Every year I reevaluate my business. Not because it needs change, but because it needs to be reminded of what the goal has always been. The simple answer is, “help businesses succeed.” The more complex answer is, “help businesses define success.” It’s never the same for any business. It amazes me how every business is so unique, even if they do the same thing.
I’ve helped tons of businesses with their branding from a small startup logo to a full-blown brand campaign including print, web, tv, radio, and social. What I’ve learned is that, to some degree, both businesses are the same. Both small and large businesses have the same desired result. Both have the potential to make an impact and change their industry. So what is the real difference?
I’ve never met a business owner that didn’t want to grow and be successful. But in this new world where everything is “made in China,” the entrepreneurial mindset has become overly focused on price instead of quality. Granted, I understand how a small business with limited resources cringes at the idea of forking out hard-earned dollars for the potential of growing its business. Wouldn’t it just be better to pocket the cash and keep doing what you’re doing? The final decision is always up to you, but let me encourage you with this. There is always a way to weigh the risk with the reward. You don’t have to break the bank to be successful, but you should plan for success.
What does that look like, practically? For some businesses, it simply means setting aside a percentage of their gross income specifically for branding, promotion, and advertising. Traditionally, that number has been 15% but can be anything you’re comfortable with. Then, once you settle on a number that works for you, feel free to give us a call and we can chat about what you can do with that amount.
A lot of folks won’t risk hiring a professional because they think they can do it themselves, or use free options that actually cheapen the business’ brand. This is where a professional design studio or ad agency is most beneficial. While we do charge for our services, we also know how to stretch your budgeting dollars to arrive at the best reward, while lowering the risk. The companies that plan for success and take the risk will end up far better off than the ones that don’t.
Culture & Personality
Businesses that understand what branding is—always, without exception—generate more interest in their business. Why? It’s pretty simple really. Think about a business like McDonald’s. While I don’t recommend eating there, I have in the past. In fact, I’ve eaten at MickyD’s in both America and Thailand. There was literally no difference in how they operated, and what you got, other than the language that they spoke. The knowledge that I can get the exact same thing every time I go there, no matter where in the world it is, is branding.
Most design firms and ad agencies will blabber on and on about how they can create a brand for you. The reality is that you already have a brand. It just needs to be cultivated. By digging into your own personality and the culture you represent, we can build a brand around who you are, instead of who you might think you are or even want to be. With a bit of research and coaching, we could have you on the right track in no time, influencing your audience and building relationships that last.
Audience or Demographic
Lastly, your audience is important, but not always who you think they are. A children’s dentist has an obvious demographic, but even that might be different than what you see on the surface. They generally don’t sell their services to children. They sell to parents, sometimes a single mom, or single dad, or sometimes to guardians, who can be grandmas and grandpas or aunts and uncles. Then once they commit, all of a sudden the focus changes to the child as well as the parent/guardian. Whereas a business that sells food has a much larger chore in determining who is going to be the main audience since everyone eats food.
Again, this is where a design firm or ad agency can help. We like to define the audience and craft messages that resonate specifically with them—just like I’m doing to you right now! Think about it. You read this far. Why? Something I’m saying resonates with you. There is information here that you’re eager to figure out how to apply to your own business. That’s great. Let’s chat and build a plan around your budget and start building a better brand that gets more interaction with your audience. We’re happy to help.