Today we are talking all about building an authentic brand for your business with Lauren deVane. Lauren is the branding agency founder/director and lead designer at The Bemused Studio. Her goal is to help entrepreneurs grow their business image by building authentic and bold brands through design strategy.



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Meet Lauren

Lauren deVane is the founder, creative director, and lead designer at The Bemused Studio. There, she helps bad b*tches build bold brands using dope design and smart strategy.


What are some of the most important elements that make up a good brand that every business owner should have/look for?

Lauren starts off by highlighting the importance of understanding that there is a lot more to planning your brand than initially meets the eye. There is strategy, planning, and a plethora of elements that are vital to making an effective brand.

She adds to this point by saying that a brand is so much more than just ‘you’ paired with whatever colors you like. It’s about your customers and your clients rather than yourself.

From there, she shares the 4 more important elements that business owners should look for in a solid brand, and also have in their own:

#1 – Authenticity

Authenticity is important. Lauren asserts that being yourself is what is going to get people initially interested in your brand. It will form an emotional connection with your audience.

#2 – Consistency

Lauren continues by saying that another vital key to a great brand is making sure your brand (fonts, logos, colors, etc.) is consistent everywhere – not just your logo!

She explains that people interact with your brand in several different ways, outside of just seeing your logo. Ensuring that fonts, colors, etc. are consistent everywhere will help your audience recognize your brand even when your logo is not present. 

#3 – Differentiation

This point, Lauren explains, can be summed up with one question: What is your UVP (unique value proposition)?

She then uses the example of herself as a brand designer, there are a million designers out there! How can she set herself apart as unique to bring clients to her over everyone else?

#4 – Relevance

Simply put, you have to be what someone wants!

Lauren points out that business owners can’t just have a brand that is relevant and exciting to them and no one else; they need to have a relevant product, service, or community that is in demand by a portion of the general public.


Have you been able to find any type of tool to help for editing videos for reel content to make sure that it’s on brand?

To start off, Lauren acknowledges that it can be difficult to carry your brand over into stories and reels with the limited editing and design options provided by Instagram. However, she continues by underlining the importance of balance when creating stories and reels on Instagram. 

She says it is important to ensure that your audience still feels like they are still in the stories/Instagram ecosystem. You don’t want to go too over the top with editing so that they feel like they are in the strange overly-branded experience; you just want to so enough editing to make sure the content is still recognizable as yours.

Continuing on that point, she says Instagram stories are a place where people are generally expecting to interact more with the business owner directly, so it doesn’t need to feel as branded and curated as your Instagram feed would need to feel.

Moving on to specific tools to use when editing reels and stories, Lauren highlights a couple of apps that have helped her bring her brand to stories:

  • InShot
    • This tool allows you to upload your own fonts and colors. Lauren says this is a great tool to use if you are not a designer, but are still looking for some simple customization on stories.
  • Tezza
    • This app allows for more complex customizations in addition to your brand adding fonts and colors. 

To sum up, Lauren says the key is finding the balance between curated and authentic content. As long as you are projecting content that supports the experience you want your viewers/clients to have, that is truly all that matters.


What is the difference between a ‘brand’ and ‘branding’?

To start off, Lauren states that the ‘brand’ is the overall perception and image that people have of a company, product or service in their own mind. This includes the company’s values, mission, personality, reputation, etc. The ‘brand’ is the sum total of all the interactions and experiences that a customer has had with that business. 

On the other hand, ‘branding’ is the process of creating, building, and managing that ‘brand’. This includes the strategic and tactical efforts that business owners use to maintain a consistent image/identity for their company. It includes aspects such as a business’s brand name, logo, tagline, color scheme, visual elements, style, etc.

In short, Lauren states that a brand is the end result of your branding efforts. She continues by saying that understanding this distinction helps business owners differentiate between what their brand currently is versus what they need to do to maintain that identity.


When rebranding, how can business owners ensure they are choosing a designer that is a good fit for them and their brand?

To begin, Lauren says the first, crucial step is to make sure that the person who is going to be making the decisions for your team, is the one that is present on the discovery call with the designer. This will prevent any miscommunication from happening down the road and ensures both teams are on the same page. 

This leads to her second point: make sure that your personalities mesh well! Lauren acknowledges the fact that it is important that you have the same vision creative vision, but making sure you get along will have just as big of an impact on your project as the creative aspect of it.

Third, Lauren states that you want to find a designer whose work you feel like you would like for your own brand. Find someone whose style matches your own. She iterates this point by saying, ‘If you want black and white, don’t find a designer who is all about color.’

Lastly, she highlights the importance of doing your due diligence when vetting your designer – make sure the designer knows what they are doing! Lauren suggests taking the time to look at their past work, asking for references, and communicating with people they have worked with before. She concludes with the insight that they will always include good reviews on their website and other platforms, but you never know how many negative reviews they might have received on the other side of things.


In what order should business owners tackle updating their brand identity? 

Lauren answers this question by stating that the best place to start is wherever you have the most foot traffic. For the majority of business owners, this will either be their website or social media. So, as a general rule of thumb, she says it’s always best to update your brand identity on these platforms first. 

She adds that it is also a good idea to ‘take your audience along for the journey’. For example, if you are in the process of rebranding, a simple post or two on your social media platforms that says something along the lines of, ‘We are rebranding and we are so excited! Keep your eye out for our new content, etc.’ gives your audience the time to get excited for the upcoming change and also gives you the opportunity to let them know what’s happening.

This decreases the likelihood of any confusion with the inconsistency of your content during the brand transition.


Are there ways business owners can level up their businesses on their own?

Lauren starts off by saying that there are a few things you can do on your own to make sure your brand stays consistent and professional. However, she does note that these suggestions are more fitting for those business owners who are just starting out and aren’t ready to invest in a designer. 

She continues by saying that when you are just starting out and are still unsure which way to take your business, it can be more beneficial to create and manage your brand on your own before making a big monetary investment. However, she emphasizes that once you are to a point where your business has a clear direction, it is important to go through a strategic and thought-out rebranding.

If you are in the earlier stages of your business, Lauren says the main thing you can do for your brand is be consistent. She suggests starting with these 3 brand elements:

#1 – Colors. Pick 2-3 simple brand colors.

#2 – Fonts. Pick 2-3 brand fonts that work well together. Lauren says the biggest thing to keep in mind when picking fonts is to make sure the font is legible. After that, it’s important to pick a font that is unique and will stand out.

#3 – Logo. Create a logo and keep it simple! Lauren states that your first logo doesn’t need to be complex as it will not be what is at the center of your audience’s attention.

Once you have selected your colors, fonts, and logo, Lauren again reiterates the importance of keeping them consistent! Use them everywhere and don’t deviate from them so that your brand is easily recognizable. This will lay the foundation of your brand image for your audience.

In summary, Lauren says that building an authentic brand image is a key part of connecting with your audience, reaching those ideal clients, and paving the way for future growth!


If you’re ready to start building an authentic brand for your business, connect with Lauren by checking out the links below!




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Building An Authentic Brand With Lauren deVane

February 15, 2023