Rebrand – case study

Saligent Blog Visuals

rebrand

Rebrand – case study

– If any of the following applies to your business, then maybe a rebrand might be right for you.

  • your business has changed over the years
  • products, services, staff or customers have changed
  • your simply not sure about how you are perceived, positioned or appear in the market against your competition, customers, products or services
  • need to get to the next level? know what you want but not sure how to get there?

What can you do?

Many believe that a rebrand is about super creative people sitting around a table exchanging name suggestions, producing visual creativity mood boards and attempting, innovative ways to provide unique, impactful ideas to promote a business. This is partly true, but it won’t provide real intelligent, effective marketing, if done in isolation.

A purely creative approach can often produce hard to understand, abstract and sometimes meaningless marketing, with no real intelligent forethought for the real objectives of any individual business. A rebrand as a result, is not as simple a process as it may seem.

All of the really creative and exciting stuff noted above can and may well be applied, but only once a strict creative brief has been discovered. This brief requires a more logical process. It will follow tried and tested conventions in marketing theory and development. To show some elements of this process, lets take a case study of what we did for one of our clients.

Positioning

‘D2 business development’ – approached us, having been already in trade for approximately 18 months. They knew something wasn’t quite right in their market positioning. They were open to a full and frank discussion about their approach to the business and its current marketing. Through a thorough consultation, we were able to discover what the real objectives of the business were and challenge some aspects of the model.  We found out who the competition was and who they needed to target. We then aligned these objectives with some in depth positioning work that would describe the business perfectly.

Once we had done this we agreed with D2 that a rebrand would be most effective. We now knew its true positioning, and this would inform the rest of the project providing control, consistency, effective key tone, messaging and visual creativity going forward.

Renaming – the naming convention

Remember a rebrand might not always require a name change but in this case, it did. Naming a business isn’t just a matter of brainstorming, co-design, ideation or an algorithm driven, ‘whacky name generator’ to create a name. The convention follows a logical, process driven creation, through a living document. It tests, analyses and validates relevant words to form an appropriate shortlist. This will then morph, merge, discount and provide names to research further.

It’s a tried and tested process that works extremely well in forming a name that sounds just right, feels established and is effective against the business’ objectives. It will create the basis for a successful and credible brand, for any of its potential clients to ‘own’. The work also included research on existing names at Companies House, URL domains, trademarks, international meanings, customer perception, competition analysis and legal repercussions. The process is thorough and provides proof of discovery.

Brand Development

Now we were positioned and had a name that met the targeted requirements, we were able to develop some key factors through intelligent, creative marketing. This provided key messaging, tone and a visual brief for the next step in brand development. Find out more about Branding here.

Graphic design

Using the brief, we set to translate this into graphic design for the brand ID or logo. This would go on to set the format for all business stationary, web development and social media graphics, posts, articles and business representation for all strategy and eventual tactical outputs going forward. The design focused on the positioning and brand development to portray a credible business, unique, recognisable and memorable within its market position.

Site scoping

Only now do we start thinking about what we needed for the website, to be the best it can be for a potential web visitor. The scoping was designed in line with its use across all screen sizes and mobile device formats.  It should provide a quick and efficient structure to enable a successful user journey, from ‘visitor to lead & contact’ in the easiest and most efficient way possible and without breaking the budget.

Dynamic copy

Our copy writing took direction from the client but at the same time, applied techniques from years of marketing experience, to get the business message and brand across perfectly and in a way that matched the target audience’s expectations. It should direct them to more information if need be, or relevant calls to action that can change dynamically. Ultimately it should prompt the visitor to contact the business, whilst remaining subtle against discovered objectives and approach to its positioning.

rebrand

Launch

Of course, each part of the development was timed and carried out in agreement with D2. We made sure everything was in place to continue each stage. For example, formation of the new business at Companies House, domain ownership, business diary entries and seasonal sales fluctuations. We also consulted on the best way to inform on-boarding and previous clients of the rebrand. We leave no stone unturned. The new business, ‘Saligent’ was formed and launched successfully.

If you want to see what the end results were, follow this link to their new website. https://saligent.co.uk

To Conclude

This work marks a major re-brand for the company, formerly D2 Business Development.  Managing Director, Chris Davies, is well aware of how sales and marketing work together through a common goal for growth. His business develops your sales, whilst we provide him with the tools and an effective way for potential clients to discover Saligent.

Contact Us

Contact us now @ The Marketing People to see how we link up and develop marketing for your business. We can advise on your rebrand, refresh or on any other marketing matter. Just pick up the phone 01543 495752 or email contact@themarketingpeople.com

Brand Positioning & Funky Wunky Doo Dahs

Brand Poistioning - Funky Wunky Doodahs logo

Brand Poistioning

Brand Positioning & A New Website – Funky Wunky Doo Dahs

Brand positioning is a vital element when considering any business’ marketing. Here is an example of how we used brand positioning to best effect in one of our latest projects. The ‘positioning is key’, to all other elements.

When Funky Wunky Doo Dahs approached us with a view to working together, we were intrigued. Not only because it was a surprising name, but because we really wanted to know what Funky Wunky Doo Dahs was all about. Brand positioning? What was Funky, what was Wunky and what were the Doo Dahs going to say to potential customers?

Communication

Actually one of the first conversations we had with the Managing Director Sandra, from Funky Wunky, was whether or not the name worked in relation to the business and the industry it operated within. The first part of our consultation formulated the work on brand positioning and validated the business name objectively. Ultimately, both the client and The Marketing People agreed that the name could in fact work, as long as we positioned it correctly.

This was the start of a super project and Sandra has been a superb example of a customer who would work hard with us throughout the consultation process, allow for our positioning work and feedback constructively on subsequent graphic and website design elements.

Both parties knew we had to challenge the brief to get the best results. We think the results are now perfect for attracting the ‘right kind’ of customer for Funky Wunky.

What did we do?

  • Consultation – a two-way dialogue challenging the initial brief and to discover a new, more effective way forward.
  • Brand Positioning – now we had something to go on, we started work on the brand positioning statement. One that would best describe the business’ proposition and guide key messaging, tone and visual content later on.
  • Strapline – from the Brand Positioning we were able to develop a key statement to encapsulate the business succinctly. It was developed to help represent a more recognisable, memorable brand ID.

Before and after

  • Corporate & Brand ID – through intelligent graphic design, the working brief and the brand positioning, we could now work on the key visual elements and brand ID/Logo. Above you can see some comaprison against the competition and the previous ID/Logo. We needed to retain some ‘levity’ and ‘fun’ within the brand, but keep the ‘funkiness’ under control. The marketing should still represent the business’ tone, expert service and value proposition. To conclude and without making light of the hard work in its development, the design remained ‘funky wunky’, but still communicated a serious interior design outfit, with a little extra refinement still in check within its offering.
  • Business Cards – now with some key visuals, we were able to design some business stationary and then provide the business cards to go alongside it.

Brand Positioning Example

  • Business Website – prior to any visuals, or graphic design we needed to make sure the website would engage potential customers effectively and lead them easily and quickly through the services and products on offer. The site scoping enabled us to simplify the structure of the current website and make it easy for users to understand the benefits and services funky wunky doo dahs offer, and guide them to purchase a range of items available online.
  • Site Plan & Wireframes  – were produced to confirm the strategy, overall technical and functional design plus the e-commerce integration. From agreement, we then set about creating the visuals to match the brand positioning, the users requirements and the business objectives. Assisted with the copy and calls to action, managed image resizing & placement. Developing a fully responsive, re-sizable for any screen and mobile device, SSL certified secure website.

 

ecommerce

  • E-commerce Solution – you can also purchase other items from Funky Wunky Doo Dahs to enhance your ‘inspired, designed, interior‘. We were mindful of this throughout the scoping and design process. We had to tie in the user experience and direct visitors efficiently to other parts of the business that might be of interest to them. Something they could purchase easily, without detracting from the interior design service, which is front and foremost.

 

  • Training – on top of everything else, we enabled full access to the website. Sandra is now able to login, blog, change copy and administer small changes to the site. She can upload new products, change certain aspects and yet keep the balanced marketing UX (user experience) structure under control. The website always remains in a client’s full ownership, so we can enable this for those who are confident in its use. We can do everything, upload products, provide photography and write all of the copy, but we are also happy to guide a client and allow them to pitch in. Sometimes this can help with your business’ budget.

Have a Look at the Website!

All in all, this has been a great project to work on. More products and content will be going onto the site as Sandra develops the business further, but feel free to take a look now. https://funkywunkydoodahs.co.uk/

Inspired, Designed, Interiors

If you’re thinking of refreshing your interior design, give Funky Wunky Doodahs a call on 01785 229306 for a consultation.

But if you’re looking to refresh your marketing… call The Marketing People now on 01543 495 752 for a free initial consultation.

Website Lead Generation

website lead generation

RebrandWebsite Lead Generation for Normans Book Keeping & Payroll

  • Our brand development and subsequent website lead generation has been a massive success! We tied it all in together and provided the web visitor with just what ‘they needed’.

‘Book keeping is boring, isn’t it?’ We beg to differ…

When the managing director from Norman Book Keeping & Payroll came in to see us, he was interested in ‘refreshing’ his website. He wanted to grow the business, targeting particular types of customers and appeal to those looking for the right kind of help. From Owner managed business to larger SME’s, looking for expert bookkeeping and payroll services. A little frustrated, he had tried once before but it didn’t seem to have made any difference. The business still had no inbound inquiries from the website. He realised that the traditional method of just telling a website designer what you want, doesn’t work very well, without the right marketing know how. Let’s see how we applied our knowledge into marketing his business correctly and effectively.

previous website

In a nutshell we needed to do the following.

‘futurise his business in line with his customer’s needs and the book keeping industry’s competitive landscape.’

This now became a little more interesting.

The previous business marketing showed a dowdy, but functional business involved in providing all of the things you would expect in bookkeeping and payroll services. After consulting for a short while, we realised this wasn’t all they did. They actually provided some pretty amazing innovative services, allowing for online cloud-based book keeping services  in partnership with Xero. This allows for easy integration with, spreadsheets, Sage & Quickbooks, plus a plethora of different mobile apps driving information into a modern and exciting book keeping model. Some of these apps include the likes of Go Cardless, Shopify, Paypal and Stripe.

Norman Bookkeeping needed to resemble a contemporary firm, able to link up with your data effortlessly. They wanted to show how they produce quick, easy management reports and information as and when you require it. They didn’t need to change the way they worked, just the way they appeared and the way they communicated this up to date book keeping and payroll service in Aldridge, Walsall and regionally around the Black Country & the West Midlands.

For example

There are many advantages to using Normans such as:

  • Access your data on the go!
  • Automatic Bank Feeds mean that we can do the job much quicker and therefore cheaply
  • Holding all your purchase data electronically means that you will be fully compliant with HMRC’s new regulations for Making Tax Digital
  • Get paid faster with online invoicing
  • There are hundreds of apps that will link directly with Xero such as Stripe, GoCardless, PayPal and Shopify to name but a few.

So what did we do?normans com slip

  • Provided a thorough consultation and brief discovery
  • Advised upon current trends, industry requirements and intelligent customer targeting
  • Worked on a real and true representation of the business services against the required target audience and an ideal customer model
  • Applied some competition analysis and helped to create a unique ‘POD’, or point of difference. We also took into account some ‘POP’, or points of parity. In other words, what do we need to do to prove a ‘USP’, without moving too far away from the industry services that others also provide. e.g. ‘we do that too, but with a difference’.
  • Provided a brand positioning report and direction
  • From this positioning came a brand positioning statement and strapline
  • All of the above now went into creating a new brand and its ID/logo
  • We began the graphic design element using some desk research, developing fonts, illustration and visual perspectives. We employed colour coding, image research and other creative elements/marketing collateral to create something really functional and easy to understand.
  • Provided in depth technical site scoping to give the potential visitor the very best of user journey and slick informational navigation
  • Wire framed the site scoping, to visualise the website more effectively against it content requirements
  • Wrote effective and intelligently considered positioning copy and calls to action plus dynamic contact copy relevant to each piece or relevant service, to engage website lead generation
  • Developed the website, provided 301 re-directs, to capture past cached pages and posts for SEO purposes, unveiled and relaunched!
  • In general, we improved the user journey and calls to action through content and a contact dynamic, re-branded the business, improved the brand visibility and developed its website lead generation capacity

Website Lead Generation

Norman is now called Normans

We now know exactly what Normans do and they are most certainly, ‘not boring’.

See for yourself here @ – https://normansbp.co.uk/

Normans are now successfully receiving leads from the website. Not just any old leads, but the right kind of customers discovered against our agreed customer modelling! It’s been a massive success, their target audience can now discover the perfect solution to a book keeping and payroll problem. Contemporary services and time saving applications, information at the touch of a button. It’s right for them, it’s modern and ‘just what they need’, communicated clearly and concisely through a brand the customer can proudly recommend to others.

Before you rush out and spend £1000’s of pounds on SEO, think about this. Make sure your website has got what it takes to engage, convince and convert your visitor first. Theoretically if your lead conversion is 1% and it equates to £1000 worth of business, we can convert this to 2%, 3%, 5% or even a 10% uplift. You do the math, it’s not impossible to double your websites return on investment. You can apply the SEO later, when you know you can convert.

Normans now ‘Convert Numbers, into Knowledge’… because here at The Marketing People, we help to ‘Convert Knowledge, into Numbers’.

For more information on our website lead generation services, contact The Marketing People on 01543 495752 or contact@themarketingpeople.com

5 Eggscelent Easter Marketing Campaigns

5 eggscellent easter marketing ideas

Eggscuse the pun, we only get the chance once a year! Here at The Marketing People, we all enjoy watching what’s going on in the world of Marketing. Easter is a great time of year for companies to use their imagination, and after much debate in the office, these are our favourite Easter Marketing campaigns.

Aldi – Lunch for the Price of an Easter Egg

If you can use the Easter holiday to market your home brand Mint Sauce, you’re definitely doing something right. Calculating the price of a decent Easter Egg at £3.80, the German retailer put together a tasty lunch, including dessert and wine, for the same price! Between a family of four, it would cost £3.80 per head for a lamb dinner, with vegetables, mint sauce, hot cross buns for dessert and a white wine to compliment it. This marketing campaign didn’t just show off their value prices, it did it in style:

aldi easter marketing
Honey, could you pass the chocolate?

Aldi employed the work of Jen Lindsey Clark, chocolate artist, to create a full sized table with a roast dinner made entirely of chocolate. Three weeks, and 50kg of Aldi Easter Egg chocolate later, Jen created everything from cutlery, peas, and wine out of chocolate. They even had a chocolate chair! We’d love a chocolate meeting table in the office but we’re worried Sammy of The Marketing Dogs would sniff it out and eat it during a meeting!

The Co-operative Food – The Good Eggs

Social Experiments are always risky business when it comes to television and internet campaigns. Sometimes the message isn’t as intended, causing controversy. When they work, they’re brilliant and go viral. UK retailer The Co-operative came up with a great idea for a social experiment last Easter, in which a gentleman with his arms in casts would sit on a park bench and struggle to eat his food. Many people walked past and left the man to struggle, but some ‘good eggs’ would help the man eat his sandwich. The Good Samaritans were awarded with Easter Eggs for their troubles.

The reason we love this stunt from The Co-op is the genuine sentiment behind it. Good marketing is always interesting, but it’s even better when it warms your heart at the same time.

Happy Egg Co. – Chick Cam

Talk about a long campaign, the Happy Egg Company ran their Easter Marketing Campaign for the entire lifetime of an egg! We absolutely love this one. Through mid- March up until Easter, The Happy Egg Co. live streamed some incubated chicken eggs, with the stream ending with newly born chickens hatching, and learning to walk!

The Happy Egg Co.’s Google Hangout went viral, for good reason, with people from all around the world tuning in to watch the baby chickens peck away from the inside of their eggs and break free. We all agreed that this was a great use of current technology for viral marketing. The Happy Egg Co. boosted their social presence by inviting the public to name the newly born chicks, sending their Twitter Facebook pages skyrocketing with engagement, they even appeared in the UK trending Tweets for a short while.

Whiskas – Earster Cats

We love animals here at The Marketing People, but you can see that by the blog that The Marketing Dogs write! We really enjoyed this next one, Whiskas grappled the huge iPhone and Android app market (2 BILLION PEOPLE!) by releasing an app that gave users an Augmented camera that put giant bunny ears on their cats. We thought it was genius that cat food could be marketed by virtual bunny ears! Unique marketing campaigns are always great, especially when they have such a huge potential audience. This was a truly imaginative way to get the message out there for Whiskas Cat Food.

We wonder if George will sit this still for a selfie
We wonder if George will sit this still for a selfie

This was one of our favourites, but we’re not sure how Sammy, George and Chops would like a giant pair of ears. Leave us a comment below on who you think should get the Whiskas Earster treatment and keep an eye on the blog for an update.

Tesco – Find the Eggs

We’ve spoken about Pokemon Go on this blog before, and as readers out there know, we thought it was marketing genius. But, three years before it existed, Tesco used the same technology in their #FindtheEggs game. Tesco used a Google Maps based app to get people out and about hunting for virtual eggs, the players who went out and found three eggs would win a chocolate bunny from their local Tesco store.

What we love about this one, is that not only was it a massive viral marketing campaign for Tesco, it also gave people a reason to play it. With prizes such as chocolate bunnies and Samsung tablets, being involved in this campaign was genuine, unlike superficial campaigns that you see today.

4 points to keep you on track during your rebrand

4 points to keep you on track during your rebrand

4 points to keep you on track during your rebrand

Last time we looked at how to build your brand, but what if your brand isn’t right for your company in the first place? We look at how to keep you on track during your rebrand.

Businesses change as time goes on, which is needed to keep up with the fast pace of the world. However most of the time, businesses branding fails to keep up with the changes, and a business may have changed their services, products or direction several times before they commit to a re-brand.

Which is understandable, re-branding your company is a big commitment, and sometimes you might not be sure of the changes, so you need time to make sure this is what you want to do. But once you’ve committed to the changes, you should also commit to a re-brand to ensure you are doing the best for your business.

You need to change the public’s perception of who you are, what you do and why they should bother to get in touch or buy from you. This can seem incredibly daunting, so how do you tackle this without having a meltdown? We’ve put together a few key points you can follow to keep you focused on the end goal.

 

Pre-marketing

At The Marketing People, our first step with a re-brand is always pre-marketing, and we believe it is the place any company should start when they are looking at re-establishing their brand.

You need to confirm the reasons as to why you are re-branding, who your target audience are now and what you want to achieve. Within our own process, we would put this together as a brief, so we have clear goals of what we are working towards. Putting together a document like this yourself though and can be a great way of breaking down what can seem like a huge project into smaller manageable goals. It can also be a motivation tool if the process begins to become overwhelming, to remind yourself of what you are trying to achieve and why this is the best move for your business.

But be realistic when setting these goals. When re-branding you are in a great position that you already have data to work with. You know what marketing has worked well previously, what customers responded well to, and where you would like to take the company next.

 

Design and implementation.

Once you have your goals, you need to look at the design of your new brand, and beginning to implement it throughout your business. It is the usual process to approach a marketing agency when looking at a full re-brand, who will be able to take care of the design, production and web development for your brand, as this saves you time negotiating between various different companies.

However the most important thing is that you work well with whoever you choose. So regardless of if this is an agency, freelancer, or friend with creative flair, they need to completely understand, and be as excited as you are about your company, for the brand to work as well as it can. Having a good relationship with those that you are trusting with your brand makes the process a whole lot easier and exciting.

When looking at implementing your brand, it may be useful to put together a list of what you already have your current branding on, such as social media, online directories, business cards, exhibition stands and leaflets or flyers. This will make it much easier to check off when each item has been updated with the new brand, and won’t leave you stuck, say 6 months after your re-brand when you dig out your exhibition gear and it’s all your old marketing kit.

 

Inform your customers

If you have a loyal customer base, you need to inform them of the changes and ensure them all the promises you made to them originally are still fulfilled, or if they can’t be due to the change in services or products, what you are going to do instead.

Depending on who you are working with for your re-brand, this may already be taken care of. But you should consider how you mainly interact with your customers, and communicate with them through the same pathway.

So consider direct mail, emails, social media or a website announcement, and keep them in the process with you.

 

Keep pushing and promoting your brand.

Doing the re-brand itself is only the beginning, and the platform for building the next chapter of your business. Use some of the points from our previous article on building your brand if you need some ideas on how to keep pushing your brand to your customers, and stay excited! This is a brilliant time for your business, and everyone should know about it.

 

So from why you should focus energy on your brand, to re- branding, to promoting that brand, we hope you have been able to gain some knowledge from our branding series.

If you have some concerns regarding your brand or how you promote it, why not see if we can help? Call us on 01543 495752 for a friendly chat, and let’s see what we can do together. You can find more useful branding insight on our blogs. 

Five top tips on building your brand

Top tips on building your brand

Top tips on building your brand

 

We have spoke previously on why branding is important, and why it should be prioritised. This week we’re looking at top tips for building your brand. As just having a brand is not enough, it’s how you implement it that will be remembered.

 

You need to ensure you are consistent with your branding.

That means optimising your website, your social media, your content and any press release marketing all carry your consistent message.

Remember you need to keep your message consistent. So though you may want to take slightly different approaches to each of your social networks for example, you still need to make sure your voice shines through and is easily recognised.

As we spoke about previously, your brand is creating an expectation of who you are. So keeping consistent ensures your customers know exactly who you are, and that you can be relied upon.

 

Look at your website.

You need to ensure your site says everything about you, without being one giant sales pitch. That means fast loading times, clear and concise information, clear images, and great functionality.

In our blogs, we often compare to how your business would function if your website was your shop front. Though having a lovely looking site might attract people in, or having something temporary in place to get you going is all well and good. There are some fundamentals we have come to expect as customers.

Your customers (and potential customers) expect to find what they want. A helping hand if they need it. And to be able to buy the product of their choice. By taking the time on your website, you can underline your brand and your message. Fast delivery? Follow through. Huge selection of products? Have them displayed correctly and readily available. Products ethically sourced? Tell the tale in the product description.

There are over a billion websites live on the web. If yours does not stand out, and represent you well as a business, it becomes even harder to compete.

 

Consider a blog.

Businesses get scared when you mention blogging. What on earth would they write about? When would they have time? And what benefit would it bring them anyway?

It’s true that a good blog is a lot of effort to maintain, but it is incredibly worth it. Not even going into the SEO benefits it would bring your business. It is great for establishing your brand and your credibility within the industry.

Offer advice, opinions and solutions to problems your customers or clients may face. You’ll find more people returning to your website, and looking to you for answers when they stumble across problems. This sets you as a dependable brand, and one that looks out for their customers.

 

Work Social Media.

Then no doubt if you have made the leap to a functional website, you probably have a social media account for your business too. This may even be your only online presence.

Though social media is a lot more ‘casual’, it’s essential to continue to keep your brand in check. That is not only ensuring your cover photo, images and name are consistent, but your voice as a brand still shines through.

This is across any networks you are on, so choose carefully. Everything you post, share, like and interact with should still be a direct representation of your brand.

This is a little easier when you are a smaller business and no doubt live and breath your brand, so you can easily choose which are the best things to interact with. However if you are a bigger company who employ a few more people, it can sometimes be harder to maintain a consistent voice. This is where company briefing and perhaps even social media guidelines would be useful to put into place to ensure though you may have several people running one account, you have a consistent thread of posts and interactions.

 

Get your brand out there!

So that’s just a launch campaign, that’s using the tools you have above. Interact with similar users on social media, increasing your presence, your brand awareness and keeping your toe in all of the latest goings on. Blogging? Share your industry knowledge, or if you’ve found a great article, share that for others too.

Your brand is everything for your business, so making it excel at certain marketing pressure points like social media and through your website means you can make the most of all the hard work you put in to the branding process.

The stronger your brand becomes, the more you will not only attract the right type of customers, but people will aspire to be one of your customers. So it is worth the effort of maintaining your brand.

 

Next time we’ll be looking at re-branding, and if you’re finding your brand isn’t consistent with who you are as a company now, what steps you should take to get your brand back on track.

Until then, if you would like a helping hand with making the most of your brand, why not give us a call? Not only do we offer a free initial consultation where we can talk through your branding concerns, we also offer blogging and social media training sessions so you have the right tools to make the most of your brand. Call us today on 01543 495752 for a friendly chat.

5 reasons your brand should be priority

5 reasons your brand should be priority

5 reasons your brand should be priority

It is nothing new for marketing companies to say you not only need a great brand but brand should be priority, as it will help your business. This is no lie.

But we know it can be hard to even consider dedicating time, money and energy to consistently working on your brand. When there is so much competition out there who have access to much bigger marketing budgets, and can dedicate entire teams to this sort of thing. Sometimes it can even be our own egos that get in the way. Thinking that ensuring your branding is up to date and well represented is a wasted exercise, as people already know who you are.

We’re going to look at some of 5 reasons why you consider your brand a priority when it comes to your business. And why it should be something you constantly review and promote.

 

“Your brand is not what you say it is, it’s what they say it is”

This quote hits the nail on the head. You may have had the most fabulous brand designed when you set up. But if you’ve not maintained the promises set by your brand, your customers will have noticed, and will be talking about it.

Managing your brand, and keeping customer expectations fulfilled will mean you can leave a good impression with your customer. Which in turn leaves a good impression of your brand.

If you are consistently looking and assessing your brand. Fulfilling or exceeding customers expectations. Appearing in all the right places within the industry. And are putting out regular, informative info, then you are more likely to sculpt a better impression of yourselves.

 

It promotes recognition, and user loyalty

Having a solid brand means you become instantly recognisable. Which is why it’s so essential. Bigger businesses can optimise this well. With some of the biggest players being instantly recognisable from just a colour, shape or tagline. But that doesn’t mean medium and small businesses can’t create the same effect.

By keeping this consistent and getting your brand out there, people will come to recognise it. People trust brands they recognise. We’ve all picked a brand we’ve seen before over something completely unheard of when we’ve been unsure.

 

It creates expectation

Having a certain standard for your brand not only gives promise to your customers. It provides motivation for your staff, and expectations of what is needed from them.

Which is why it is important your brand accurately reflects your company. Pitch yourselves a lot higher than what you can deliver, you may let customers down. Then point one will come to bite you, and people will not believe anything else you put out there.

Having a brand is a standard to adhere to for your staff, and a promise to fulfill with your customers. Prioritising your brand includes consistently keeping these promises to customers.

 

It confirms your credibility

In an era where every product or service is scrutinised, reviewed and researched before it is bought, having good credibility is more essential than ever before. One bad review can throw off a sale. That is, if you brand isn’t underlining who you actually are.

Now building your brand does not mean you will never get a bad review, as you will never please everyone. But what it does do is underline your companies ethos and values. So the more you establish and promote your brand, the more it becomes credible and not a one off.

When looking to build your credibility focus on blogging, or sharing relevant articles. Including valid case studies available to your potential customers and showcasing awards or certification you have in your field.

 

It gets the right customers to you, and customers to aspire to you

Though like we said you can’t please everyone. Focusing on your brand, and really establishing who you are and who your products are for should draw more of the right customers. Leading you to better quality leads and more returning custom.

Having a great brand also creates the aspirational quality. Maybe people might not be your right customers right now, but they want to be. If you are creating a high end product, though some will be happy with a lower quality version, others will aspire to own one of your high end products instead of the lower quality version. Other’s may be a life milestone, and your customers need to reach a certain life event, or age before your products or services apply. By keeping your brand consistent, in the public eye, and well presented, you can be inspiring those potential customers until the time comes that they can become a customer.

 

Next time we’ll be looking at how to make the most of your brand, especially looking at how to build that credibility within your industry.

 

Until then, if you are looking to build your company brand but are feeling a little overwhelmed with the challenges you are facing, why not come and talk to the experts? Call us on 01543 495752 for a friendly chat, or you can catch up on more our branding blogs here. 

How do you make the essential exciting?

How do you make the essential exciting

How do you make the essential exciting

It can be hard to market your business at the best of times, but it begins to seem a bigger challenge when your industry is seen as ‘essential’ rather than exciting.

When you have impressive new products like phones, gadgets or ‘hoverboards’ coming out everyday with huge budgets behind them, it can be hard to compete, and make people want what they actually need to buy. So if your not making a product with a fruit logo on it, how do you go about getting people to buy it?

 

Be Human

This sounds simple, but can be harder in practice. If you are selling a B2B product for example, you are marketing a business product to another business, and it can be easy to slip into an almost robotic approach. So you can’t forget that you are still marketing to people.

Using real examples can be a great starting point, so potential customers can see how you actually work. Do people make mistakes when using your product? Is it common for people to overcomplicate your service? Do not many people understand the best practice when it comes to your industry? Then talk to them, and use these examples to inspire, educate or for a bit of a giggle, to connect with them on a human level.

Social Media is a great way to do this, but it may take a bit of time to get yourself established. There are so many social networks now it can be hard to choose which would be best. However, it also means you can reach your customers in a variety of ways.

Does your industry need lots of practical advice? Get blogging. Want people to understand your products further? Go visual with Pinterest. Want to do a ‘how to’ video, or show your engineers at work? Start a Youtube channel with factual information, alongside some out-takes when it may not have quite gone to plan.

All of these little snippets of information give your customers an idea of who you are as people, and if you are the type of people they would like to work with. If they want the ins and outs of what you do, they will go to your website or give you a call, but to convince them you’re the ones they want to work with, get posting.

 

Develop your own voice

Which leads very nicely on to my next point, developing your own voice.

When your in a competitive industry, with a product everyone needs, it can be easy to fall into the same line as everyone else. Copying product descriptions from manufacturers, having the same benefits and features, and marketing to the same group of people.

Make sure you stand out by developing your own voice, which carries through all of your marketing material, your social presence and your team as a whole. Now, tone of voice for your brand is a whole other blog in it’s self (and a conversation we have a lot with clients in the office) but you need to consider: your values, your vocabulary and your humour. Are you slightly sarcastic, or just add in the occasional one liners? Are you appealing to customers who will only accept the Queen’s English, or perhaps a younger generation who may appreciate more down to earth posts? What are your personal values as well as the companies? Let all this shine through on your posts, but make sure you keep this consistent.

Showing your passion for your profession is always a great way to connect with customers. Even with the most boring product in the world, if it sold with someone who clearly has passion in it, you would be more inclined to at least take a second look. As passion is not only contagious, but it shows a belief in what you are doing, it shows your putting all of your energy into it, so it has to worth something.

 

Make your product real to buyers

Your product is real, you know it’s benefits and features inside out. But how does it actual benefit that person? How is it going to shape their day?

It can be hard to get this across, especially with products people take for granted, or ones people don’t entirely understand how it helps then, just that they should have it.

A method used by a lot of companies now is using a narrative within their marketing or advert. Let’s use Direct Line as an example. Direct Line, in case you don’t know, are an insurance company, and for this example, I’ll be focusing on their car insurance.

Everyone needs car insurance, as it is a legal requirement. There are plenty of providers of this, plenty of choice, and everyone knows that they need it in case of an accident, but it’s not always clear what that actual means for the person. In their latest run of adverts, Harvey Keitel whisks in to help direct line customers who face a series of woes.

The most recent advert is of a hen party who are involved in a bump, thinking their day is ruined, when Keitel pops in to say, because you’re insured with us, your entitled to a hire car, and continue your day. The other party involved in the crash is stuck there, as their insurance does not provide this.

 

 

From the advert the customer can visualise that, of course they would have insurance on their car, but f they have Direct Line insurance, they will be well looked after, and your day doesn’t have to end. It will remind those unfortunate enough to have had a bump and be stuck, that actual buying the same ‘product’ from them would mean a totally different outcome to that day.

Their whole advert series involving Keitel show the real time effects and benefits the service has to it’s users, and showcases effectively that their ‘essential’ product stands out from the rest.

 

Make it visual

Oh the old saying, a picture speaks a thousand words. But it really does, as does video, like we can see in the point above.

In an age where we are content saturated, sometimes we need to use visuals to grab a bit more attention, or to get our message across a bit quicker.

There are a huge amount of examples of visual marketing done well, but I am going to use Tipp Ex to illustrate this particular point.

Now Tipp Ex face a different horizon to when they started business, a situation which many companies find themselves in now. Their product was a particular need when pen and paper were the norm. This was an age before computers became the staple for the majority of offices. So what now?

Tipp Ex went clever with their marketing, and using modern technology and ideas bought themselves into the modern age, as well as engaging with a whole new host of customers. Below, you can see their advert ‘a hunter and a bear’.

 

 

Now there we have an advert that shows their brand voice with quite a humorous advert, their product is made real and relevant to potential customers, and it has a very human aspect to it.

Use visuals and video to get your message out there in a way your potential customers may not have considered it before.

 

Keep it simple

Sometimes the things you need to buy aren’t always the simplest to understand.

Take for example applying for a mortgage. It is something the majority of us will need to go through within our lifetimes, and though it can be an exciting purchase, it is more likely to cause panic than jubilation.

Like with car insurance, It is a market with plenty of choice, but one people don’t know much about. So they stick to the big names they know and that’s it. By keeping it simple, you instantly reassure that potential customer, making them more likely to pop in and enquire.

 

Remember, no brand is too boring to market, you just have to find what makes it amazing, and share that with others. Use the tips above, do a bit more research into your industry competitors, and get going!

 

However, if you are struggling to feel inspired, don’t worry! Give us a call, and pop in for a chat. It’s no obligation and might just give you the ideas you need. Or you can read more about branding in our blogs. 

 

What Taylor Swift can teach you about personal branding

What Taylor Swift taught us all about personal brand

What Taylor Swift taught us all about personal brand

Image taken by GabboT, used under Creative Commons license.

Love her or hate her, Taylor Swift is the most relevant and successful example of doing personal brand right. Here are 5 things we can learn from Swifty herself.

Personal brand is an essential part of everyday business. How you represent yourself can severely affect your business, as people buy from people they like and trust. How can you make the most of personal brand?

 

Change with the times

One of the biggest changes in how people connect with customers or fans, is social media. It’s something that many companies still shy away from, but it can work wonders for your business.

Using Taylor as an example, she was able to gain a fiercely loyal fan base by connecting with them over social media. Responding to their posts. Adding personality to an industry that is famously impersonal. Meant she could propel herself into the spotlight, setting herself apart from other stars who did not appear to care about their fans.

Many customer service responses to Facebook posts and tweets have gone viral. As they show outstanding service. Tesco for example have been in the news a number of times this year. For taking the time to write a poetic reply or even just declaring their love of bacon. Taking the time to reply to the people reaching out to you shows respect, and creates loyalty, and sometimes even a viral campaign.

 

Stick with your morals

Taylor is well known for calling journalists out when they make a sexist remark, and for speaking quite honestly.

It can be tempting when building up a business, to begin trying to please every prospect, but the truth is, everyone does that, and it only comes back to bite you later if you agree or go along with things you don’t actually believe in.

Stand up for yourself, and respect what you believe and the ethics of how you work. Others will come to respect you, and if they don’t, do you really want their approval or business anyway?

 

Take the negative on the chin

Taylor is no stranger to being judged and receiving negative comments, mostly about her personal life.

As the old saying goes ‘jealously can be an ugly thing’, and people making negative comments about your business or brand without genuine reason are more than likely worried about the competition.

Unfortunately, you just have to take it on the chin and keep on doing what you do best. Making other people look bad won’t make you look good, and sinking down to someone else’s level will make you look worse.

 

Use the power you have to empower other businesses

It was one of the biggest news stories of June when Taylor Swift stood up to the big boys Apple, and refused to let her work go out for free. The even bigger news was that Apple backed down and agreed with Taylor that all artists should be paid for their work.

There are a number of things to look at here. Taylor could of stomped her feet and screamed and shouted that it wasn’t fair, but she was savvy, and used her business mind to leverage Apple to see the unfair and accept responsibility. She also didn’t just do this for her music, she did it for all the artists. Meaning artists who haven’t quite gained the same following yet so don’t have the same power behind them still have a voice too.

If you have power or influence and can use it to make changes for the local community and local businesses, use it.

 

Show you care

If you want a lesson in how to show your audience that you care about them, look no further than Taylor. She is well-known for keeping an eye on her fans and rewarding those who are loyal.

Before her latest album, 1989, launched she invited dedicated fans to secret listening parties after stalking them (or ‘taylurking’ as she calls it) on social media.

In the run up to Christmas, she surprised some fans with gifts, such as $1989 dollars to go towards a fan paying off her student loans, and sending people stage costumes or items of clothing she’d worn.

Now, you don’t have to go as far as offering to pay off your audiences’ debts, but the occasional surprise for a loyal fan, or maybe even a curious prospective customer, can get people’s attention and make you look caring.

 

Work hard, but celebrate the good

Though Taylor is doing everything you can think off, she still shows that she is a normal twenty something in some ways. Who would believe she’s like us normal people sometimes? She celebrates birthday, days out with friends and dinners with her boyfriend, and that makes this complete superstar who is successful beyond imagination, relatable.

This is where your blogs and things come in to play. Social media is a way for you to connect with your target audience and show you are normal people, you are relatable and you could be part of this family too.

If you’re a small business and think your brand could use some strategy?

Do you know where you want to go and how you’re going to get there? We could help. Call us today on 01543 495752

4 signs you need to rebrand your business

4 signs you need to rebrand your business

4 signs you need to rebrand your business

It’s easy to think of your brand as ‘just a logo’, but it’s a visual representation of your business and the way your brand looks has a big impact on how people perceive your business.

Your brand should appear on every touch point your audience and customers have with your business: website, leaflets, catalogues, emails, business cards, packaging, invoices and receipts, social media, signage, and more.

A brand that doesn’t represent your business effectively, can do you more harm than good and have a negative impact on leads and sales.

If your brand is causing you any of the below problems, it’s a sure sign that you need to rebrand your business.

 

It’s confusing for your existing customers

If your brand focuses on one particular sector, product, or service you offer, your existing clients may not be aware that you offer other related services or products.

At the end of last year, we rebranded Electrical Certs to Veriserv, because the Electrical Certs brand was confusing their clients and staff.

Veriserv offer services in electrical, fire, mechanical, security, and compliance, but the name ‘Electrical Certs’ led their existing customers to believe that they could only handle electrical compliance. Customers were unaware of the other services they offered, and went to other providers for related services that Veriserv actually offer.

The rebrand has helped to make their existing customers aware that they don’t just deal with compliance, and that they can handle many related services. This makes things easier for customers as they don’t have to deal with multiple providers.

You need to rebrand if: your brand is confusing customers.

 

It’s preventing growth

Similar to the point above, your brand can prevent you from moving into new sectors and growing if it focuses on one particular service or sector.

A couple of years ago, we rebranded a business called SSC Learning (with SSC standing for ‘Skills Source Care’) who offered apprenticeships and training in care, marketing, sales, leadership & management, recruitment, and more.

As they tried to offer training in new sectors, the name SSC Learning held them back and prevented them from moving into new sectors as people thought they only offered care training.

When they relaunched as ‘edo’ they were able to move into new sectors and grow, and were no longer held back by their brand.

You need to rebrand if: your brand is preventing your business from growing.

Read the edo rebranding case study to find out more about how a new brand helped them grow their business and increase inbound leads.

 

It makes you look low quality

If someone sees a poor quality brand, they will probably think your products and customer service is low quality, and that they’d be better off spending their money elsewhere.

Your brand should represent the quality of service and products you provide.

If you’re a business that sells high-quality, luxurious products or services, your brand needs to reflect that so your audience feel that you’re a high-quality, luxurious brand.

Don’t confuse the price of your products and services with quality; your brand doesn’t necessarily have to represent the price of your products and services.

Even if your products are cheap, or not the most expensive on the market, you can still offer high-quality products and services. Beauty brands are a great example of this.

Some beauty brands give off a luxurious and high-quality feel, even though they’re not the most expensive offering on the market.

Sanctuary Spa Boots screenshot

Take Sanctuary Spa for example; their skincare and beauty products are not the most expensive, but their brand positions them as higher-quality and more luxurious than other brands which sell similarly priced products.

This makes Sanctuary Spa’s audience happy because they feel that by buying their products they’re getting better value for money.

You need to rebrand if: your brand is making you look low-quality and / or cheap.

 

Your brand makes you look untrustworthy

You know exactly what we mean when we talk about untrustworthy brands. They’re the kind of brands you see on a website and you immediately click back for fear that they’re trying to scam you and take you for all the money in your bank account.

Similarly to brands that look like they provide a poor quality service, you don’t want your brand to give off the vibe that you’re sketchy, are only interested in taking people’s money, and providing no help or support if someone runs into a problem.

A brand that looks trustworthy is especially important if you are an ecommerce website; people don’t want to hand over their bank details to a company that looks untrustworthy.

As well as improving your brand, you can make your business look more credible by:

  • Providing customer service contact information
  • Providing information about returning items, or what to do if you’re unhappy
  • Having an SSL certificate – your domain will start with https://, rather than http://
  • Using a widely recognised payment gateway like PayPal, or SagePay

You need to rebrand if: your brand makes you look untrustworthy.

 

Rebranding can seem like a huge and daunting task, but if your existing brand is causing you any of the above issues, you are missing out on leads and sales.

 

If your brand is holding your business back, call us on 01543 495 752 to find out how we might be able to work together, and arrange a chat to pop into our Burntwood office. Or for more insight into branding you can check out more of our blogs.