Ep. 3: Building a weight-inclusive brand – tips and strategies

dietitian turned designer podcast

Welcome to the Dietitian Turn Designer podcast, where we strive to empower health and wellms professionals with the knowledge and skills they need to create inclusive and impactful online businesses.

I’m your host, Courtney Vickery, and you guessed it, I’m a Dietitian Turn Designer, and my goal is to provide valuable insights and actionable tips to entrepreneurs, designers, and health professionals who want to create weight, inclusive businesses that prioritize authenticity, compassion and inclusive.

On this podcast, we have informative and engaging conversations with industry experts, and we explore topics such as weight inclusive design, branding, website development, marketing and business management, and more. So whether you’re a seasoned entrepreneur or just starting out, join us on this journey to create positive change in the world of health and wellness.

Hi friends. I can’t believe that we are already on episode three of the Dietitian Turn Designer podcast.

Today we’re going to be talking all about how to build an inclusive brand. So we’re going to be going through five different principles and talk about how we can incorporate that into your brand strategy.

This isn’t brand identity necessarily, which is focused more on design. This is that foundation of your brand where we develop your strategy.

The first principle we’re going to talk about is tone.

When I talk about brand tone, I’m referring to the way in which a brand communicates with its audience. This could be the words and the language that are used, the style and the tone of the messaging, and the overall personality and voice of the brand.

As I’m sure you know, the brand tone can have a significant impact on how it’s perceived by your target audience, as well as its ability to build trust and establish a strong emotional connection with customers or potential customers. And the tone of the brand should reflect your values and your mission. Be consistent across all communication channels, including social media, advertising and customer service interaction. There’s a ton of different types of brand tones, and the right tone for your brand is going to depend on your business goals, your target audience, and your overall brand strategy and brand identity.

But I’m going to give you a couple of examples.

First, if your brand is friendly and approachable, which I’m sure we all think of our brand as being friendly and approachable, but if this is your main focus when you’re thinking of your brand, your tone would be warm and welcoming. It would focus on building strong relationships with those customers. And the types of brands that typically use this type of tone would be someone in hospitality, food and beverage, et cetera. Some examples would be like Trader Joe’s.

Now, on the other side of that, we have brands that are more professional and authoritative. Their tone is confident, knowledgeable, and it commands respect from the audience. So this is typically the type of brand tone you would see in the financial field, legal field, like law firms, and sometimes in healthcare industries with bigger corporations. Some examples of this would be Goldman Sachs or Harvard Business Review or the Mayo Clinic.

Next we have Playful and whimsical. This tone is fun, more light hearted, it’s going to appeal to a customer’s sense of humor and that’s typically the type of tone you’re going to see with someone that is in the entertainment, business, fashion and even sometimes technology. Some examples would be disney Kate Spade MailChimp.

Next we have inspirational and aspirational. This tone is motivational, they’re uplifting. They want to encourage their customers to strive for their dreams and aspirations and that’s typically used in the wellness, fitness and luxury industries. Some Examples Would Be Nike, Peloton, Rolex, Et cetera.

And then last we have Empathetic and Compassionate. This tone is caring, understanding and it focuses on building emotional connections with the customers. This is another example of a tone that you can find in healthcare or social impact in nonprofit industries. Brands that have this tone will be St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Tom’s Shoes and you’re probably thinking but I want to be all of those things. It’s not to say that you can’t be these things at some point in your brand messaging but you need to choose an overall brand tone that sticks out.

For example, when I’m working with clients on their brand strategy, we make a list of words that is their word bank words that they would use. So if you have clients that want to be more professional and less on the side of being more friendly, it’s not that they’re not friendly, it’s that they are focused more on the professional side.

So just remember that the tone you choose for your brand should align with your brand identity and values and appeal to your target audience. Maybe your target audience, they want someone that’s really friendly and casual, et cetera. Or your target audience prefers something more professional and less buddy buddy feeling.

So it just really depends on who you are working with or want to work with. But the biggest thing is that you need to be consistent. You need to make sure that your brand tone is reflected in all aspects of your brand, your website and social media. You don’t want to have a social media presence that’s very fun and funky and you’re sharing funny memes and being kind of silly and that quirkiness and then they go to your website and it’s very dry and professional and kind of cold. And I’m not saying that all things that are more professional sided or those things, but just giving you an extreme example of what I’m talking about because you want to be consistent.

For example, when you’re thinking of making your mission statement, you want to make sure that you start with a tone that reflects your values and sets the tone for your brand. So for example, if your brand values inclusivity and accessibility and then you have a tone that is warm, inviting and welcoming. You might have a mission statement that says we believe in providing nutrition and wellness services that are accessible to everyone regardless of their background or socioeconomic status.

Let’s move into the second principle and we’re going to talk about language.

Language is so important when you think of your brand identity. Just kind of like I mentioned earlier, how I have a word bank for clients that do brand strategy with me because language is the primary means through which you are going to communicate with your clients and the community. The language that you use, whether you realize it or not, is going to reflect your values and your beliefs and it can also impact how your clients perceive your business.

One little word can change that perception. Using inclusive language is particularly important for weight inclusive dietitians because it helps create that safe and welcoming environment for clients of all backgrounds and body sizes. Make sure that you’re being mindful of the words that you use and of course, avoiding stigmatizing or harmful language because this is going to help build that trust and establish a positive relationship with your clients. I

f someone came to my site and I advertised myself as a weight inclusive dietitian, but then I also had a weight loss program that is not consistent with a weight inclusive approach and that is going to make them distrust me. Or if it’s something a little bit less obvious, I say that I help people with, for example, a destigmatizing word of obesity or being overweight. It doesn’t have to be that I shout out, oh, I do weight loss. It can be these little words that are used in the language on your website. So making sure you’re paying attention to those things.

Again, your language is going to help define the tone and personality of your brand too. Example would be if you use warm and welcoming language that emphasizes accessibility and inclusive, then you’re going to have a brand identity that is more approachable and client centered. On the other hand, if you just use technical, very, very formal language, then you’re going to have a more professional or academic brand identity and there’s nothing wrong with either of those.

You just need to decide what is your brand and what is your target audience and what is going to speak most to them. And ultimately, the language you use in your brand identity needs to align with your values and again, reflect the needs of your target audience and create a positive and inclusive experience for your clients. Again, when we think of language, here are some things we want to think about. We want to make sure that we are avoiding language that is blaming or shaming individuals in larger bodies. We don’t want to say things like guilty pleasure or cheat meal. Again, those are red flags for clients that are looking for weight inclusive care and we shouldn’t be saying those words and then we’re going to use client centered language.

So use language that puts the client at the center of their own journey instead of telling them what they should do or how they should feel. Ask an open ended question and encourage them to share their own experiences and perspectives.

Again, using inclusive language. Use language that’s gender neutral or avoid making assumptions about an individual and using they or there instead of he or she, and then being mindful of language around food and exercise. We want to make sure that we’re avoiding labeling foods as good or bad.

Of course, I’m sure we know this and we want to focus on a very neutral approach to food and we want to make sure that none of our marketing materials have any of that kind of verbiage on it.

Next principle we have is representation.

And this is crucial if you want to create a brand that is inclusive and reflects the diversity of your audience. You want to make sure that we do that through diverse imagery like we talked about in the last episode. The language like we just discussed that reflects a variety of backgrounds and experiences for your clients. For example, you might use images that include people of different races, genders, body sizes.

We talked about all of these things and we’re going to continue to talk about them. Because when it comes to representation, weight inclusive dietitians can take even more steps to ensure that their branding is inclusive and reflective of the diversity of their clients.

So, like we said, that diverse imagery is very important. That very visual piece is the first thing they’re going to see before they start reading that language.

If we’re only using healthy foods on our pictures, on our website, or social media, we’re only using people in thin bodies or of a certain color, then maybe they’re going to feel that I’m not welcome here. We’re going to feature diverse Voices when you’re creating content for your branding, you need to consider featuring diverse voices and perspectives. You could have a guest, blogger, collaborators, people who bring a unique experience and perspective to your brand and can help create that more inclusive and diverse community around you. And of course, we’re going to celebrate diversity.

The ways that we can do that in our branding is by highlighting the unique experiences and backgrounds of our clients. Of course, with their permission, this can include featuring their stories or testimonials if they’re comfortable, from clients that have different races, genders and body sizes. And showing that you are inclusive when you are working with your clients and highlighting this diversity of your clients can create a brand that is welcoming and affirming to everyone.

The next principle is context.

So context is important. You want to make sure that your message is appropriate and relevant for your audience. For example, if you’re promoting a weight inclusive approach to nutrition and wellness, you need to think about the cultural and social factors that affect how individuals perceive their bodies and their own health. One way we can do this in our branding is to consider the diverse backgrounds and experience of your specific target audience. This could be cultural or social things that influence the way people perceive their own body and the way they view health.

And then another way to consider context in your branding is to be mindful of the socioeconomic factors that impact access to nutrition and wellness services. This is something I have always been passionate about. For example, if you know that you’re targeting clients who have limited access to foods, then you need to make sure that you use language that emphasizes the importance of affordable and accessible nutrition solutions.

Overall, being mindful of the context can help ensure that your message is relevant and that it resonates with your audience while promoting inclusivity. And then that fifth and final principle is a countersterreotype.

What that means is that we’re challenging harmful stereotypes and promoting a positive representation of an underrepresented community.

For example, with weight inclusivity, you might challenge the stereotype that thin equals healthy by featuring diverse body sizes in your branding. If you work with eating disorders, you’re going to show people in larger bodies, in diverse bodies, and diverse identities in your marketing when talking about eating disorders. Because we know that eating disorders affect anyone and everyone. It doesn’t matter what size they are or what they look like or what they believe.

So again, as a weight inclusive dietitian, these are things you can do to have that counter stereotype. Make sure that we’re creating messages that challenge this oversimplified opinion.

So using those images, using the language that celebrates diverse body sizes and promotes the idea that health and wellness looks different for everybody, we’re going to feature real people with diverse body sizes and backgrounds in our branding. And that’s going to help with the counter stereotype that only thin people are healthy or that large bodies are unhealthy. And then we’re going to use that language that we focus on the whole person. We don’t focus on weight or size and wellness and health that means something different for everyone.

Additionally speaking out when you see things that are not promoting a body positive message or body neutral message, sharing posts that resonate with you and align with your values. So that could be athletes with diverse body sizes especially, or celebrating the beauty of different body types. So use your platform to promote inclusivity and challenge those stereotypes.

And that brings us to the end of today’s episode of the Dietitian Turn Designer podcast.

I hope that you found the discussion on creating a weight inclusive brand helpful. And let’s just recap those five principles that we talked about. First, we talked about tone, making sure your brand’s tone reflects your values and sets the right tone for your audience. Second, we discussed being intentional with our language, choosing words that reflect your values and don’t perpetuate harmful stereotypes or stigmas. Third, we discussed ensuring representation by including diverse imagery and language that reflects a variety of backgrounds and experiences of our clients. Fourth, we considered context take into account the cultural and social factors that can affect how individuals perceive their bodies and health. And lastly, we talked about countersterreotypes, challenging harmful stereotypes and promoting positive representations of underrepresented communities.

Remember, creating a weight inclusive brand is an ongoing process. It takes time and effort, and it’s okay if we change things as we learn and we grow. But by following these principles, you can help create a more inclusive and welcoming environment for all of your clients.

Also, I have tons of free resources around branding on my website, Declitdesigns.com. I have a brand personality workbook, brand clarity workbook, and a brand consistency checklist that I think would be a great place to start for your brand. As always, thank you so much for listening to the Dietitian Turn Designer podcast, and I’ll see you next time.

Are you tired of DIYing your website and brand?

But maybe you’re afraid to let someone who doesn’t quite understand what you do do it for you? Well, as someone who has experience in.

Both the help and design industries, I’m uniquely qualified to help weight inclusive private practices and businesses create beautiful brands and websites that showcase their talents and vision while staying true to their values. You can reach out today to chat about my services, or you can check out my free resources on my website.

And you can also get the link in my show notes. And don’t forget, you can always come hang out with me on Instagram, where I share tips and tricks and of course a few cat photos. And memes as well you.

Thanks for tuning in to the Dietitian turn designer podcast. As your host, I’m passionate about providing valuable insights and actionable tips to help entrepreneurs, designers and help professionals build weight inclusive businesses that prioritize authenticity, compassion and inclusivity. We’ve had some amazing conversations with industry experts about topics from weight inclusive design to web development, marketing and more. And we’re not stopping there. We’ve got even more great content coming your way. So thank you for being a part of this journey with us. Whether you’re a seasoned entrepreneur or just starting out, we hope you’ll feel inspired to use your designs and marketing as tools for positive change in the world of health and wellness.

Thanks for listening to the dietitian turn designer podcast. In our next episode, we’ll be talking all about simplifying workflows and automations for better productivity. As a busy dietitian in private practice, it can be challenging to stay organized and efficient with all the tasks that you need to manage. That’s why I’m going to be sharing all of my tips and strategies on how to streamline your workflows and automate repetitive tasks. From using project management tools to creating email templates I will be sharing practical advice on how to save time, reduce stress, and focus on the work that matters most. So whether you’re a solo practitioner or part of a larger team, this episode is for you. So join me next time on the Dietitian Turn Designer podcast, where we’ll discuss simplifying workflows and automations for better productivity. You don’t want to miss it.

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    courtney vickery dietitian website brand designer

    Hi, I'm Courtney

    I'm a Dietitian turned Designer who loves helping weight-inclusive private practices get more clients with designs that stay true to their values & mission.

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    Declet Designs offers website design, branding, and VIP Design Days for weight-inclusive small businesses. Located in Athens, GA, and serving small businesses and private practices nationally.

    Declet Designs is a welcoming and inclusive space for all people regardless of their race, ethnicity, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or national origin.