Is branding dead? Some people would have you think so. But these days good branding may actually be more important than ever!
Why? Because your prospects are making decisions about whether or not they want to stay on your website – or buy from you – in a split second.
A powerful brand that’s aimed right at your ideal client or customer can stop them in their tracks and convince them to stick around. A lame brand gets ignored and forgotten quickly when there are millions of other tempting links to click on.
All this doesn’t mean you need to go out and spend thousands of dollars on fancy graphics and web design. But it does mean you need to take a step back and think about what your brand says about your business now – and whether or not that’s what you want it to say.
Keep in mind, a brand isn’s just a pretty logo or a website. It’s communicated by everything from your logo and website, to your clothes to the way your phone is answered.
It’s the promises you make to your clients. The way your website makes them feel on first glance. Your professionalism. And much, much more than that!
Below are five things every entrepreneur needs to know to create a powerful brand:
1. Hit Them Right Between the Eyes
The key to great branding lies in hitting your target market right between the eyes. In other words, you need a well thought-out plan for creating the right impression with the right audience (the smaller, more niche the market the easier this is to accomplish). Then make sure you create that impression consistently with everything you do.
2. Be Specific with What You Want
A killer brand doesn’t have to cost a fortune. One of the biggest, and most expensive, mistakes entrepreneurs make is expecting their designer to come up with their brand for them. This typically results in many rounds of drafts while they (and you) struggle to figure out what you want.
Time is money. The more you know about what you want, the cheaper it’ll be to create it. So the more specific you can be when you hire a designer, the better.
3. Let Them Know What You Do
The name says it all. The best business names let people know at a glance what you offer and who you offer to. Think about it…Turning Point Consulting could be anything. As could Thompson Specialists.
Escape from Cubicle Nation, on the other hand, makes a huge benefit promise and lets you know who it’s aimed at right away. The Unchained Entrepreneur does much the same, and so does Get Known Now.
4. Select the Right Font
Fonts create the feel. What type of font best represents you and your business? Not sure? Look at lots of other businesses (other than your direct competition) and see what fonts they use, and more importantly what impression those fonts give you.
Check out fonts used for kids toys versus lawyer’s offices versus high tech gadgets and you’ll quickly notice some trends. Then choose a basic direction based on these examples and how you want to be perceived (techy, fun, conservative, hip, etc.). You can even download free fonts from the web and play with them in Microsoft Word to get a sense for how they look and feel.
5. Evoke an Emotive Response
Color generates an instant, emotional response. While a great logo should look fantastic in black & white, you’re going to want to pick certain colors to represent your business and brand. And not necessarily colors you like – but colors that will appeal to your ideal client.
So think about what you want people to feel when they see your website (relieved, energized, confident, intrigued, calm, etc.). Then consult a few feng shui books to see what colors stimulate those feelings best, and give your color ideas to your designer as a starting point.
Bottom line…effective branding is critical. But it’s gotta be so much more than just a cool logo and graphics. So consider just exactly what promise you want to make and to whom. Then make a plan to create that image for your business
smoother the design process will be.
Sidney Meet Up/Peninsula Chamber of Commerce – branding workshop series
Branding Workshop Series Proposal
Series for presentation to the members of Sidney MeetUP and the Peninsula Chamber of Commerce.
Holy Cow is an award-winning, full-service communications agency providing brand strategy, communications planning, graphic design, marketing, web development and social media & digital expertise.
Holy Cow has partnered with many of our region’s most recognized and loved brands — including Island Farms, the Saanich Peninsula Hospital Foundation, Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre, the Office of the Auditor General of British Columbia, PenYoga, Knickerbocker’s, Mayfair Shopping Centre, Columbia Fuels, the Canadian Scientific Submersible Facility, and the Office of the Information & Privacy Commissioner for British Columbia.
Today, Holy Cow has grown to a staff of eight and offers services from a relaxed, friendly and professional oceanfront office.
Holy Cow Communication Design Inc.
301 – 2537 Beacon Avenue, Sidney BC V8L 1Y3
250 655 6597
Sidney Meet Up/Peninsula Chamber of Commerce – branding workshop series
Delivery and facilitation of a 4-part workshop series on branding. The objective of the series is to increase participants’ knowledge of branding and to empower business owners to develop branding
The goal is to deliver a workshop series in which participants gain the greatest benefit from attending all four sessions, with each session building on the last.
The sessions would also be designed to be accessible and valuable to participants who only attend once or twice.
Participants who attend all four sessions will be entered to win a FREE 2 hour, one-on-one brand strategy consulting session with Erin Brocklebank, Communications Strategist for Holy Cow Communication Design (value $250).
• 4 x 1.5hr sessions (February, April, June, September)
• Beverage and light snack will be served
Session 1, 2, & 3 (see below for full session outlines) will consist of a 45min presentation, followed by a 30min interactive exercise.
1. Branding: The Basics
Find out what branding is and why it’s important for your business to have a strong, recognizable and coherent brand. We’ll talk about how to create a consistent brand identity, expand brand experience and increase brand loyalty.
2. Your Brand I – From Reflection to Action Learn how to determine a baseline of what’s currently working and what’s not for your brand. Reflect on the challenges your own brand has faced and identify realistic room for growth. Each participant will leave with a completed brand mini-audit.
3. Your Brand II – Values, Promise and PersonalityIn this fun and interactive session, you’ll learn how to identify your business’s brand values, promise & attributes and leave with a map for your brand’s personality. Find out how to use compelling communications to tell your brand’s story.
4. Sharing Your Brand Story In this final session, participants are invited to share their brand story (outcomes of the work we’ve done together in our sessions and the 2 months since) and provide feedback to one another. We’ll end the series by discussing further ways to integrate the brand into overall business objectives.The last 15mins will be a discussion of the session with a focus on peer learning.
The final session will be 1hr 15mins of Closing remarks In this final session, participants are invited to share their brand story (outcomes of the work we’ve done together in our sessions and the 2 months since) and provide feedback to one another.
We’ll end the series by discussing further ways to integrate the brand into overall business objectives.
We are looking for 4 sponsors . Your logo and contact information will appear on all marketing material for all 4 sessions Cost $250.00
All 4 workshops $200.00 up front
Individual workshops $75.00 each
Location Catalina Grill, Sidney Industrial Park
Date Feb 26th 5:30