Episode 280: Upgrade Your Brand During Your Slow Season

December 20, 2023

Elevating your Brand during your Slow Season

In today’s episode, I’m sharing ways to upgrade your visual brand during your slow season. For many of us in the wedding and event industry especially, the coming months often reflect an off season that we can strategically use to pour back into your amazing business. In this episode, I’m sharing thoughtful ways to upgrade your business, showcase your best work, and strategically rebrand for success.

Tune into the full episode above!

Making the Most of the Slow Season

In this episode, Bonnie focuses on valuable strategies for upgrading your brand during the slow season, and shares more on specific points like:

  • The power of investing in your business
  • Using a slow season to showcase your best work
  • Elevating your visual identity to captivate your ideal clients
  • Thoughtfully launching in a season where you may have more margin in your calendar
  • Specific actions you can take to elevate your brand during an off season
  • And more!

Recognizing the Need for Change

If your current visual brand is no longer aligning with your goals, I encourage you to consider if a brand refresh or a rebrand could serve you well.

If so, I’m currently accepting new custom branding clients for the New Year, and I would love to chat with you to see how I could potentially support you along this journey! Get in touch right here to start the conversation.

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Please note this transcript has been auto generated and may contain typos.

Bonnie (00:07):
Hi friend, and welcome to the Brand Strategy Podcast, a show created to equip you with the inspiration, encouragement, and clarity you need to build a brand of your dreams. I’m your host, Bonnie Bakhtiari, brand designer, strategist, and founder of the Illume Retreat. From sustainable Strategy to heartfelt encouragement. Each episode is designed to equip you with the tools you need to chase after your dreams because you deserve a brand that empowers you to do what you love, connects with your dream clients, and offers a deep sense of fulfillment along the way. So grab a cup of coffee and join me on this journey, won’t you?

Bonnie (00:45):
Hey friends. Welcome back to the Brand Strategy podcast, where today we’re talking about some thoughtful ways that you can upgrade your brand during your slow season. So this episode is especially for my fellow service providers. So if you are in the wedding industry, if you are in an industry where seasonally you notice these shifts of when you receive a lot of inquiries versus, um, not so many, this is for you. I know that this time of year is hectic for a lot of us. I mean, right? The holidays are in full swing. We are a lot of times, you know, kind of doing what we can to wrap up our current client projects and prepare for the new year. Um, and if you’re in the wedding and events industry, especially, I know that you’re coming off of a really wild season where you’ve been nonstop busy, but there’s hope, right?

Bonnie (01:40):
A fresh new year is fast approaching, and this is a time of year that is such a fantastic opportunity for you to rest and refresh and look forward to how you can actually make this coming year one of your best ones. Yet. I really believe that there’s so much power in us as service providers using our off seasons to actually invest back into your business. Um, and in the 11 going on 12 years that I’ve been in business, some of the most incredible projects that I’ve taken on as a brand designer and strategist have actually happened during the off season for my clients. And that’s because they’ve had more time, more margin in their calendars, more mental space to devote to rebranding their business with the intention and the heart that it requires. And that’s really when that magic starts to happen. So today I wanna walk through some ways that you can actually be utilizing your slow season, your off season, whatever that looks like in order to really elevate your brand and make some thoughtful upgrades that are going to allow you to not only captivate your ideal client’s attention, but it will allow you to consider some big shifts like increasing your price point, right?

Bonnie (02:54):
Raising those prices. It’s gonna allow you to connect with the kinds of clients that need your work the most so that you are able to have the impact that you wanna have in your industry and with the incredible kinds of folks that you are so excited to serve. So, with that being said, um, real quick, I wanna share just a handful of reasons why rebranding or refreshing your brand during your off season can be incredibly advantageous for you. First and foremost, it gives you that mental space and that energy to pour back into your own business. The off season is a great time to finally have the clarity and the energy and the capacity to pour back into your business, and it’s an opportunity for you to actually look at your goals for the 2024 season and into the 2025 season and beyond of where are you now, where do you want to go, and how can your brand be this tool that gets you there next step, it’s a great opportunity for you to showcase your best.

Bonnie (04:02):
So if you’re coming off of the 2023 season, you probably have a handful of really fantastic client projects that you can add to your website portfolio you can utilize to create content for social media, or you can work into, um, other client materials that you have in place, like welcome guides or magazines or print pieces. And this is such a great opportunity for you to show off the incredible work that you did most recently so that you can invite more of those kinds of clients or couples into your client roster in the coming season. This is such a easy thing to do as well if you’re looking to kind of maximize the, um, the ROI on your actions, uh, if you’re able to either go to your website and take a look at your portfolio and your galleries and make sure that you have peppered in some recent work there, or if that’s something that you utilize your designer or your developer for, be sure to reach out and get in touch with them and book some maintenance time so that you’re able to really have your most recent work showcased.

Bonnie (05:13):
Uh, next, I think that looking at rebranding or refreshing an existing brand during a strategic time is so wise and in the decade plus that I’ve been doing this work and I’ve been working with service-based entrepreneurs, I’ve really seen how leveraging the energy that comes with a new year, actually, uh, right now I am in the midst of prepping a brand new client’s rebrand and website to launch an early January, and it’s really exciting because we’re getting to organically harness the collective energy that a lot of us feel, um, coming off of the holidays, going into a new year. And my client is a wedding stationer. So, um, I know that she’s gonna have so many newly engaged couples to connect with, and it’s such an optimum time for her to be getting in front of her ideal client with this fresh, elevated heart felt visual identity and strategically designed website.

Bonnie (06:17):
So, uh, if you are someone, especially if you are in the wedding and event space, I think that coming off of engagement season and knowing that for a lot of people, engagement season will continue on into February, this is such a great time for you to really z up a lot of your materials. So like your visual brand, your website, any print pieces that you have or any client experience touchpoint, definitely think about making those changes as well. Then, uh, really it’s, it’s kind of this beautiful opportunity once you’ve made these changes to have the luxury of taking your time to launch strategically and not necessarily in a hurry. So what I see is a lot of creatives go through the rebranding process and they are really hustling to get that new website or that new visual identity out into the world. So they’re going through all this, this hard work and effort of investing in a new brand and a new website, and they’re so excited to put it out into the world that sometimes they hit publish or they launch without really priming their audience to receive the new rebrand or to receive this new brand and site in the first place.

Bonnie (07:32):
So I really would encourage you, and this is a step that I guide all of my custom branding and design clients through, is we think about how we’re launching with strategy and how we are educating an existing audience or for new businesses, a brand new audience about what is to come, what these changes might mean, um, especially if you are increasing your prices. So I work with a lot of service providers in the wedding and event space that are wanting to elevate their visual identities so that they can charge luxury, premium price points for their services, and they can be seen as this very elevated, luxurious experience for their ideal clients. And we are wanting to make those shifts, especially within an established business. We want to make that shift in a way where we’re not alienating all of your social media followers or your, your past client base or, uh, you know, the people on your email list.

Bonnie (08:36):
We want to invite them along for this journey and educate them as to, uh, you know, what this new elevated experience looks like and feels like and how it impacts their journey, how it adds value to their life or the celebration they’re planning and how that investment is, uh, absolutely on point with the kind of experience that you’re creating as a wedding planner, a floral designer, a photographer. So with that in mind, I think that choosing to invest in your business during a slower season gives you the ability to partner with your designer and your strategist, uh, if this is something that they offer to really get your messaging right and really think about how you are communicating around your launch and around some of these changes, not just during, you know, launch week or the week prior to your launch, but in the weeks after, so that you’re really getting everyone in your audience to buy into these changes for your brand.

Bonnie (09:42):
Okay, so with that being said, if you are listening and you’re thinking, okay, I’m sold. I’m gonna be thinking about elevating my brand during my off season, Bonnie, um, some things you can do, I’ve mentioned a couple, but some actions you can take are auditing your current website. So, um, , I know that sometimes it’s easy to like run straight to your computer and like start emailing those designers that you’ve been following on Instagram. Um, but before you make that investment in working with a professional, I always encourage folks to take a look at what they currently have and to identify those gaps for themselves. Even if it’s just as simple as you’re taking a quick look at your website, you’re taking a quick look at your visual assets, like your logo and your color palette, um, your font pairings. So really what you want to have is you want to have a complete system, a visual identity system in place so that it makes it so easy for you to create any new content for social media or for marketing campaigns, for your website, for in-person events.

Bonnie (10:53):
Um, so if you don’t have some of that, right, okay, that tells me that’s an opportunity for you to, um, you know, either DIY that or partner with a professional. It’s also an opportunity for you to take a look at your current website, any of your current, uh, assets like print collateral or, um, digital client guides or welcome magazines or, um, final, uh, client gifts, you know, those kinds of things. If you, if you utilize them, take a look at everything that goes out to a client and ask yourself if this is still working for you, some things to consider. Does this still reflect my brand values? So if I’m looking at all these pieces, does this still reflect what matters to my brand? Um, an example of this is if one of your brand values is around sustainability and you’re looking at all of these print pieces or tangible products that you send out, are they manufactured and printed in a sustainable way, are they necessary?

Bonnie (12:00):
Could they be translated into a very thoughtfully created digital design? Right? Just some things to consider. Um, another thing to ask yourself when you’re going through this sort of internal audit, does this piece still represent my ideal client experience? I’ve had a lot of clients come to me and their website is where this kind of point comes up is they will come to me and say, you know, Bonnie, I’ve been in business for years and, um, my website has really served me well up until this point, and now I find it’s kind of clunky, or it’s not easy for me to update, or it’s confusing to my clients and they don’t know where to go to find information that they could find helpful. So that tells me that that’s an opportunity for us to completely elevate the online home for their brand, which is their website, and that is a tool that should be doing a lot of heavy lifting for them.

Bonnie (12:55):
So, you know, taking a look at these pieces and asking yourself, um, is this, is this something that makes my ideal client feel the way I want them to feel? If you’re wanting to invite your clients into this really, like luxurious and elevated and really thoughtful experience, but your website is kind of clunky and it requires a ton of steps for them to even like book a, a meeting with you or book a call with you, they have to like kind of hunt to find your contact form or your email address. Like that’s , that’s not great, right? Like, if we’re thinking about a really elevated and luxurious experience, we want there to be this quality of, of seamlessness where it flows and it is intuitive. So that’s an opportunity to consider there some more questions to think through. Is my current brand, are these current assets?

Bonnie (13:47):
Are they on par with the prices I’m currently charging? So does this piece align with my current price point? If you have a, you know, if you’re charging like, uh, um, you know, I don’t know, $20,000 for wedding planning and your logo looks like you made it yourself in Canva, unless you have professional design experience, um, that might not be doing you a lot of favors. So thinking about what do I need to do in order to reflect my brand visually and strategically so that it’s telling the story that I want my ideal clients to be hearing and seeing and receiving when they come to my website or when they find me on social media. And if you’re kind of going through some of these questions and you’re getting a lot of like yeses, like, this still reflects my values, this still represents my I decline experience, this is totally on par with the way I wanna be perceived in the industry, and so it’s totally on par with my pricing, then I need for you to take a minute and like give yourself a pat on the back because you are doing it.

Bonnie (14:56):
Um, but on the flip side, if you’re going through this and you’re actually getting a lot of like head shaking, like kind of no sort of answers, then it might be time to consider refreshing your existing collateral or rebranding entirely. And that’s where partnering with a professional designer and strategist like myself could be a helpful step that supports you in entering into this new elevated season for your already established brand. This is honestly like my favorite thing about what I get to do as a designer and strategist is partner with my clients to craft these thoughtfully designed strategic brands that are ultimately designed with your ideal client and your long-term brand goals in mind. So positioning yourself as the expert you are so that you can command those premium prices for your services and you can connect with the incredible folks that you want to serve.

Bonnie (15:57):
And as a result, you’re able to experience the amount of impact that you wanna have through your work as a service provider, and you’re able to command the pricing that allows you to do that and to do it on your own terms. I love that it’s the best. And if you are tuning into this episode and that’s the kind of support that would really serve you well into this 2024 season and beyond, then I would be so honored to connect with you. Um, I’m currently accepting new custom branding clients for this coming season, and I would love to chat with you a little bit more about your business and your goals and your vision and see if I could help you on that journey. So the easiest way is to go to my website via for bonnie design.com/contact and fill out that form, and then I’ll be in touch with the next steps.

Bonnie (16:52):
Um, but with, you know, thinking through the actions that will serve you best. As with everything that I share on this podcast and in any of my spaces on the interwebs, this is advice that is designed to meet you where you are and you are the ultimate authority about the decisions that you make for your business and you make really good decisions for your business. So if you’re coming up on a, a slow season and off season, some kind of downtime where you’re not feeling super slammed with client work and you’re thinking about rebranding or elevating your current brand, then definitely consider this. Definitely think about some things, some changes that can, uh, ex really take you to the next level. On the flip side, if this is an off season for you and rebranding or refreshing your brand isn’t a top priority, then just kind of keep these ideas in your back pocket, consider them for later, uh, and you know, only take in that which serves you and that which aligns and leave whatever doesn’t.

Bonnie (17:56):
As always, I’m really grateful that you are a part of this community. I’m so grateful to get to share these kinds of thoughts and ideas and pieces of advice on the podcast with you. So thanks for tuning in. I can’t wait to chat with those of you who reach out about elevating your brand in the 2024 season. And for all of you, I’m cheering you on from Waco. Thank you so much for joining me today. Friend, before you go, I would be so grateful to receive your feedback on the brand strategy podcast. If you enjoyed this episode or the podcast in general has helped you grow your brand, I’d really appreciate it if you left us a review in iTunes. Your positive reviews enable the brand strategy podcast to continue to grow and reach like-minded creatives just like you. Thank you for all your support and encouragement as together we pursue building brands with purpose and intention. Until next time, I’m cheering you on from Waco.

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My name is Bonnie – I’m a brand designer, strategist, and writer which all adds up to one eclectic conglomeration of qualities that enables me to serve you well! Past clients have dubbed me "the Joanna Gaines of brand design," and I've had more than a few call me a dream maker, a game changer, and a design wizard (my Harry Potter-loving heart didn't hate that one, let me tell you!). At the end of the day, I'm a big-hearted creative who will get teary-eyed as you share the heart behind your business; who will lose sleep over the perfect font pairings and color selections to bring your brand to life visually; and who will work tirelessly to empower, encourage, and equip you to share your work with the world intentionally. 

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