If your prospects and customers demand more but are only willing to pay less, comply with the minimum requirements while showing them the options you know are needed and the risks of not taking advantages of the added services.
Several years ago, we moved into a new building. We were trying to decide how to decorate the blank walls. An employee had an idea to use photographs from company staff to give our office a personal feel. We established an internal contest where employees could submit “gallery type” photographs with the content to be landscape, travel, urban, etc. We received over 150 entries for 25 spots! We enlarged them and had them framed, with the top three vote getters being super enlarged and having prominence in location. The entire company was very proud of the space, and we intend on renewing the art using this method annually. We continue to get positive comments from our clients with some wanting to try the idea in their office.
Many business owners equate branding with marketing. However, as Jeff Bezos founder of Amazon, once said, “Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room.” Your brand is the totality of emotions held by the marketplace towards your distinct identity. Marketing is about maximising the value and reach of your brand. The representation of your brand’s identity, usually visually, is only one element shaping those emotions. A few important do’s and don’ts in designing this aspect of your brand.
1. Make sure your brand graphically promises what you deliver.
2. Be different. If your brand looks like everyone else (or worse, like someone else in particular) then your chances for protection are slim. It should differentiate you. There should be good contrast between colours and background so it can be seen by the maximum number of people.
3. Ensure you fully research and register the appropriate trademarks with the Irish Patents office and business names with the Companies Registration Office.
4. Do not spend a lot of money implementing a brand without researching whether you are stepping on someone else’s brand. Just think about having to cancel your advertisements, repackage your product, create a brand new website and reprint all your marketing materials.
5. If there is any chance you will trade in Europe, see how your name translates. Irish Mist translates in German to Irish dung.
6. Plan how your your brand identity will appear in all the media and consider how effectively it works. Don’t forget how it will appear in black and white.
7. Establish, publish and monitor the implementation of your brand rules and style guide for a consistent visual expression by responsible parties in your organisation, e.g. where you brand can or cannot appear, rules on stretching electronic copies etc.
8. Use a specialist to help you. You are much more likely to derive a suite of visual representations that are consistent with your brand and how you wish to develop it, rather than cutting corners and going to your local graphic design house for a quick fix. Its worth the investment, but negotiate a price and make sure you have your company goals and brand values worked out first.
Branding builds value in the eyes of the customer – it differentiates you from the competition, and facilitates the building of trust and loyalty. Branding allows relationships rather than transactions to develop, and that is good for any business.