FAQS

Over the years we’ve been asked a lot of questions about brand and marketing. Here are our answers to some of the most frequently asked ones.

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FAQs

DO YOU OFFER MARKETING SUPPORT?

In a word – YES! Here at B is for Brand we’re a small but mighty team of passionate marketers.  So if you’re growing your small business and would like some help, we’re here for you.  Our service is ideal for small businesses looking to grow but not yet ready to take on a full time marketing manager.  Outsource your marketing to us and we can support you for an agreed number of hours per week or month – easing the burden on you, the business owner.  

We’ll work closely with you to plan and reach your marketing goals so that you can focus on everything else you need to do to take your business to the next level. Why not give us a call to find out more?

HOW DO I WRITE A MARKETING PLAN?

Let’s start with ‘Do you need a marketing plan?’ As a small business owner, it’s really worth while having a basic marketing plan to follow as this will actually help you save time, money and effort – and help you reach the right people for your business!  Once you’ve written your first plan, you will never start with a blank piece of paper as lots of the ideas in your marketing plan will be things you can repeat again and again. So (in my opinion) it’s really worth setting aside just a few hours every now and then to plan ahead.

Your first part  of your marketing plan should contain information about:

The customers you want to reach
What you want to say to them (based on how you can help them)
A list of content ideas (brain dump!) 
Your marketing objectives
What success looks like for you
How you will measure progress
A budget

Then each month set out:
Your goal
What you are going to talk about (maybe one theme each week)
Where you are going to talk about that (e.g. in your blog or newsleltter, on social media or at networking events)
And record how you are getting on (how much engagement/how many sales this led to etc)

Take time to review how successful your communication was at the end of the month, so that you can adjust your plan for the following month.

That’s the most basic version of what you need to do when writing a marketing plan.  If you need support or advice, or you’d like us to put your plan together for you, drop us a message here at B is for Brand

HOW DO I CHOOSE A NAME FOR MY BUSINESS?
You might be lucky and have a Eureka moment! Even if you do, you should still start the whole process of naming your business off by writing a Brand Strategy. Once you have that in place, you can make a judgement about whether the name you’ve come up with supports what you want to get across about the business.

If you haven’t had a Eureka moment by then, with your Brand Strategy in hand, it will be much easier to decide which name options are right or wrong for your exciting new venture.

SHOULD I RENAME MY BUSINESS?
Depends! Usually, the answer to this question would be NO, even if your business is named after somebody else. Over time, a business builds up awareness and part of this is through its name. It isn’t usually a good idea to throw this away and start from scratch. There are a few exceptions to this rule, like if your business has been in trouble, or developed a bad reputation, or now does something completely different so the customer would be confused by the name (maybe don’t keep Alan’s Window Cleaning if you now make pizza for a living).
SHOULD I RE-BRAND MY BUSINESS?
It depends on what you mean by a re-brand and it also depends on what’s going on in your business. It’s a pretty complex decision. Consistency is the most important thing in branding but consistency does not mean making no changes at all. It may be important to your Brand Strategy that your business looks current, for example.

However, as soon as you make even the smallest change to your visual identity (logo etc) inconsistencies can start to creep in (and consistency is the most important thing in branding, right)? The worst case scenario is that the customer doesn’t recognise your business anymore, or gets confused about whether it’s really you. American Business Strategy expert Donald Miller famously says: ‘You confuse, you lose!’

HOW DO I BUILD A STRONG BRAND?
The very first building block you need in place is a Brand Strategy. Everything else becomes much clearer once that piece of work is done. It’s important to remember that building a brand is a marathon, not a sprint. The good news is that you only have to write the Brand Strategy once, because as long as you get it right, it stays the same over time!
HOW DO I GET PEOPLE TO NOTICE MY BUSINESS?
Your BRAND is a powerful tool to get people to notice your business. Start with a Brand Strategy and you will build a strong brand. Build a strong brand and your business will grow. Your brand strategy will guide all of your marketing and messaging and will help you to be clear about what your business stands for, what it does and who it serves.
HOW DO I FIND THE RIGHT CUSTOMERS FOR MY BUSINESS?

You need a Brand Strategy! Your Brand Strategy will help you find the right TRIBE for your business. There are currently almost eight billion people in the world. That’s a few too many for your business to serve, right? Once you know what your business stands for, what you want it to be known for and what change you want it to bring to the world, you can start to find out who might be interested in doing business with you.

HOW DO I CREATE BRAND LOYALTY?

Humans only connect on an emotional level with a small handful of brands over their lifetime and those are the ones they tend to support, talk about and buy from again and again.

You need to start this process by writing your Brand Strategy! ‘People buy from people’ (quote from someone more famous than me) and if you get your message right, tell a story that is authentic and learn to connect with your audience on an emotional level, your customers will buy into you, what you stand for and your story, over and above the products and services that you sell. So by talking less about features and benefits and more about emotions and stories, the process of engagement begins. When a customer connects with your story and identifies themselves IN that story, they start buying from you again and again, choosing your business over others. That, my friends, is brand loyalty.

HOW DO I CREATE BRAND AMBASSADORS?
Building an army or a TRIBE of loyal brand ambassadors around your business starts with your Brand Strategy! People need purpose in life, need something to believe in. If your business operates with purpose, it will attract the right staff. You can use your brand strategy to develop loyalty among your staff. Once your staff are brand loyal, they will help you turn your customers into brand ambassadors too.

Not got any staff? Much simpler, but you still need to start with your Brand Strategy! ‘People buy from people’ (quote from someone more famous than me) and if you get your message right, tell a story that is authentic and learn to connect with your audience on an emotional level, your customers will buy into you, what you stand for and your story, over and above the products and services that you sell.
Once you’ve got people on your side, you need to give them the things you want them to say about your business, otherwise they will make their own things up. That’s where your Brand Strategy comes in (have I mentioned that you need one of those?)

WHAT IS A BRAND STRATEGY?

Good question! Probably my favourite question of all time. I’m a big fan of a Brand Strategy. I believe that no business should be without one and that every business can benefit from having one.

There are lots of different versions of strategies out there, so I can only tell you about the B is for Brand method of writing a Brand Strategy.

In my version, it’s a single piece of paper, with five key headings (sometimes six). I’ve seen other Branding Consultants produce sixty-six page documents that they call a Brand Strategy. I’m not one of those I’m afraid. I like to keep things simple. I tend to drift off by the time I get to the second page. I definitely can’t read, let alone remember sixty-six pages worth of advice.

My version includes your deepest darkest thoughts on WHY you get out of bed in the morning to do this particular thing and why anyone should care about that (including your staff).

It talks about your wildest dreams.
It talks about the practical next steps you must take.
It talks about your goals and priorities.
In your Brand Strategy, you share what the beliefs and the personality of the business are, so that people can decide if they want to connect with you and be in your TRIBE (because people buy people, right?)

It will put some people off. Well, you don’t want all eight billion people in the world to come knocking at your office door, do you?

When you’re building a brand, you need to get comfortable with the fact that you’re not for everyone and that’s OK.

HOW DO I USE A BRAND STRATEGY?

Once you’ve written your Brand Strategy, you just put it away in a drawer. No, only kidding – don’t do that. But you would be AMAZED at how many people do.

Once you’ve gone to the effort of writing your Brand Strategy (I’m not going to lie, it’s a pretty head-scratchy process), you might as well put it to good use helping you grow your business, right?
The first thing you do is you SHARE it! Share it with your staff, your fellow board members, and anyone who helps you grow your business. Definitely share it with all the creative people. They love a Brand Strategy. More than that, they will produce better work for you because you’ve given them clear guidance about what you want. I’m talking about web designers, graphic designers, photographers, videographers, copy writers, social media bods – all that gang LOVE a clear Brand Strategy.

The best way for YOU to start using your Brand Strategy to guide you is to look at it regularly. I recommend at least once a month. Start asking the question: ‘Does this fit with my Brand Strategy?’.

WHY DO I NEED A BRAND?
You don’t! There are plenty (millions) of successful businesses out there that aren’t operating as a ‘brand.’ Being a brand isn’t an essential part of being a business. However, brand is a powerful tool that you can use to attract attention to your business. You can use it to build loyalty amongst your customers and staff. You can use brand to help guide your business decision making, giving direction, focus, colour and flavour to your business activities. You can use your brand to build your business reputation, helping you become known or recognised for certain things e.g. how you look, what you say or the experience you create. You can use your brand to get your business recognised and remembered and you can also use it to build a deeper connection with your audience.

Like the sound of that?

WHY DO I NEED A BRAND STRATEGY?

Your Brand Strategy guides everything else about your brand. It also makes business decision making much easier. The Brand Strategy is the song sheet that everyone in your business is singing from. Singing one song in unison, you make a very loud choir!

IS IT OK TO CHANGE MY BRAND COLOURS?
Yes it is. As long as you do it for strategic reasons and consider how you’re going to do it without confusing or losing your existing loyal customers.
IS IT OK TO CHANGE MY LOGO?

What completely change it, or just change it a little bit?
Completely change it: Yes it is. As long as you do it for strategic reasons and consider how you’re going to do it without confusing or losing your existing loyal customers.
Just a tweak or two: Evolution, not revolution my friends, is the key to keeping your brand relevant. So if staying relevant is a key part of your Brand Strategy, embrace change.
Don’t have a Brand Strategy? Oooops….(see me after class). 
But in either case, remember that consistency is the most important thing in building a strong brand.

HOW DO I BUILD MY BRAND?

You need to remember what I like to call, ‘The Four Cs’
CLARITY – have a clear message and don’t confuse your customer
CONSISTENCY – pay attention to the details and make sure you are easy to recognise
CREATIVITY – Have fun doing ‘you!’ don’t follow the herd or every latest trend. Create a unique look, style and tone, then bring to life ideas that will make your business stand out and be memorable.
CONTROL – make sure you have really robust Brand Guidelines in place – and use them.

DO YOU DO MARKETING?

Yes! Here at B is for Brand we’ve recently launched a new marketing support service to help and support busy, if not overwhelmed small business owners who want to build their brand and grow their business. Support packages start from just £400 per month. Get in touch to find out more.

FURTHER QUESTIONS TO FOLLOW INCLUDE ...

HOW DO I INCREASE BRAND AWARENESS?
HOW MANY BRANDS SHOULD MY BUSINESS HAVE?
DOES MY NEW PRODUCT OR SERVICE NEED A SEPARATE BRAND?
WHAT IS WHITE LABELLING AND SHOULD I DO IT?
WHAT IS BRAND ARCHITECTURE?
HOW DO I WRITE A GREAT TAGLINE OR SLOGAN?
DOES MY TAGLINE MATTER?
HOW DO I GET MY BRAND MESSAGES RIGHT?
HOW DO I WRITE A BRAND STORY?
HOW SHOULD MY BRAND INFLUENCE MY COMPANY CULTURE?
WHAT’S YOUR BEST BRANDING ADVICE?

BRAND SCHOOL

I’ve got a great little series of bite-sized training videos for you that will take you through the logical steps required to write a great Brand Strategy for your business.