3 Lessons From Joanna Gaines on Brand Voice
If you haven’t watched Fixer Upper and fallen head over heels in love with Chip and Joanna Gaines, you just might be living in a dark hole devoid of distressed shiplap and the automatically-filling cake plate.
(But, seriously, how does she always have baked goods with all those kids and running an empire?!)
Back in 2013 Chip and Jo stole our hearts not only with their Cinderella-style transformations for families, but also with their love for each other.
A TV couple that doesn’t hate each other? What is this, the 90’s?
In a matter of 6 years, they’ve gone from everyone’s favorite HGTV show to crafting a destination empire in literally the middle of nowhere, Waco, TX.
So why are they so successful? How do they keep people interested?
It comes down to this: They’ve established a brand that says,
“You can have more, you can have meaning, you can have beauty, and you don’t have to sacrifice the good life for it.”
If we drill down even more, they’ve crafted a brand voice + presence that creates a feeling of connection in people near and far—and THAT, my friends, is worth a Jess-style, way-too-deep analysis. You in?
The Magnolia brand voice is undeniable. It’s welcoming, encouraging, empowering, fun, and hopeful—ALL AT THE SAME TIME.
I’m pretty sure Joanna didn’t sit down one day and think, “Oh, I need to write some website copy—why don’t we start with the tagline of ‘Welcome Home?’”
I’m even more sure Chip didn’t say, “Hey, Jo. I was working on our ideal client profile today, and after much deliberation, I really think our dream clients would get a kick out of something like ‘It’s DEMO DAY!’”
You’re probably rolling your eyes, thinking, Sure. But they’re the exception, right?
I think we should take lessons from the exceptions and try to become one of our own.
Here’s what we can learn from the magic of Chip & Jo:
Start with who you are. What you do and how you do it only matters if you can get the people in the door.
Practical takeaway: This starts behind the scenes. You have to dig deep and be ready to notice those pieces of you that are unique + recognizable. (If you’re stumped on this, check out my 28 prompts to uncover your true brand voice!)
After you’ve taken the time to notice the you you’re ready to present to your audience, you have to meet them at the door. Elizabeth McCravy, amazing web + brand designer, recommends meeting your website visitors at the door by having an image of you looking directly at the camera on your Home page, so it feels like you’re making eye contact! Awkward? But EFFECTIVE.
From a website copy standpoint, make sure you actually address the visitor by saying “hello” in some way! Then, give them a snapshot, or a “mini-about” so they can get a glimpse of who you are in those first 8 seconds before they click away.
My client, Jess Bippen’s website home page does exactly that!
Magnify where they are. Chip and Jo are very intent on letting their clients know that they understand what they want and they can meet them in what they need. Whether it’s communicating a design concept or a surprise phone call when something goes wrong, they make sure they are always tying what they are doing to giving their clients their dream home.
Practical takeaway: Let your website visitors, followers, tribe know that you get them. You know exactly where they are, what they’re struggling with and then…
Hone in on where you can take them. Once they remind them of their pain points, they’re quick to solve their problems. Joanna shows them through the house and gives them a vision for the design possibilities. Chip weighs in on what’s possible from a cost + construction standpoint. They essentially say, “Oh, yeah—that big dream of yours that seems so far off? We can make that happen, and you don’t have to lift a finger.”
Practical takeaway: Give your audience a glimpse into what you can deliver. This can be taken from a literal standpoint (social proof, talking about your products + services, etc.) AND from a more abstract perspective (talk about the life they can have once they work with you, tell them what will change in them, their business, and more).
Get clear on your values. The Magnolia Core Values absolutely OOZE from everything they do. For example, The Silos tell their core value story from start to finish. Family: they have swings and a lawn with games, food trucks, and more. It’s a family-outing kind of place, somewhere to make memories. Redemption Story: everyone knows and loves the Cinderella-style story of The Silos themselves. They took something old and forgotten and turned it into something magical and life-changing. Community: The Silos have become the center of Waco life, hosting community events and acting as an attraction to lift the little town itself. A rising tide lifts all ships, right?
Practical takeaway: If you don’t know the Core Values of your business, go back to square one and start there! Once you’re clear on those key aspects of your business, life, and how they interconnect, brainstorm ways you can live that out in every single piece of your brand presence.
I seriously could go on and on about this brand and the Gaines family, but I’ll leave you with this.
Are you crafting your brand in a way that will serve your life and be a natural extension of you in the future? Or are you building something completely independent of who you are and what you’re about?
Your automatic answer will hopefully be that first one, but I want you to take a good, objective look at every aspect of your business and run it through that filter!
Bonus (for fun) Question: What’s your catchphrase?
Chip Gaines: It’s DEMO DAY!
Joanna Gaines: Welcome Home OR that’s sweet.
Jess Jordana: I am so pumped! I CAN.NOT.WAIT.
Share your biggest takeaway from the Magnolia brand audit!
PLEASE share your next step with me in the comments or tag me over on Instagram (@jessjordana) so I can cheer you on and share with the masses!
Also, feel free to DM me. I’m a fan of other people who stalk Insta stories, so don’t be shy!