreneurs start businesses, courses to help grow businesses, and lifestyle products and collaborations with the brands we’ve mentored & served, that encourage women everywhere to embrace their authenticity, their big visions, their ambition. 

This is an exercise that has helped me & our clients time & time again to reconnect their brand to who they are and where they truly want to go – 

Spend some time thinking or journaling through each question – you may be surprised how easily the dots connect –  let me know if there are any questions you love & I will add them to the list xx (

Hi, I'm Amelia.  Brand Designer, Biz Strategist, & CEO of Alia Design Studio

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