Branding 101 for Small Business
Welcome to Season 1, Episode 8, Branding 101 for Small Business, of Web and BeyondCast. What is Branding? Why Should Small Business owners care? That's the goal of this episode.
(If you’re reading this in a podcast directory/app, please visit http://webandbeyondcast.com/008 for clickable links and the full show notes and transcript of this cast.)
To help answer this question, I have with me today, Reggie Holmes, the owner and Creative Director at Enthuse Creative, a branding and design studio based in the Washington DC metropolitan area. Enthuse Creative specializes in brand strategy, design and management for services-oriented startups, small businesses and professional organizations. Reggie brings 9+ years of strategic thinking and creative talent to the plate for his clients, developing award-winning visual solutions for print and digital media.
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So, Reggie, tell us what brought you to branding, strategy and design? What attracted you to this profession?
I have always been interested in design, ever since I was a young child. I can remember when I used to design logos and apparel for fictional sports franchises.
I have a Fine Arts degree and I appreciate fine art disciplines like drawing and painting, but I am most drawn to commercial art, lines, shapes and how they work with type and text to communicate concepts and ideas. This was solidified for me during a computer graphics class my senior year in high school. I like that design is more geared toward communication than expression. It affects our everyday lives in so many ways, from signage and advertising to almost everything we read each day on paper or screens.
What is branding? How should Small Business approach the concept in terms of practicality for their business? Ergo, why should they care?
Your brand is in many respects your business’ most valuable asset. Branding is the cumulative entities, identities, expressions and extensions - all the “touchpoints” that make up that brand. It is all the elements inherent to your business or organization that help distinguish it from anything else.
Branding can be thought of in terms of addition (+) and multiplication (x)
You are adding individual elements but they will have multiplied effect as they reinforce your brand identity and message across the many platforms/media channels that we have available to us today.
Studies show that the average consumer is exposed to up to 10,000 brand messages a day. And as marketers are presented with more and more channels to reach their customers, that number is growing rapidly.
Source: “Why Your Customers’ Attention is the Scarcest Resource in 2017”
What are the components of a Small Business Brand?
Visual Elements (logo, colors, marketing collateral, website, app, signage, retail/point-of-sale)
Verbal Elements (tagline, web copy, voicemail/phone greeting, customer service)
Tangible v. Intangible (tone, online tech support or phone number, price or no-price)
Promise/Proposition (identify what brand represents, values, goals)
Promote (highlight and reinforce positive qualities)
Position (identity strengths/ target audience/demographic/differentiate)
For the solo entrepreneur, you yourself are the brand, especially early in the beginning while you build. There ought to be harmony and not a disconnection between what you project personally and what your business projects. Everything will create a story that is uniquely yours, language, characters and narrative, therefore it must all be connected and congruous.
How can a startup business owner with little to no budget start out branding so that when they are ready to, say, hire you,