Branding is Fun and (Not) Easy

word cloud - branding
© z_amir – Fotolia.com

It’s not that I want to rant – I don’t. I don’t want to be one of those lone voices that hollers about the old-fashioned way because she’s trying to keep her business kicking in spite of new streamlined offerings that are threatening to overtake her niche. I’m not too worried about what I do being automated. But there is a little rant in here.

I came across a branding enterprise that comprises a group of great folks who know & are passionate about supporting start-up businesses. They sincerely want to help them get a leg up on getting their brand discovered & out of the way so they (the business) can start. . . doing business. They realize this is one of the things that stalls getting a business started.

BUT

The package they’ve designed to (mostly) get people enthused about getting a brand done-&-out-of-the-way is a 12-step ‘genie’ process that pops  your identity out at the other end of the survey. Kind of a cool concept:

    • First you choose an Adjective from a list of 12 that would describe your new company’s personality.
    • Then you pick from a list of Known Brands (Levis, Tiffany, Abercrombie (kidding)) to decide what brand you aspire to (kind of useful).
    • Water: stream, falls, lake, ocean.
    • Then a Texture: Sweater, pearls, wood, legos (you can see the parallels here: cuddly, elegant, earthy, painful when you step on them in the middle of the night, etc).
    • And a Chair:  modern, functional, goofy, classic.
    • Later, an Animal – chimp, zebra, ladybug, among others.  I chose ladybug. But I couldn’t figure out the connection. Does zebra choice mean I change my stripes a lot? Or kick?  What about the chimpanzee with the bad dental hygiene? What does that mean? Maybe ladybug means diligent and charming. I can do that.
    • Celebrity – Two women, five men.
    • Shoes – Really.

Anyway, you pick these things – some of them have a real pull and some are kind of a mystery – and *poof!* out pop a couple concepts for you to try on. I got Earthy and Creative.  As a small business, I could have gotten a bit jazzed about thinking I am like a stream, Robert Redford, a ladybug and a pair of flip flops. I’ve already started to see myself as kind of pure, iconic, devoted and casual. So this part gets me going on identifying myself (er, business) with a certain personality.

Actually, this is a lead-in to sell a follow-up brand guide and some templated business cards (a *poof!* logo included, maybe) and website layout. Perhaps the founders (all great, entrepreneurial women)  know this is what keeps businesses from getting started –  they lack definition. An endorsement on the site says, “Any business that has gone through the branding process knows how painful and expensive it can be. Now it’s amazingly simple, and fun.”

I agree. The branding process is somewhat painful because it can be somewhat personal. It’s expensive because it takes some time you could be spending on sales processes or making your art. And the branding agent {me} doesn’t work for free. I think it can be fun, and I try to make the process fun for my clients, but “amazingly simple”? Not so much.

I think getting a brand for branding’s sake takes some shortcuts across things that are essential in learning about, well, why you want to start this businesswho is a right fit for what you offer, your philosophy, what offerings or qualities make your company different from the one next door.

Colour & typeface should be decided. By you. Not just the blue-means-trust thing, but something you can identify with, from your personality. If someone handed me a pastel palette for a branding scheme,  I might walk the other way. I am creative and earthy (to a degree), but peach or light green I couldn’t stand behind. It would always feel a little ‘wrong’ to me. There can’t be a-n-y-t-h-i-n-g you’re unconvinced about when it comes to your branding. Makes for an insincere itch you can’t quite scratch.

 

I work with people who are invested in their ventures because they are the face and voice of their company. Or they might BE the company, and their personality is inherent in their brand, their recognition. Maybe if you are selling pet insurance or cartoon coffee mugs you don’t need to do a lot of psych-work to have a brand. Getting that out of the way would indeed help you get on your way to calling on pet stores and tsotchky places.

What I’m trying to encourage in this post is to shoulder the work & make a strong brand. There aren’t many shortcuts, but there aren’t many in building your biz, either. Businesses fail every day, and one of the reasons for failure is the tendency to jump into ‘doing business’ without the solid platform of why you do what you do and for whom. Branding goes through the whole organization: from your staff & the way they approach service or handling problems, to your audience, who wants to relate to your brand by knowing your story, your philosophy.

If you don’t want to afford the time or the money for a one or two-day branding session, I’ve made a series of branding podcasts with worksheets that you can purchase & download to complete on your own time. You will still need to invest your thoughts & puzzle over your right customers & what makes your business tick, but you’ll be able to slice it up into smaller chunks.

Or you can hire me to meet with you and your staff and we’ll have a good, fruitful, crazy, exhausting day of brand exploration. Either way, a solid platform to build your business.

Now, What do you want to say today?

Share small business news, blogs and social media tips with Project Eve’s community of small business owners and entrepreneurs today. Our contributors come from a wide range of backgrounds; so whether you are a small business owner, social media strategist, financial adviser, serial entrepreneur, or write an amateur blog we urge you to contribute a blog to our 350,000+ community today. For more information, please refer to our Content Submissions Guidelines.

Add a Blog

38 COMMENTS

  1. 610829 725002Oh my goodness! an incredible article dude. Thanks a ton Even so We are experiencing issue with ur rss . Dont know why Cannot enroll in it. Can there be any person discovering identical rss dilemma? Anyone who knows kindly respond. Thnkx 224958

  2. 930482 835067Hello there, just became alert to your blog by way of Google, and found that it is really informative. Im going to watch out for brussels. I will appreciate in case you continue this in future. Many people will probably be benefited from your writing. Cheers! 942873

  3. hello there and thank you to your information – I’ve definitely picked up anything new from right here. I did however expertise several technical points the use of this web site, as I skilled to reload the site lots of instances previous to I could get it to load correctly. I have been pondering in case your hosting is OK? Now not that I’m complaining, however sluggish loading instances times will very frequently impact your placement in google and could harm your high quality rating if advertising and ***********|advertising|advertising|advertising and *********** with Adwords. Anyway I’m adding this RSS to my e-mail and could look out for a lot more of your respective exciting content. Ensure that you replace this once more very soon..

  4. I like the helpful info you supply on your articles. I’ll bookmark your blog and check once more right here frequently. I am somewhat certain I’ll learn lots of new stuff right here! Good luck for the next!

  5. I have noticed that car insurance providers know the cars and trucks which are vulnerable to accidents as well as other risks. They also know what sort of cars are inclined to higher risk along with the higher risk they’ve got the higher a premium rate. Understanding the straightforward basics involving car insurance can help you choose the right type of insurance policy which will take care of your needs in case you happen to be involved in an accident. Thank you sharing your ideas on your blog.

  6. After checking out a handful of the blog articles on your web page, I really like your way of writing a blog. I saved it to my bookmark website list and will be checking back in the near future. Please check out my website as well and tell me your opinion.

  7. Hi there, I found your site by way of Google while looking for a comparable subject, your web site came up, it appears to be like good. I have bookmarked it in my google bookmarks.

  8. Hiya, I’m really glad I’ve found this info. Today bloggers publish just about gossip and internet stuff and this is really frustrating. A good web site with interesting content, this is what I need. Thank you for making this web-site, and I will be visiting again. Do you do newsletters? I Can’t find it.

  9. I am extremely impressed with your writing skills as well as with the layout on your weblog. Is this a paid theme or did you customize it yourself? Either way keep up the nice quality writing, it’s rare to see a nice blog like this one these days..

  10. I’ve learned newer and more effective things as a result of your site. One other thing I’d prefer to say is that often newer laptop or computer os’s tend to allow additional memory to be played with, but they also demand more storage simply to run. If someone’s computer can’t handle more memory as well as newest software package requires that memory increase, it usually is the time to shop for a new Personal computer. Thanks

  11. Whats up very nice web site!! Guy .. Beautiful .. Amazing .. I will bookmark your website and take the feeds additionally…I’m glad to search out a lot of helpful info right here within the post, we need develop extra techniques in this regard, thank you for sharing. . . . . .

  12. 584170 228720Thanks for your time so much for your impressive and incredible guide. I will not be reluctant to endorse your web websites to any individual who should receive direction on this difficulty. 654468

  13. I have discovered some considerations through your website post. One other subject I would like to express is that there are lots of games available and which are designed mainly for toddler age kids. They include pattern identification, colors, family pets, and styles. These usually focus on familiarization in lieu of memorization. This makes children and kids occupied without feeling like they are learning. Thanks

  14. I would like to thnkx for the efforts you’ve put in writing this web site. I’m hoping the same high-grade blog post from you in the upcoming as well. Actually your creative writing abilities has inspired me to get my own blog now. Actually the blogging is spreading its wings fast. Your write up is a great example of it.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here