Can you market yourself?
When you begin a strategic branding process, it’s advised to research your competitors to get a ‘lay of the land’. You want to see what you’re up against, understand what marketing and communications get the highest response rates, and in a lot of cases see what is not working.
Learning from what has been done already saves time and is a great way to benchmark your business against industry best.
When I researched Brand Strategists in Melbourne I was amazed by the talent, and also a little skeptical due to the perceived lack of effective, strong and well-rounded brands, both visually and digitally.
In a business to business (B2B) environment, direct business development techniques are often preferred over broad and promotional marketing strategies. Relationship building is vital, but it raises a red flag for me if someone who develops brands for a living is unable to harness their skills to establish their own identity before tending to others.
This could be down to a results-driven focus, but I would argue that the unique visual aesthetic, quality of written content and intelligent user experiences of any brand and marketing collateral are the foundation of external marketing and communications.
The process of branding my business was explorative and iterative, underpinned by clear goals, objectives and key messages. I created a marketing strategy for me and my consultants during the development process, because even though I was the one driving it, having it down on paper was the best way to consistently brief specialists and ‘sanity-check’ implementation against my desired outcomes.
Rather than approaching a designer with a set of goals, I made sure I developed briefs for every piece of marketing I planned to launch over the coming months. This meant the designers could craft a brand with real content, rather than filling in the gaps during their concept and development stages. It also gave them room to play with my words – another great way to get the most out of your designers.
After that, I shared it with everyone who would listen, knowing they would give me useful and (hopefully) objective advice.
The fact is, we must have the courage to share. My uncle is borderline genius; he can design spaces, fly aeroplanes, has been a GP and a counsellor for 25 years, is an incredible musician and vocalist, and writes children’s and adult’s books. However his biggest problem, at times, is he is too afraid to share. This is either because he is afraid of failure, afraid of imperfection or afraid of someone appropriating his ideas.
A friend who kindly listened to my semi-linear ramblings suggested I use my words as a visual aesthetic. Another friend agreed that my greatest point of difference is as a bespoke and dedicated ‘one strategy at a time’ kind of girl. Another encouraged me to revisit human-centered design, and everyone knew a brilliant designer they put me in touch with.
Choosing a design agency is sort of like choosing a hairdressing salon. You don’t go there for the green tea or small biscuits, you go there because they have a kick-ass hair stylist who really gets your hair. Similarly, you should go to an agency for the designer who really gets you, and can create a spot-on visual representation of your brand.
Together we used a clear marketing strategy, social media content, blog pieces, a defined copywriting tone of voice, and future intended uses to craft the branding you see before you today.
I use concepts derived from thorough business exploration to design strategies, brand narratives, marketing initiatives and brief design and operations specialists to deliver a cohesive and strong identity, process and communications ecosystem.
Let’s embark on a journey together and make sure your brand is industry leading, unique to your business, and tells a cohesive and compelling story across all its applications.