As a business owner, you will undoubtedly have heard the mystical term ‘branding’ since day one. Also as a business owner, you may be mildly confused as to what branding actually is. As a brand designer, I come across A LOT of assumptions that are incorrect. Some are understandable, however, some are so infuriating to hear because they actively hold back small businesses from accomplishing more.
Let me break down five of the most common misconceptions and why they are getting in your way…
This is the equivalent of calling a cup of hot water ‘tea’. It’s an essential part of a cuppa but without the rest (teabag, milk and a sweetener please) – it’s not going to cut it as a refreshing beverage of choice. Likewise, your logo is an essential part of branding but it is not a brand in itself. It’s purely a mark to say who the thing is from. (Literally – that’s where logos originated – to identify cargo. You and your customers deserve better than a ‘with love from’ stamp).
See point A. Nope, branding goes far deeper than just the looks. It’s the whole experience including business strategy and planning, goals, customer on and off boarding, the sales process, your marketing and advertising strategy, your social media feeds, the words you use, the hashtags you use – every single touchpoint a potential customer or collaborator comes into contact with is your brand. The visuals are the way to communicate all of this – like the tip of the iceberg. Without the depths, you won’t make an impact.
Well, ok no. You don’t NEED it. I mean, I don’t NEED hot water, but it makes the experience of life better (trust me, my boiler recently broke and wow – not fun).
Branding may not make it to your ‘absolutely must haves in order to function’ list like say a bank account or that dreamy Paperchase notebook, but it should be on your non-negotiable list. Why? Because your brand can help you to earn more money and save you a ton of time.
There’s a reason big businesses invest big money in branding, because they know the value. Don’t forget, businesses like Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Microsoft were started by one person at home. Ther’sno reason you can’t grow to be a powerhouse too.
Honestly, they do. We all do, whether subconsciously or not we make our buying decisions based on whether we think something is trustworthy, valuable to us and quality. Branding is the simplest way to communicate all that easily.
If you want customers who don’t care about branding, then they will care about price and if your customers only care about price, you’ll need to work damn hard and sell a lot more to make the money of your dreams. Good branding = good product = good customers.
What you mean is, I’m choosing not to prioritise it. First up, there are a variety of brand designers out there at different budgets between £500 and £50,000. Many like myself will offer payment plans, or you can look at investing time over money and sign up to a course like my Build Your Brand course (more on this soon!).
Secondly, if you invest in the right designer, you will make the money you invested back quickly. A well-developed brand will allow you to charge more, attract more clients and make marketing a dream – how can you afford not to have that? And more importantly, why wouldn’t you invest in that?!
There may be some controversial opinions in there but honestly, I do what I do because I believe branding can elevate small businesses beyond their wildest dreams. I’ve seen it happen. My clients are proof that you can double or triple your income, take your local business nationwide, if not global, and expand from one person to many through the confidence and authority that branding brings.
If you’re ready to talk about taking your business to the next level through branding, pop a call in my diary and let’s chat.
Agree or disagree, I’d love to continue the conversation over in my Facebook group The Brand Lounge. Join in to demystify all things brand and enjoy weekly trainings full of practical advice you can implement today to improve your brand. Grab beverage and I’ll see you there.
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