News & Events
#007 – Building A Brand
- 31st May 2017
- Posted by: Nicky
- Category: Episodes
This week’s podcast which is all about Building a Brand.
The word ‘brand’ is talked about so much now but I think there is still confusion over what it actually means, particularly for people who are just starting up in business. So, perhaps we can help clarify what brand is exactly and what branding actually means.
Great stuff. I know several of my clients have thought that having a logo was the brand.
That’s right, a lot of people do. But there is so much more to it than that. A logo is just a visual symbol really and usually has the name or initials of the company in it. It may also incorporate the colour scheme that has been chosen so that it will become instantly recognisable.
Download Transcript 64kb
Copyright The Marketing Menu 2017 | All rights reserved | If you wish to copy of distribute this content please get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org
Talking of which, did you see that Cadbury tried to trademark the purple colour that it has used for its packaging for the last 100 years but lost a court battle with Nestle? That’s how important colour can be in making a product stand out.
Yes, I also heard that KitKat were trying to trademark their four finger chocolate bar but that they were also unsuccessful. We certainly do associate brands with certain colours. But more of that later because we actually need to have a brand strategy before we can think about creating a logo.
Yes, back on track. So, branding – what is it? And how do you decide which is the right branding strategy for your business?
Well, basically branding is your statement to the customer about what you do. I think brand is who you are and marketing is your message. You own your marketing whereas your consumers own your brand. So you want people to know what they can expect not only from your brand and you need to think how you want your product or service to be conveyed. It’s saying this is who we are and what we want you to know about us. A brand is the image you portray.
I like that, it’s simple! So that’s kind of like a mission statement and I guess you could say branding is why, marketing is how but what about strategy? It’s not the kind of thing you just throw together when you start out in business?
No, it certainly shouldn’t be! This needs some careful thought because you may well be spending money on a logo design which is going to go on your website, stationery, packaging and marketing materials. So you have to get it right.
What needs to be included then?
So, to start with, there needs to be some key questions answered such as:
What is your company’s mission, aims and objectives?
What makes your products or services stand out from others?
If you already have customers, what do they think about you?
What qualities do you want your customer to remember about your company?
Listeners can go back to podcast 4 which was all about What Makes Your Customer Tick for some tips on how to find out what your customers think about your business.
Good idea. When you’ve defined what your brand is and what it stands for, you can then start creating some brand messages.
How do you mean?
What are the most important statements that you want your customer to know? Have these written and defined and they can be used a foundation for all your marketing materials.
I would also recommend creating what are known in PR as ‘Boilerplates’.
Sounds like something to do with trains!
I know, I have no idea why – it’s probably a printing term! But basically, they are the statements about your company or organization that an Editor might find useful when you send a Press Release. But you don’t put the information in the body of the Press Release. So, background information really. And I would suggest having a selection of 50, 100 and 150-word statements at the ready that can use whenever you need too.
So thinking back to podcast 5 about Networking, could they be adapted to create a juicy intro?
They could indeed! Because they say what you do in a succinct way. Any road up, back to branding – once you’ve created some key messages, what then?
I think being consistent is really important. So this means making sure that these messages are seen and heard across the business.
What do you mean?
Well, the key messages that you have thought so long and hard about need to be incorporated into your Business and Marketing Plans.
Right back to podcast 1 then?!
Yes, we don’t just throw these podcasts together you know, there is a theme here! The branding has to reflect and inform the way you do business Branding is the reason someone buys. Marketing is the reason someone thought to buy in the first place.
I see. And your business needs to be living and breathing the brand through things like the way you communicate with customers, how to write emails, how you answer the phone, how you deal with complaints, how your staff dress etc.
Exactly. That’s what I mean about consistency. Now, you’ve been working with a client on personal branding haven’t you, Liz?
Yes, that’s been really interesting actually because although there are some of the same basic principles as company branding, there are some issues that are specific to a personal brand.
Well, focusing on what it is he actually does and translating that into words was the first thing we had to do. He is an entrepreneur so his life is very varied and it has taken some time to define what he is and what stands for personally without crossing too much over into his business brand.
Yes it was and one of most challenging aspects has been creating a perception of monetary value around him rather than a product of service. We’ve worked on developing my client as an expert or thought leader in his field by crafting the content that he publishes on his social media which is distinctly different from his business. That reinforces the personal brand.
So why bother having two brands?
Because he is an individual businessman. He wanted to promote himself but have a different persona for his business. In reality, there is a lot of crossover but there are stories and updates he posts on his personal social media, particularly some of his personal ethos, that wouldn’t be appropriate for his business accounts. Interestingly, he uses Instagram very successfully for his personal brand but not for business.
Businesses need to be clear about this too actually. Branding is all about what the company stands for, not the individuals. And we’ll be covering how this translates on to social media in our next podcast in a fortnight’s time.
So, this seems a good time to remind listeners that if you are enjoying this Marketing Menu podcast, please do make sure you share and subscribe via iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn or Blubbry when this edition has finished. And please we could really do with increasing our audience so if you are on Twitter or Facebook please follow us at @mktngmenu or at The Marketing Menu on Facebook as we’d really like to get out there and help as many growing businesses as possible.
Can we have a chat about some of the big brands we know and love and why they are so successful and put all this into context?
Yes, that would be interesting!
Let’s look at McDonald’s, love them or hate them, because there’s a lot behind all this.
And of course, they’ve been running an ad campaign telling people all about the 100% meat they use because people thought they were using all the unmentionable bits.
Yes and McDonald’s are a great example of how to get it wrong too. Look at their recent campaign using a bereaved child as an example of their burgers creating memories and connections.
They got it completely wrong this time – I’ve been calling it a PR fail on social media.
It really was. And the key is that McDonald’s have no connection to childhood bereavement support or any linked charity to somehow underpin their message. It came out of the blue and was not consistent with their brand message.
I agree, I saw this as a bit contrived because it wasn’t linked to a national campaign.
Most people know that McDonald’s is about more than just burgers and that it does some social good.
So let’s round this up by talking about logos, which is where we started this podcast. Hopefully, listeners can now understand how a logo can’t be created until the branding strategy has been decided and understood by the whole organisation.
Actually, my own Brilliant Fish logo is an example of this.
How did you come up with the name?
Well, originally I wanted to be Big Fish PR with the idea that we helped little fish become big fish – do you get it?
Yes I see!
But when I came to register the name at Companies House, it was already being used. I was gutted.
I bet you were although Liz that’s a really bad pun!
So, I had a brainstorming session with the other Directors and we wrote down all the words that we associated with the business and its clients. We couldn’t lose the fish for some reason even though we tried. And then our Matt came up with brilliant, because our clients are.
Clever! But what about the logo.
Well, obviously we needed a fish so we found a picture of a goldfish and our designer cleverly changed the colour of the fins to blue. The meaning behind all this was that we help you to stand out in the shoal of other business out there. And people mention all the time about how different it is.
Great story! So there are some basic steps to follow when creating a logo. The first thing to do is to go and have a look at what your competitors are doing. They may be using an image that is related to your business – say, for instance, you’re a vegetarian restaurant and you want to include a picture of a particular veg, make sure your competitors aren’t doing the same.
Yes, you want to avoid veg wars!
Precisely! But seriously, if your logo is too similar to another one, you lose the impact of what it is you’re trying to say. Unless, of course, you are a fake perfume or fashion brand who deliberately make their logos the same to mislead the customer!
What else do we need to know about creating a logo?
Think carefully about the style of font you are going to use and also the colour. Back to what we were saying at the start of the podcast and also in podcast 5 about customers perceptions of colour. There’s loads of research on this so if you are a vegetarian restaurant, you may well want to include greens in your colour palette to imply freshness and nature.
And I guess the font also has to carry over into what you use for marketing materials and emails?
Yes indeed. That means that people will learn to identify that font with your brand. It’s worth saying here that you can have a typeface created especially for you but that does tend to cost.
Are we telling our listeners to avoid WordArt and ClipArt?
Most definitely yes that’s a blast from the past! A cheap logo will look exactly that. Cheap. And is that the image you want your customers to associate with you?
Probably not but I must say I like the emphasis on logos which are purely typeface you know, they’re modern and clean.
For sure but, even so, it is really is worth getting a designer to create a logo for you. But, be warned, you need to prepare a very specific brief about what you want the logo to represent. That’s where the strategy comes in.
I guess this will stop any relationship with a designer turning horribly sour when they keep producing images based on their own assumptions which don’t match your own?
You got it. Be very clear. And if you have a picture in your head of how you would like it to look, tell them. But be prepared to be flexible if they have a better idea of how your branding translates into an image.
Can I just say at this point Nicky, that I absolutely love what you have done with the Marketing Menu branding? The speech bubbles depict what we do and I love the menu theme that runs through all the images you produce for social media.
Well, thank you very much, Liz! I’ve loved created them although my problem is Liz between you and me I always get a little design tired after a while and see a new logo and think oh we could be like this and off I go messing around again but I know you’re going to caution against this!
Well certainly because if you do keep changing your colours, fonts and logos all the time how are people going to recognise you, you can’t afford to build something and then throw it in the bin cos you’re bored!
Ultimately listeners remember branding is about building loyalty, marketing is about generating response, or better put branding is the being and marketing is the doing. This is just an introduction to branding and we’ll look at branding again in a future podcast.
So listeners, we’ve come to the end of this I think we can safely say delicious podcast! Don’t forget we also offer a free transcript of all our podcasts on our website The Marketing Menu.com so if you’re not already on our website, head over there to download your copy.
And of course we’re here to tailor the content around your needs so if you have any questions, please do get in touch but most of all please share our channel with others who you feel may benefit from tuning in.
Thank you so much for tuning in – we’re very glad you chose us as we know there are lots of other podcasts and webinars out there. We very much hope what we’ve shared today will give you some tips to build your own brand.
Yes, so tune in again on Wednesday 14th June when the subject will be all about the huge subject of using Social Media in your marketing. So this is a goodbye from me, Nicky from Media Box Marketing til next time.
And me Liz at Brilliant Fish PR & Marketing, goodbye.
©The Marketing Menu 2017. All rights reserved.