Should I spend time more of my developing a brand or keeping the baked beans hot? Read on and you decide…
“I own a café in Cheltenham and I don’t think branding is relevant for my business. Branding is for big companies whereas my main concern is keeping the baked beans hot!”. This is the attitude of many small business owners and I want to tackle this misconception.
Your business is ‘Special’
Brand is defined as the attributes that identify a seller’s product or service as distinct as those of another seller. Put simply, it’s what makes you [or your product or service] ‘special’, and commonly is made up of stuff like, your name, logo, strapline and design style.
You may ask why, as a small business, do I need to be concerned about brand? Isn’t it only large organisations that spend money on branding while small companies just get on with the job? However, whether your business is cleaning windows in Peckham High Street, or you’re a multinational IT company, a strong brand helps customers choose you, to buy from, or do business with.
A truth well told
One of my favourite definitions of brand, is of ‘a truth well told’, and to do this we work with businesses to describe what they do in a short sentence – no more than eight words. We believe a short narrative that captures the essence of your business, will both motivate you and inspire others. Try it out…eight words or less! [Here’s some that were prepared earlier, Helping good people say important things, Ideas worth spreading and Financial choices for successful businesses].
Mark Twain was quoted as saying he didn’t have time to write a short letter while American author, Ernest Hemmingway, was challenged to write a six word story that would make people cry. He considered the challenge for some time before offering the following; ‘For sale: Baby shoes: Never worn’. I may have deviated slightly but the point is that crafting a short description that captures the heart of your business, can be challenging but get it right, and it will not just provide a strategic focus but a way to communicate and inspire that focus to others.
The front window
We encourage any business owner redesigning their company website to align their website, which is the company’s front window, with this strategic narrative. The elements that combine to communicate your brand such as logo, typography, design and written style will be represented throughout your website and need to be aligned and consistent with your brand.
The frontpage of a website acts like the cover of paperback, attracting attention and forming the basis of a new client’s decision to either pick up the phone to you or call a competitor. First impressions count and if in those initial seven seconds when first impressions are being formed, your website can communicate a consistent and inspiring brand message, it will contribute to the success of your business and you may even be able employ someone else to keep the baked beans hot!
Free communications MOT with all new web design projects
Spiritlevel Communications have teamed up with my good friend, Ollie Tigwell at Lightly Salted to offer an integrated communications and web design service. To ensure your website project gets off on the right foot we’re currently offering a free communications MOT with all new website projects, and other selected communications services, to create great websites, that do more than just give out information, websites that get through to the people who are key to the success of your business. For more information on this fabulous free offer go to www.lightlysalted.agency/web-packages