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Are You Committing The 7 Deadly Sins Of Awful Branding?

Every successful business evolves and grows within its first couple of years. Progress does not come alone, however. What may have started out as the perfect branding for your then fledgling business may now not be appropriate for the mature business that you have become, or the market you now find yourself in.

It is worth spending a little time regularly on reviewing your brand image (for one thing, potential customers are looking at it every day). I have invested over twenty years as a brand consultant in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Manchester, dissecting, discussing and often frankly disagreeing about brands and how to maximise their worth. Certain key features crop up time and again: not all of them are attractive, and some are downright scary, but all are worth recognising because they can cost you time and money. To understand them is to be better prepared to succeed in the dog-eat-dog world of corporate brand building.

Top professionals are prepared to examine weaknesses as well as strengths, so let’s take a look at the 7 worst sins in branding.  All of them can slow your progress, erode revenue and damage your brand. If you are guilty of any of the sins, don’t worry, you can be saved as long as you are willing to mend your ways. Then you can start securing new clients and carve your own, unique spot in your chosen marketplace.

1. Nice product, shame about the name. Maybe your company name isn’t in line with what you now offer. Product lines and service offerings can change and sometimes encompass niches that are outside of the limits of a brand name. If you originally started out selling windows but you’ve now moved into offering bespoke furniture as a result of the flourishing carpentry skills of your craftsmen – Potters Windows is just not going to cut it for you.

2. Tag match. Is your tagline aligned to your positioning and what makes you different? You may have changed your values to suit what your market is looking for – your tagline needs to be aligned to this. Your tagline is a summation of everything your business does.

3. Get personal, stay personal.. Does your logo communicate the personality, character and authenticity of your business? As your business develops, you will learn more about the market you are in, your customers and what resonates with them. Be sure to use this to your marketing advantage in the design of your logo – it is a key component of your brand.

4. “Hey, are retro logos back in again?” Does your logo look dated or tired, using a font, colour scheme and design that is stuck in the past? Your imagery should be professional, clean, crisp and simple to help it be memorable and instantly recognisable. It’s a selling tool. Above all it needs to differentiate you from your competition. Take a look at what the opposition are doing with their logos, and assess how your logo looks when set against up-and-coming rivals. How will a new generation of customers perceive your company?

5. Confidence in consistency. Is all your marketing material consistent in look, tone of voice and message? Consistency is a valuable branding assets, so make life easy for your clients: they should understand what your message is without even having to think about it, it should just go straight into their minds and stay there, painlessly. Your customers may not know that your marketing collateral is out of kilter, but you will know as you won’t be increasing profits or market share.

6. Branding is understanding.Can your communications be easily and quickly understood? Do your prospects clearly understand what problem you will solve for them? Simplicity and clarity are priceless branding advantages, so spare a little time to ask yourself, “Will my target customers know immediately what I want them to know?”

7. Look ahead, plan ahead, get ahead. Do you have a strategy in place for promoting your brand? Without a clearly defined strategy with clear action steps to take, you’ll almost certainly be missing out on opportunities that could increase your profits dramatically.

Your current company brand isn’t what you say it is – it’s what your clients say it is. Take it from an experienced branding and marketing consultant: If your customers’ perception of who you are is not meeting with their approval then you face that most hellish of prospects: not making the sale.

For more information, contact Vincent Bissette at; vincent@darwinbrandconsultants.com.

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The Powerful Connection Between Increased Profits and Branding

When it comes to increasing profits, branding is a key factor that can make a significant difference. It’s a way for a business to make itself unique in a crowded marketplace. A consistent and strong image influences customer conversion and retention and it will even sell your products or services for you. It can also influence what your customers feel about your company, successful branding can make the customers feel what you want them to.

High-Profile Brands

Just for a moment, take your mind to the world of the fashion and make-up industry. Chanel and Tommy Hilfiger sell products based on their brand and logo alone. They have a brand that people can relate to and the customers want that brand and what it represents. They want it to be part of their world.

As branding and marketing consultants we believe that the benefits of having a strong brand means that you can offer exactly the same product or the same service as another company, but your business can put a higher price on it. Your reputation is trusted, and trust is what is necessary to make a sale. Trust is actually the strongest component of making the decision whether to buy or not.

The Brand Components

We help our clients to recognise that a brand is much more than just a logo. Branding is the complete image of the company and should be treated with care as it can have a direct affect on profits!

A brand will often be based on the following components:

Brand Positioning – where your product or service sits in the market place. If you market your company like a premium goods company then you may miss out on the opportunity of being supplier of choice to the mass market of the middle to lower end of the scale. People may feel that you aren’t accessible to them and won’t even ask about your prices.

Competive Pricing – pricing ties into positioning. It’s about where you fit on the scale. Do you want to be known as a premium company with higher prices offering quality products or does it suit you to be lower down the scale where you can reach more consumers.

Categorisation of your service or products – it might be that some of your products don’t fit neatly into one category, so you then need to decide which market your company fits into.

Core values – what are the core values that you wish the company to be known for i.e. quality or price or customer service. These are usually identified during your analysis and determination of your unique selling proposition (USP).

Company name – it’s important to be careful when choosing a company name as this can limit your product or service range. If you call yourself Taylor’s Books, then books is what you will be known for. To introduce another product line will not work unless it is very closely related to books.

As Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon says: “a brand can be compared to the reputation of a person. You get a good brand image or reputation by trying to do things well.”

Such a good ‘brand’ feeling

We’ve worked with many clients across Glasgow, Edinburgh and Manchester who now firmly believe that having a collection of products will not bring them customers; they absolutely need to give their customers a good feeling about the company. Branding is about making them feel about your company what you want them to, it also gives the customers an opportunity to relate to a company and when that happens, you will see an increase in profits.

If you’d like to make your brand work harder for you, then please give us a call or drop us an email.  http://www.darwinbrandconsultants.com/ tel: Tel: 0844 880 4281, email: hello@darwinbrandconsultants.com

Vincent Bissette is Managing Director of Darwin Brand Consultants, a Glasgow-based brand and marketing agency with clients in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Manchester.

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Squeeze the Margins. Discover the Connection Between Increased Profits and Branding.

When it comes to increasing profits, branding can make all the difference. It’s a way for a business to make itself unique and desirable in a marketplace crowded with virtually indistinguishable, me-too products and services.

Build a consistent and strong brand identity and you will influence customer conversion and retention; you will create a marketing tool that will prepare the ground for other sales campaigns and even directly sell your products or services for you. Distinctive, relevant branding can influence what your customers feel about your company – and truly insightful branding can make the customers feel what you want them to.

As a branding agency in Manchester, Glasgow and Edinburgh, Darwin has many years’ experience in many business sectors, all of which can learn from each other. So, just for a moment, whatever your own business, take your mind to the glamorous (but ruthless) world of fashion and make-up. Chanel, Rolex and Tommy Hilfiger, for three, have built empires on their brand names and logos. They have identities that people aspire to: customers want their brands and what they represent. Millions of people want to share those worlds, and they can do it by wearing the logo, purchasable in almost any high street, mall or duty free. Which is why knock-off experts work so hard and take such huge risks to imitate the look and feel of iconic brands. A good brand can be worth a lot of money, and yours can too.

As any professional brand agency in Scotland, England or anywhere else will tell you, the benefits of having a strong brand mean that you can offer exactly the same product or the same service as another company, but you can ask a higher price for yours, and get it. A strong brand reputation is trusted, and trust is what is necessary to make a sale. Trust is actually the strongest component of making the decision whether to buy or not.

Some people think that a brand is just a logo: it is much more than that. Branding is the complete image of the company and everything and everyone involved in it. A brand will often comprise the following components:

Positioning – where your product or service stands in the market place. If you market your company like a premium goods company then you may miss out on the opportunity of being supplier of choice to the mass market of the middle to lower end of the scale. People may feel that you aren’t accessible to them and won’t even ask about your prices.

Pricing – pricing ties into positioning. It’s about where you fit on the scale. Do you want to be known as a premium company demanding higher prices for higher quality products or does it suit you to be lower down the scale where you can reach more consumers?

Categorisation of your service or products – it might be that some of your products don’t fit neatly into one category; you then need to decide which market your company does fit into.

Core values – what are the core values that you wish the company to be known for, i.e. quality or price or customer service. These are usually identified during a brand analysis and determination of your unique selling proposition (USP).

Company name – be careful when choosing a company name: it can limit your product or service range. Call yourself Taylor’s Books, and books is what will be expected of you. To introduce another product line will not work unless it is very closely related to books.

As Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon says – a brand can be compared to the reputation of a person. You get a good brand image or reputation by trying to do things well.

Just having a collection of products will not bring you customers; you need to give your customers a sense of who you are as a company so that they feel as though they know something about you. Branding impact is about making customers feel about your company what you want them to: it also gives the customers an opportunity to relate to a company and when that happens, you will see an increase in profits.

Professional branding is a healthy option. Use it well and your business will grow faster, perform more efficiently, and make more money.

For more information, contact Vincent Bissette at; vincent@darwinbrandconsultants.com.

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Lack of Brand Awareness is the Enemy of Growth

When you are looking to sell more products or services, increase your share of the market, grow your business or even sell your business, then first and foremost your potential customers need to know that you exist.

But just knowing about you is never enough.

You have to put information in front of your customers that allows them to make an informed buying decision. That’s where branding unlocks doors. Professional branding can make a significant difference to your strategy, your tactics and your results.

For over twenty years, Darwin Branding Consultants in Glasgow, Manchester and Edinburgh have witnessed every consequence of branding campaigns large and small. Along with our clients we have learned that expert branding and marketing is potent, whether you are building a business locally, nationally or internationally. When you strip everything back to the brickwork, successful branding and awareness are constructed on some fairly fundamental processes.

Here is how Darwin Brand Consultancy sees it:

Whenever we need to make a purchase, we all try our best to make an informed decision; however, we don’t always fully understand what makes one product or service better than another. For one thing, the time we have available to do research is limited. In the ideal world we’d survey several alternatives, ask for samples and trials and give each business, product or service a test on what they know and how much support we will receive. In the real world, we cannot do all of that:  few of us have the time or the energy to get deeply involved.

Of course, we do find out all that we can about products and services, but in the end we will usually buy from the business that we like best. Typically the decision is an emotional one, with rational explanations on top as justification.

  • “Most people believe that the choices they make result from a rational analysis of available alternatives. In reality, however, emotions greatly influence and, in many cases, even determine our decisions.”*
  • “Research conducted by the Advertising Research Foundation concluded that the emotion of “likeability” is the measure most predictive of whether an advertisement will increase a brand’s sales.”*
  • “Research reveals that consumers perceive the same type of personality characteristics in brands as they do in other people. And just like with people, they are attracted more to some personality types than others – attractions which are emotion based, not rational.”*
  • “Emotions are the primary reason why consumers prefer brand name products. After all, many of the products we buy are available as generic and store brands with the same ingredients and at cheaper prices. Why do we decide to pay more for brand name products?”*
  • “It is curious how often you humans manage to obtain that which you do not want.” – Spock, Star Trek, “The Doomsday Machine”.

Who are the best salespeople that you know? Most probably they are personable, they are likeable and they have a way of being very appealing to you. They have a character that you like.

It’s the same with brands. They possess their own personality, their own likable attributes and uniqueness. We will buy brands that we feel match our own values or personalities. We tend to buy brands that we trust, and we trust the things we are comfortable and familiar with. Sometimes it’s a gut instinct, a subconscious conclusion over what looks good and feels right. But if that decision is to come down in your favour, in the face of all the other brands out there vying for your business, you must achieve a brand awareness that works the way you want it to.

For your business to maximise its potential and return the investment you have made in it in time, blood, sweat and hard cash, it’s essential that you create a likable brand.

To find out what the Darwin Branding Agency can do for your brand, call us today for a no obligation conversation about all things branding, from brand audits to brand collateral and beyond. Please be aware that we are very good at persuading people to do things.

*www.psychologytoday.com/blog/inside-the-consumer-mind/201302/how-emotions-influence-what-we-buy

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Is your brand strong enough to survive in a competitive market?

In today’s competitive business environment, competition is everywhere. There are thousands of new companies launching innovative brands into the commercial marketplace every month. These new ‘kids on the block’ often have a fresh look, a new way of thinking that erodes your share of the market and takes sales directly from you. Only one company can be the leader in a particular market, only one company can be the cheapest – the others have to use the power of branding and marketing to differentiate themselves and stand out.

Branding can connect with clients on an emotional and visual level. You might not be the cheapest or have the fastest delivery but you can still make yourself stand out from the rest.

Effective and Powerful Branding

With over 25 years of working with a whole range of brands, here are my tips to ensure your brand remains brand effective and powerful:

Your marketing images should be unique so that they cannot be confused with those of any other business. The way that you write and speak to your customers should also be unique.

Every product or service needs to be shown repeatedly to clients, do not give up after one try! Remember, it can often take between 6 and 12 impressions to be remembered by a prospect.

Your marketing materials, message, logo and tagline need to be used consistently and sit well together.

Your choice of colours and symbolic images in your brand can go a long way with getting imprinted into the minds of your clients. All visuals need to be simple, clean and crisp whilst imparting their meaning and message.

It’s essential that you deliver on your promises, so whichever values you decide are right for your business, be sure that you can deliver and stand behind them.

Personality makes a big impact when it comes to standing out. Your branded materials need to be so well designed and consistently used so that your prospects know that they are coming from your company.

Be professional. Your writing needs to be proof-read, your service and the way that you treat people is very important.

Consider and adopt all my top tips and you’ll be able create a business identity that will reinforce your marketing messages, helping you to build your overall brand.

If you’d like to make your brand work harder for you, then please give us a call or drop us an email.  http://www.darwinbrandconsultants.com/ tel: Tel: 0844 880 4281, email: hello@darwinbrandconsultants.com

Vincent Bissette is Managing Director of Darwin Brand Consultants, a Glasgow-based brand and marketing agency with clients in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Manchester

 

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5 Tried and Tested Ways to Big Up your Brand and Build Up your Profits

When running a business, branding (or marketing) isn’t always at the forefront of our minds. It should be. How else can you let all those potential customers out there know what you’re selling or wanting?

“But marketing costs money!” I hear you cry. You are mistaken. Marketing and branding make money for you. It just depends on how you go about it. Drawing on my twenty-five-years-deep well of experience in marketing and branding consultancy in Manchester, Glasgow and Edinburgh, I have come up with five effective ways of getting your brand out there, and breaking into more customer’s minds without breaking the bank:

1.     Get yourself seen socially online

That doesn’t just mean have a website: it means taking advantage of all the free advertising possibilities offered by social media channels such as FB, Twitter and YouTube. But don’t rush in blindly. A little research will pay dividends in uncovering which channels your customers tend to use the most: Pinterest for instance is growing in popularity and is particularly good for retail – fashion and interiors sites should focus on this.

Neither is it enough to simply set up social media pages. These have to be maintained and it takes time to upload posts on a regular basis and monitor comments. You should also be checking out your competitor’s pages.

As any professional branding consultant will confirm, it makes sense to write up a social media strategy outlining topics for posts and an uploading schedule. You can then include this strategy in your overall marketing plan.

2. Write guest posts for authority sites

You’re an expert in your field so why not share your expertise – both on your own site and on a highly-regarded site with lots of followers. People are keen on information, especially when it is expert information that can help them succeed. If your post is liked and find it interesting, those followers will come to your blog and then hop on over to your website to see what your company is about. In other words it’s like traditional advertising in a newspaper or magazine, only this time it’s online.

Most sites will charge a small fee for a guest blog post (even though you’re supplying it). It averages around £60. A few will provide the space for free. Another plus when it comes to guest posting is inserting back links to your own site which will boost your SEO.

3. Get out there in person

You are a major component of your own brand image, quite possibly the most important – think Steve Jobs, Oprah Winfrey, Richard Branson. And there’s nothing quite like meeting a like-minded business person face to face.

We’re talking about networking, or at least getting out and mixing with other business people, whether in your niche or beyond. This could mean holding a stall at a local fayre or joining in with an event such as a gala day (sponsorship can be a good way to get your brand name out there). The more local the event the better, as that way you’ll start to become part of the community and the more local the connections you make, the more meaningful.

Never be shy about networking – your product, services and knowledge will be helpful to others, it’s just a question of finding the right people, and the more people you meet, the better your chances. As Paolo Nutini sings it: when you’re out and about, you’re in with a shout. And who knows – when great minds meet, great things can happen.

4. Be seen, be heard, be interactive

Depending on your target audience, budget and timescales, there are unlimited opportunities for you to interact with your prospects, so get creative. Consider print advertising, TV ads, radio ads, banner ads, trade shows, telemarketing, press releases, email marketing, direct mail, brochures, leaflets, podcasts, white papers, ebooks, infographics, search engine optimisation (SEO) and pay per click advertising (PPC) to name but a few. Any and all of which will build awareness of your business.

5. Inform the media

The classic way to do this is by producing a press release. You can do this yourself by downloading press release kits, or get a professional copywriter to draft it for you. Then send it to local media. Local newspapers and radio are interested in fund-raising events, celebrity appearances, a contract win which leads to jobs in the area, etc. In other words, something newsworthy that isn’t just about promoting your company but affects their readers too.

You could also issue an online press release via distribution sites such as PRWeb. This could be for a new product or service your company is introducing.

Those are only five of many ways to widen your reach and build your profits. As an established, successful brand agency in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Manchester, Darwin has a wealth of inspirational branding ideas to share with you. Make contacting Darwin your first networking task of the day.

For more information, contact Vincent Bissette at; vincent@darwinbrandconsultants.com.

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When Is It Time to Rebrand Your Business?

Darwin Brand Consultants provides advice about strategic branding and the most effective time to rebrand. A brand audit is essential as well as a critical review of the marketing strategy.

Most companies know their own business but sometimes it is possible to be so involved in the nuts and bolts of it that they forget how they look from the outside.

Most companies simply do not know when the time is right to rebrand. They may suspect that something is not quite right about they way they are being perceived by their customers or prospects but many companies cannot be totally sure exactly what it is.

Before deciding whether to rebrand or not, you first need to know your direction of travel. Where is your business heading and where do you want to be? Before you make a move to rebrand, though, you need a complete understanding of where and how your business is positioned.

Whether your business is in Glasgow, Edinburgh or Manchester and whatever sector you are in, the first step is conducting a brand audit by professional brand consultants. This will give you a clear overview of your current strategy; your mission; your vision and your values; all of which are crucial when building a brand. Capturing your target markets and establishing a corporate culture, competitive advantages, strengths and weaknesses, marketing strategies and challenges for the future will allow you to plan ahead.

At this point you should also research your customers and prospects. The more you understand them, their wants, needs and desires, the clearer and more accurate you can make any communication with them.

What you are looking for at this stage is not just what you are doing well, but what you are not doing so well. This is the bit that you really need to know about.

You have to look at your ‘touch points’: any time your company interacts with the outside world is an opportunity to make a good impression and build your brand, awareness, image and profile. However, it can, and frequently does, achieve the opposite.

It is hard for business owners to identify exactly what they are communicating across all their ‘touch points’ with their clients, prospects, peers or even the media so you have to adopt a detached and objective approach, which, for many business owners, is a very hard thing to do. As leaders in brand consultancy, we are able to take an objective approach by advising you what you need to do.

By defining your market positioning, key messages and unique selling propositions, you need to assess if these are currently being clearly communicated. Then assess your competitive landscape – what’s your competition up to?

Only by doing this can you establish if your brand is communicating the right message and where improvement is needed, if at all. The audit will clearly show if a rebrand or a refresh is needed.

The importance of delivering a consistent and clear brand identity and communications cannot be overlooked. It can also have enormous benefits internally. If your staff feel part of a coherent team, with a unified look and feel, it will contribute to a professional working environment from which your customers will ultimately benefit.

For more information, contact Vincent Bissette at vincent@darwinbrandconsultants.com.

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5 Ways to Lower Costs, Raise Awareness of Your Company and Increase Profits

Raising your company’s awareness can put you in front of more prospects who are ready to buy. The more people who know about you and what you offer, the better your chances of success. Better still, do it the right way and you may not even need to pay out for costly advertising space: the web provides many methods to promote a business that have no cost associated with them, other than time.

Drawing on twenty years’ expertise as a Branding Consultancy in Glasgow, Manchester and Edinburgh, Darwin have compiled numerous low-cost ways that can help you boost customers’ awareness of your business. Here are five of Darwin’s most effective solutions to the eternal question of how to increase in profits and gain a larger customer base:

1.   Start a blog. The power of blogging is really unleashed when you start blogging for other people in addition to running your own blog. You can benefit from the contacts and followers that other website owners have built up. Ideally you would write for people who offer complementary products and/or services. It’s important to blog about issues that your target market face and how they can solve them.  Elevate their opinion of you by detailing how you can help them and the benefits of using the approach that your service or product delivers. By being smart with your words, you don’t have to directly promote your offerings but you can make it clear in a more subtle way. Include a link back to your own site. Whenever you write a post, be sure to share them in LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and any relevant content sharing sites such as BizSugar and StumbleUpon.

2.  Set up a Facebook page. Not everybody believes that Facebook is for them. However, with so many users on it of every age, income bracket and geography, it has to be well worth considering your place on this social site.  Look to other pages that engage and interact successfully with their connections to discover best practices. In Darwin’s Brand Image book, your brand-building campaign isn’t complete without Facebook

3.  Promote your business on Twitter. There are millions of users on Twitter. If you promote your business locally then you’ll need to look for other people in your area using the internal Twitter search engine. In addition look for your competition and follow their followers. They will notice you and could well follow you back. Tweet interesting content and images and that will build your coverage and fan base. Time saving tip: Twitter can be time consuming: if you have an iPad or iPhone it’s easy to set up accounts on Twitter to use at home in the evenings or before work.

4.  Establish yourself on LinkedIn. There are some excellent groups on LinkedIn with many prospects available to you. It’s also a great way to build your contacts and connections. People are more likely to use a business if you are connected to a friend of theirs than if you are not. Make yourself useful and valuable in groups and then invite the members to connect to you using the fact that you are in the same group as a reason to connect.

5.  Get onto YouTube, build credibility. Online video has really taken off since internet speeds have increased. Create a set of videos that introduce your business, products and/or service and upload them. You can then use your social media networks to share your videos. A powerful and effective way to give your business credibility is to ask happy clients to create a video testimony for your business, detailing the results that you enabled for them.

Take advantage of these approaches on a regular basis, and you will build greater awareness of your business, which will result in new clients and increased profits. Be sure to use your branding consistently throughout your social media accounts and for your communications. That way, you are in control: you are your own brand agency, driving a comprehensive, modern route to improved results.

For more information, contact Vincent Bissette at; vincent@darwinbrandconsultants.com.

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What is branding and how can it benefit your business?

There are many misconceptions about what branding is and what it isn’t. First off, let’s get that picture of a sizzling hot poker stamping a name against a cow’s backside out your mind. It’s not a totally irrelevant image because the cow will be identified as belonging to a particular individual or company – and it’s actually how the concept of branding kicked off – but the actuality of branding is, of course, far more complicated than that.

We work with many clients across Glasgow, Edinburgh and Manchester who now understand that branding goes far deeper than just showing off their logo.  As branding and marketing consultants we help our clients to understand the concept of branding and how this will benefit their business.

Concept of Branding

Here’s a few things to consider around the wider concept of branding:

Your credibility as a company

The ability to get your message across clearly and unequivocally to your customers

Retaining customer loyalty

Motivating existing and potential customers to ‘buy in’ to your goods or services

Making an important emotional connection with your customer so that he or she chooses you above your competitors

Delivering your brand expectations

So how do you achieve the above? Well, for starters, you ensure that every time the customer connects with your business he or she receives the kind of excellent service and experience that they come to relate to your company (and customer service – which we’ll talk about in a separate post – plays a huge part here!)

Top Brands

Consider some of the current brands you’re probably already familiar with. The following are products but branding is, of course, relevant to companies delivering services as well.

John Lewis – upmarket, appeals to middle and upper class shoppers, a good solid British brand with excellent customer service and quality goods

Apple – provides a good quality, affordable product. Customers queue for hours to obtain the newest phone which costs far more than any of their competitors

Innocent – a trustworthy, ethical company with a sense of humour and which produces high-quality, foods (cares for its customer’s health)

Coca-Cola – the biggest, most-recognised brand in the world with a long and loyal heritage (125 years) as well as a famously iconic bottle

With the exception of John Lewis and Coca-Cola the other two companies are relatively new to their respective markets yet their branding expertise has pushed them to the forefront of UK consumers’ minds and ensured they succeeded in their quests to gain massive shares in their particular sector.

Happily, this shows that good branding doesn’t necessarily take years to achieve. Innocent stormed their market in just over a decade or so. Yes, that’s all it took to build their reputation which is very encouraging.

Your brand is your company’s personality. It’s how your current and potential customers perceive how you act and what you, as a company, can provide for them.

What physical aspects does branding involve?

Packaging of goods or delivery, if a service

Price

Ease of use and quality of website

Channels used to advertise

What a company chooses to label (i.e. name) itself in the first place

Vincent Bissette is Managing Director of Darwin Brand Consultants, a Glasgow-based brand and marketing agency with clients in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Manchester.

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Branding Top Tips to make sure your business stands-out

Every successful business and its brand expects to evolve and grow within its first couple of years of existence. What may have started out as the perfect branding for your start-up business may now not be as appropriate for the mature business that you are becoming.

Branding and marketing your business is vital no matter what sector, industry or organisation you are. You need to retain your customers, secure new customers and, at the same time, keep them all satisified.

Top Branding Tips

We have created and implemented brand strategies for many businesses across the UK. Many companies who think their marketing and branding is effective however, on many occasions, are far too close to the company to recognise some alarming flaws.  Let me share some tips with you which I have helped my clients address and overcome the many branding and marketing challenges for great financial returns.

1. Have you chosen an appropriate name?

Maybe your company name isn’t in line with what you now offer.  It sounds obvious but product lines and service offerings can change and sometimes encompass niches that are outside of the limits of a brand name. If you originally started out, for example, selling windows but you’ve now moved into offering bespoke furniture as a result of the flourishing carpentry skills of your craftsmen then Potters Windows is just not going to cut it for you.

2. Is your brand tag-line aligned to your market positioning?

Is your tagline aligned to your market positioning and does it reflect what makes you different? You may have changed your values to suit what your market is looking for – your tagline needs to be aligned to this. Having a strong tagline can help drive your brand positioning and help communicate to your customers your brand values.

3. Does your logo reflect your brand personality?

Does your logo communicate the personality, character and authenticity of your business? As a business develops, it learns more about its market and what resonates with them. Be sure to use this to your marketing advantage, think about your brand, is it talking effectively to your customers?

4. Keep your logo fresh and alive

Does your logo look dated or tired, using a font, colour scheme and design that is stuck in the past? Your imagery needs to be professional, clean, crisp and simple to be memorable and recognisable. Above all it needs to differentiate you from your competition.

5. Align ALL your marketing material with your brand

Is all your marketing material consistent in look, tone of voice and message? Don’t confuse your prospects, they may not even recognise that they are confused, but you will know as you won’t be increasing profits or market share.

6. Client communication needs to be crystal clear?

What was the response from your last client communication? Was it easily understood and did you get the response you desired? Do your prospects clearly understand what problem you will solve for them? There is no point in talking jargon as your customers will switch off. Make sure you communicate clearly.

7. Brand Strategy in place

Do you have a strategy in place for promoting your brand? Without a clearly defined strategy with clear action steps to take, you’ll be missing out on opportunities that could increase your profits dramatically. Your current company brand isn’t what you say it is – it’s what your clients say it is. If their perception of who you are is not meeting their approval then you simply won’t make the  sale.

Vincent Bissette is Managing Director of Darwin Brand Consultants, a Glasgow-based brand and marketing agency with clients in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Manchester.

 

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