BLISS AND TELL BRANDING 101 - no. 1

THREE BRANDING ERRORS

take a look at a few commonly made branding mistakes and see how your current brand weighs in
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LOGO vs. BRAND

STOP OVERLOOKING THE TRUE POTENTIAL OF WHAT THE RIGHT BRAND CAN AND WILL ACCOMPLISH FOR YOUR BUSINESS.  DON'T SETTLE FOR JUST A LOGO.

It’s common for people to confuse a designed logo for branding. Although a logo and a brand work hand-in-hand they are not the same, a logo is not a brand.  While you may have a lovely looking logo, a strong brand derives from thoughtful research, discovery needed to build a sound brand foundation.

WAS  YOUR LOGO ESTABLISHED BY DEFINING THE PURPOSE, VISION AND VALUES OF YOUR BUSINESS?

Hopefully you answered ‘yes’ to the question above.  If so, you’re off to a great start!  Let’s see how ya’ do with No. 2 and No. 3 below.

If you answered ‘no’ to the question, that’s awesome (yep… awesome!) because you’ve just made the first step toward bettering your business. Understanding that your current logo is not the best representation of your company’s personality is an important start toward building the amazing brand your company deserves. 

To be clear...your BRAND is the all-encompassing vibe of your company.  Within your brand is your IDENTITY -- print + digital touch-points with your clientele.  Your LOGO is a visual representation and reinforcement of your brand.   DON'T settle for a pretty logo and fancy fonts.  DO make sure that your logo, represented in your identity, encompasses the brand of your company.  Start by reviewing what the vibe of your brand is (ie: mission, personality, story, etc...)...then review your logo.  DO ask yourself if your logo reflects what you just defined as your brand vibe.  (is there a connection? )

 
TIME + BUDGET

I CAN'T STRESS ENOUGH HOW MUCH THE IMPACT OF A QUALITY BRAND CONTRIBUTES  TO THE SUCCESS OF YOUR BUSINESS.

Did you rush into defining + designing your current brand with unrealistic timelines and a skimpy budget? ( did your brother-in-law design your logo in an hour? )  Being unrealistic about what it really takes to define and design your brand ensures the launch of a poorly executed brand that will directly delay, if not entirely affect, the success of your business.

DON’T undervalue the role the look + feel of your brand plays in establishing trust with new clients and loyalty among existing ones. Keep in mind that a brand is what a consumers experience of your company -- if you skimp here, then so will your customer.  DO set aside time to identify where your current brand is lacking.  Make a daily note, in your business journal or daily planner, and document the ways you recognize your current brand does or does not reflect the quality of product and/or services your company offers. Then, in approx. 60 days, you will be able to reflect and assess why, and how, you need to proceed to improve your brand. (start today, jot your thoughts down. )

DON’T underestimate that great design takes time…and…money. (yes…money.)  DO save yourself the outcome of frustration and embarrassment from trying to create your brand from an insufficient branding budget.  Companies that properly invest in their brand have far superior results than businesses that are cheap and unrealistic about the cost it takes to collaborate with a professional design + branding agency.

PLAN YOUR BRANDING BUDGET :: here are the numbers from a recent entrepreneur.com article, March 2015 ::

new businesses  | start-up through 5 years old | Plan to spend 12% - 20% of your annual gross revenue on branding and marketing.  (gasp!!!) It may seem high (as you’re doing calculations in your head), however remember, as a new company you will need to create brand recognition from scratch, in a market where nobody knows who you are.

established companies | in business 5+ years | Plan to allocate between 6% - 12% of your annual gross revenue. You’ll find that once your brand is established, the cost to build your brand-following drops significantly.

 

It’s not too late to dedicate a well appointed timeline and sufficient budget toward reaching your design + branding goals.  We’re two months into the new year, and I’m sure you’ve already projected what the gross revenue looks like for your company in 2016. If you’re a “new” company you should allocate, on average, 15% of that end of the year number toward creating a brand and establishing a marketing plan.  If, like most of the B&T clients, your company has been around for a few years, then about 10% of your annual earnings should be sufficient for consistent brand-marketing that reinforces your brand. 

When you realize that branding is a long-term investment (not a one-time expense) and that partnering with an experienced and professional design + branding agency will save you time and make you more money…I hope BLISS AND TELL will be the first design + branding company you share your ideas with.

DIY + HODGEPODGE ARE NOT OPTIONS

YOU WOULDN'T BUILD A HOUSE WITHOUT HIRING AN ARCHITECT...WOULD YOU?

Imagine you’re finally ready to take the leap…and build a dream home.  Because you’re excited and have a vision (and for time and budget sake) you decide to draw-up your own plans and approach the actual construction and build phase as a DIY project.  Hmmmm.  How’s that going to work out for you? Okay, yes…you’ll save time. Sure… you’ll save some money.  And in the end you’ll own a house that is ugly, lacking function + purpose, and most likely will need a timely and expensive solution to rectify or remodel entirely.

Many of the new inquiries BLISS AND TELL receives are from clients that “never really loved their original brand”  or are  “frustrated that their original brand isn’t working for them.”   Unfortunately, too many companies end up with a sloppy brand from trying to cut-corners with a DIY design approach and quick-solution hodgepodge marketing pieces. Whether it’s purchasing a $100 on-line logo, or ordering a pre-made postcard, it’s impossible to expect that a thrown together look + feel will grow your brand and increase your revenue.  Hear me now, working with multiple designers, print-houses, or worse yet – doing it yourself will not create the visual and verbal consistency your company needs. Brand consistency is not a result of erratic decision making and poorly executed marketing material.  Brand consistency requires strategic thought, mindful planning and implementation.

So let’s do this:  Take a moment to gather your current business card, a recent ad or postcard, a price/hang tag and another piece of marketing collateral you have on hand.  Yep…go get at least 4 marketing pieces … and place them next to each other.

 

BE CONSISTENT + COHESIVE  |  DO THE PIECES IN FRONT OF YOU... ::  have the same logo versions? ::  :: share the same typefaces (fonts)? :: :: share the same color palette? :: :: have similar image/photography styles? :: :: relay a similar ‘voice’ and message? ::

  Well, how’d you do?  Does your current brand maintain a visual and verbal consistency?  Or are you bummed out because you realize your brand is lacking a cohesive look + feel?  Think about this... how is a potential client supposed to feel certain about doing business with you if you lack confidence handing out a business card (that you despise) or are constantly making-up excuses about your website (that you’re embarrassed to share)?

DON’T mistake your creative talent and eye-for-style as equal to a professional agency with years of design, branding and marketing experience.  DO recognize that your brand can become a mish-mash of assets that will eventually inhibit the growth and success of your company. DO remember that with consistency your brand will gain credibility, recognition, trust and loyalty with your customers.  It’s simple…DIY and hodgepodge are not options when it comes to your business!  (I think you and your company deserve more!!!)

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WHOA!!!!  I know it seems like a lot of information to digest and consider. Take a breath...and as you exhale... please recognize that the feeling you might be experiencing (ya' know...that ache in your gut, that little tug at your heart) is a great thing.  It's the same feeling that fueled your initial ideas, sparked your entrepreneurial journey and got you where you (and your business) are today.   

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CAPTURING THE BLISS OF YOUR BUSINESS SO OTHERS WILL TELL ABOUT YOUR BUSINESS

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