The Darwin Blog | Darwin Brand Consultants


Build a Better Image, Build Better Business

The image that you project of your business packs a lot of power. So much power it could be said that it controls your future. In our increasingly image-conscious, visually aware world it’s never been more important to communicate the right image, personality, tone and position in every aspect of your branding strategy.

Your brand image may appear as thin as a pixel, as disposable as a paper cup, as fleeting as a few seconds on a radio station, and as intangible as an idea in someone’s head, but it has the power to affect the way customers, colleagues and suppliers perceive you.

Think of your image as the person at your office front door. Do people meet the:
a) Welcoming, efficient receptionist
b) Smiling commissionaire in top hat and tails
c) Pre-occupied Head Waiter doing ten things at once
d) Chummy janitor with bunch of leys
e) Hard-core “security” bouncer with bunch of fives

Each of these has his or her place, but which one best reflects and sells your service or product? Do you think your customers, colleagues and suppliers are being attracted to or repelled by your corporate brand? Without being personal, have you taken a good look at yourself recently?

Stay current with your business
It’s easy to lose touch with the image that you’re portraying. As a freelance brand director I know from experience that many a busy business person simply may not be able to clearly see what potential customers, potential employees and the general public can see. Are you projecting the most positive image so that people notice you and pay attention to what you’re offering?

If you haven’t been through your marketing material recently, here’s some pointers on where you can start:

1. Consider where you want your business to go. Where are you heading with products, services, finance and positioning? Do your touch-points reflect the direction that you want to head in? They need to complement your evolution and movement towards your goals.

2. Consider all your touch-points – not just the customer-facing ones. You need to communicate to employees and suppliers alike what your plans are. There could be passion out there waiting to help you, but you won’t connect if the right communication isn’t there.

3. Run a customer survey asking for feedback on the image that you’re projecting. A survey is one of the most effective ways of understanding your image. You may also want to ask some people who are new to your business, or better still complete outsiders to look at your logo, website and marketing collateral and give you some feedback.

When your image is a true reflection of all that you offer and stand for, then customers will come to trust your business. Trust is one of the biggest factors when it comes to a customer wanting to spend and actually opening the wallet. Trust is essential for the longer term too as it’s the basis for good, productive relationships.

Communicating your brand isn’t something to do once a year or even when you have a new product or service to launch. It’s something that needs to occur at every touch-point with all stakeholders all the time. It’s what constitutes the perception of your business. And perception is reality, as I have written about here > (link to blog k? Perception is Reality/Eye of The Tiger – is this possible?)

The good news is I’m not the only person or even the first person to think the same:

“O, would some Power the giftie gie us,
To see oursels as others see us!
It would from many a blunder free us.” – Robert Burns

“A jest’s prosperity lies in the ear
Of him that hears it, never in the tongue
Of him that makes it.” – William Shakespeare

All I’m saying is – while drawing on over twenty eight years’ experience as a freelance Brand Director in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Manchester – look after your brand image: it’s valuable. Every so often take time out for a review of your brand so you can be sure that you’re reflecting the image that will take your business into a more profitable future. No matter how you look at it.

Brand image is a powerful tool that is often underused and misunderstood. Vincent Bissette of Brand Agency Darwin takes you deeper.

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If Everybody Looked the Same

Do you remember the song ‘If Everybody Looked the Same’ by Groove Armada? Good tune. It surfaced on my iphone in the car this morning and got me thinking.

When I meet prospective clients for the first time I always ask them why they ended up with the brand identity they now have: their website, advertisements, brochures, logo, the colours they use, their uniforms and so on. I am often given the same answer. “We did it because that’s what our competitors are doing”.

That’s all good and well if you want to blend in. As branding expert William Beachy remarked, “…if you have a lame, knock-off product or service, it might be best to blend in – look like the leading competitor.”

Given the current economic fragilities, however, the need to stand out from your competitors and appear as appealing as possible to your customers is more vital than ever. (Mr. Beachy completed the quote above by saying, “But if you have an amazing product or service, you want to stand out, be different …”)

Until the economic crunch came along, me-too branding by and large could escape censure, even scrutiny, because a strong economy meant there was revenue enough to go around without anyone trying too hard. The words cosy, complacent and lazy come to mind. Then suddenly money was tighter than two coats of paint and companies had to slash fees or start pitching (usually both) just to stay in a relationship with customers, or even simply stay in business. It was no longer adequate to have branding modelled on a rival’s, and playing safe wasn’t safe: it was dangerous. (Okay, as a brand consultant in Glasgow, Manchester and Edinburgh for twenty-odd years, I’ve been arguing this case relentlessly, but it is now more valid and relevant than ever.)

The ironic thing is, when austerity, prudence and small-c conservatism became necessary, CEOs, CFOs and other top decision makers realised they needed to give customers distinctive, genuine reasons to believe in their products and services: they needed to step outside the comfort zone and put a sharper edge on their branding. Their expertise had to be seen as substantially different from the rest and accepted as better. It was time to say hello to unique corporate branding that creates goodwill strong enough to help a business not just survive but also prosper.

More than ever, the marketplace is an intensely competitive arena where companies struggle, strive and connive to win your customers’ hearts and minds, (not to mention their wallets). To create an advantage and make it stick, companies should project the things that make them different, rather than reflect the comfortable conventions of their sector. Not for no reason is one of the golden rules of branding, ‘Differentiate or Die’.

It is possible to create your own marketing advantage by branding thoroughly. Your campaign has to clearly communicate your key messages, values, beliefs and what makes you different.  A good identity should unashamedly and immediately help you stand out from the crowd. Today, why not appoint yourself corporate brand agent, and ask, “Is my business relying on the same-old, same-old messages as our rivals?” Be honest, especially about well-worn phrases such as, “attention to detail”, “integrity”, “customised solutions” … you know the ones. As for “quality”, well, what does that mean? Everything has a quality of some kind. High quality is what most people want to buy into, and you should be conveying that in every aspect of your branding and marketing strategy.

Another trap to watch out for is constantly telling everyone how client-centric your business is, with threadbare phrases such as, “client focused”. If a customer thought for an instant that your company wasn’t focused on them, they wouldn’t sign you up in the first place.

Okay, I exaggerate, but only slightly – you do have to use certain key words and phrases to provide some reassurance, but be sparing with them and try not to use them as fundamental building blocks for your brand. You’ll have to find or conjure up your own differences – how about a colour, like T-Mobile’s vivid pink, or Compare the Market’s meerkats (the whole campaign hinges on a pun, for goodness sake) – and then promote them in memorable, appropriate, creative ways, perhaps taking advantage of the proliferation of new media such as Twitter, Instagram and Google Display Network. When you think about it, there are more ways to showcase your company differences than ever before. This could be your golden age.

Like my friends at Groove Armada sing, “If everybody looked the same, we’d get tired of looking at each other.” Embrace your uniqueness today. It makes you stand out.

For more information, contact Vincent Bissette at;

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8 Effective Ways To Generate More Profit through More Impactful Branding

The ultimate goal of any business is to increase profits. One way to do this is to generate more sales. Sometimes businesses depend on one or two sources of leads, however this can quite often put them in a dangerous position by becoming over-dependent on a limited number of sources. Inevitably one or more sources will dry up and then replacements must be found, quickly: all that leads to is stress, inefficiency and downtime.

Many businesses just don’t know where to start to find more sources of leads.  Yet, just like in Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, the answers are easy … when you know them. From twenty years’ experience as Branding Consultants in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Manchester, the team at Darwin has learned a thing or two – or eight – about how to generate leads.

Read on for our top eight approaches for driving more leads. They work well for most types of business:

1. Build awareness. It’s unreasonable to expect a potential customer to give you business when they’ve never heard of you. You’re a total stranger. When people are aware of your business and – at the very least – your name, it makes them more amenable to approaching you or listening to you. So get your name and your tagline out there, and we mean everywhere: from the signage outside your business property, and the livery on your vehicles to your website and supporting collateral. It’s all part of your brand image. Customers and prospects should know exactly what you do and what you offer as soon as they set eyes on it.

2. Make sure your brand identity represents your values. Your brand image and identity are what sets you apart. Your brand should be distinctive, memorable and above all make you stand out in a positive way. It should communicate who you are, what you do and your market positioning. Preferably memorably and all in a single glance.

3. Add calls-to-action. It’s not enough to tell everyone what a unique service, product or offer you have. You then have to tell potential customers exactly what to do next, or they’ll drift off, get distracted and do something else. Do not assume they’ll know what to do – tell them straight and then they will definitely understand. Calls-to-action guide your prospects and give them clear direction on what to do next. For example, ‘Buy Now’, ‘Subscribe to Our Newsletter’, and ‘Pay Here’ all help to influence your prospects to take action.

4. Use email marketing to create great ROI. Email marketing brings great returns, sometimes £40 for every £1 you spend. Stay in touch with your customers and prospects so that you stay in their minds for their next buy, next project and next pitch.

5. Be consistent. Make sure your communication and brand collateral is consistent in message, style, tone of voice, colour, look and feel. It should be immediately apparent to customers and prospects with every touch point you have with them that it is unmistakeably you.

6. Form alliances with other businesses. Forming alliances with other companies with the same target audience but with complementary products and services can deliver great results.

7. Give samples. Customers love to know exactly what they are buying, if you can give them a sample, they’ll feel a lot more comfortable and trusting – and trust sells. Trust Darwin, we know from experience.

8. Use the influence of family and friends. They can be an excellent source of referrals, so ensure that they know what you do and understand it well enough to explain it to others.

These eight approaches can fill your sales funnel. There are of course many, many more, but these can get you started. Ideally your business will have eight different lead-generating methods in place and eight times the prospect of building a more powerful brand and boosting business, short term and long term alike.

For more information, contact Vincent Bissette at;

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How the Right Type of Branding Helps You Attract More of the Right Type of Customer

Not every client is ideal for your business. In some cases the client may have the wrong expectation of what you will deliver, and at other times, like an off-the-peg suit chosen for all the wrong reasons, they simply won’t fit your project.

Not only will mismatching prove unsatisfactory for the client, it also could damage your business when a bad review or rating comes in. Nobody wants a badly paired client speaking ill of them, and this is very likely to happen, believe me – I’ve been working in branding consultancy in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Manchester for over twenty years.

Effective, professionally put together brand marketing equips businesses with the means to deliver a consistent, controlled message to their prospects and clients. Without a conscious effort to instil your branding into every customer touch point, opportunities are lost – and along with those opportunities will go many clients who are right for you. Nobody wins.

Finding appropriate clients is a relatively logical process, when you take an objective look at the situation. Clients need to know what you offer, who it is for and what results they can expect to achieve from buying your product or using your services. Without clarity, it will be hard to fulfil the brief, build credibility and amass the essential trust that will encourage prospects to buy from you.

Sometimes a brand that is not being effective in attracting the right clients will need to be evolved to connect to the correct target market. It’s important to connect visuals to the marketing message and the offers. Your logo, website and other supporting collateral should look good and read well – a professional representative for your business.

In all, look for an aligned message, vision and a brand that is authentic. It should be a distinctive identity that demonstrates the expertise and personality of the company. Something that allows you to stand out in a crowded marketplace. Clients should know immediately if you are the right fit for them.

Define your branding image accurately and the clients almost become self-selecting: they are savvy people who will recognise professional branding. Encountering a brand that strikes the right notes and engages with them, they will know intuitively that you can help them meet their challenges and grow.

In the current economy, it’s not enough to just be an ‘also ran’ with a brand that doesn’t inspire and doesn’t connect. It’s essential to send a message in all client-facing aspects of your business that communicates the positive values of your business. As a result you’ll enjoy an increase in profits.

For more information, contact Vincent Bissette at;

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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;

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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. tel: Tel: 0844 880 4281, email:

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;

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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.


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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. tel: Tel: 0844 880 4281, email:

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;

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