Tell Me All! {series}- Alisha Johns, On Branding

I first met Alisha Johns (lishylishy.com) where I've met most of my creative friends- on Instagram! Of all the amazing things social media can do, I think bringing people together (who might not otherwise meet) is the best. Alisha (or @alishylishy on IG) is one of those people whose magnetic personality shines through the screen- her pictures are colorful and fun and inspiring... totally cheering up my photo feed! A fellow artist, Alisha loves to paint and create fun art prints and home decor. Her page is filled with donuts, confetti, and bright colors (did I mention donuts?)... stuff that is guaranteed to make you smile. Basically, she's a total pro at branding!

And then I found out, while she's an artist by passion, her day job is- get this- an "Associative Creative Strategist"... aka, a BRANDING EXPERT! Too perfect right? Clearly she knows what she's doing, which is why it was a total "duh" that I wanted to interview her.

NBD, just a splash of color...

NBD, just a splash of color...

1) WHO ARE YOU AND WHAT DO YOU DO?

I'm Alisha Johns of LishyLishy.com and (in addition to being an artist) I'm an "Associative Creative Strategist" at an advertising agency in Pittsburgh- the name of the agency is "THIS IS RED". I work on branding, social media & content strategy, and also wardrobe and prop styling for commercial video shoots.

I'll take that, and that... and that, too. {PC: @pineapplesandcoffeecups}

I'll take that, and that... and that, too. {PC: @pineapplesandcoffeecups}

2) HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE/EXPLAIN BRANDING IN "LAYMAN" TERMS? (Break it down, as though you’re explaining it to a newbie!)

The living, breathing, personality of your products and/or services. When executed correctly, brands take on human characteristics and tell a story. But how? Through consistent messaging and imagery. This includes copy & images on your website, product descriptions, your logo, images and captions across social media channels, and any other expression or extension of your products and services.  Wouldn't you just love to go shopping and grab a coffee with the Kate Spade Girl? Or train for a marathon with the Nike team? Of course - because these are big name brands who have effectively  communicated their personality and values with the world. 

3) WHY IS BRANDING IMPORTANT TO YOUR BUSINESS? 

Branding is extremely important in creating recognition and awareness for your products/services. The more times consumers see your logo, and see your visual look and feel through images, and when they hear your "voice" through captions and website copy, the more likely they are to remember your offerings. Branding also helps to attract like-minded consumers - a.k.a. your target market. And let's be real, the "right" consumers are more likely to BUY ;)

4) HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR "BRAND"?

The lishylishy brand is BRIGHT, HAPPY & FUN. My products - sprinkled donuts, pink flamingoes, rainbow pineapples, etc. - are extremely lively, whimsical and playful, so it was important for me to create a brand that captures the spirit of my artwork , and that also takes on the best aspects of my personality.

5) WHAT (SPECIFICALLY) DO YOU DO TO CULTIVATE YOUR BRAND? IS IT SOMETHING YOU THINK ABOUT/PLAN?

I work hard to ensure that my product images and descriptions are extremely consistent to really emphasize a certain look. Next, I utilize Instagram to highlight extensions of my brand and to further showcase personality. I plan each week of content in advance and all of my posts fall into specific categories that help to tell the story of my brand. Actual products for sale are just a small percentage - it's all about personality. I focus on: Art/Craft Supplies, Sweet Treats, Adventures (cool architecture, examples of color in the wild), and fun fashion finds (colorful jewelry, bright makeup bags, etc). These four categories keep me focused and drive my content strategy.  

6) WHAT BRANDING ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO SOMEONE JUST BEGINNING THEIR BUSINESS?

Start by listing the personality traits that really define your products/services, and make sure every business decision you make aligns with those traits and your overall company values. What do you want your brand to be known for?  Attention to detail is also extremely important- think about every word on your website, every image, and every social media caption as part of a bigger brand picture and strategy. Your story should also extend to your packaging, because consistency is key.

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Thank you Alisha for such a fun + insightful interview! If you love her work and need more of it (of course you do), you can find her here:

Xx Natasha