Starting a business can feel like a long journey and finding the right partners to accompany you can be difficult.
You embark on the journey towards your rosy future surrounded by well wishers. It’s a happy, hopeful time and you feel secure and supported.
As the path starts to rise ahead it passes into the unfamiliar, forbidding world of brand marketing where some marketeers you’ve come across have been more Gollum than Gandalph . Money for nothing and no tips for free can put your company on a cliff edge. You might even have started to feel a bit lost.
So, how do you get through this unknown territory and emerge with a great brand that fits your budget?
First thing you must establish is…What help do you need right now?
Not everyone needs a full brand journey mapped out, particularly if you’re just starting out. Conversely, when you already have an audience, a quick fix isn’t what you want as you’ve got so much more to consider!
Here’s how to address your brand marketing needs and be confident that you are headed in the right direction.
If you are a Start Up.
Do things lean, cheap and fast. If you’ve never built a brand before then use tools that streamline the process. One way to achieve a full brand build is by using such tools as Tailor Brands or LogoJoy. They both give you more control than Fiver and you’ll spend less time managing the process.
Genesis Brands will build everything you need to launch within minutes (about 15-25 minutes) and if you don’t like it you can try again, for free. When you’re happy, pay £179.00 and you’ll have cloud access to logos, fonts, e-signatures, social banners, images, full brand guidelines, flyers, pop up stand and stationery!
This will get you started and will last you for a good two years!
If you want to Scale Up.
You’ve done it cheaply once but now, with more complexity, customers, partners and staff you really need a rebrand. You need a process that digs deeper into what you do and then reflects it in your brand. Many agencies will do this through a workshop, getting to know your business by asking difficult questions. It’s tiring but a great place to evaluate where you’ve come from.
It’s important that you involve as many of your key players as possible in the workshop. We had one company bring 28 people in once! At Cre8ion we focus on telling the right story to get the right enquiry. It’s worked hundreds of times and enabled us to set the tone for what’s ahead.
A creative strategy helps frame the findings of our workshop and produces three creative routes to choose from. Don’t let a graphic designer try and push their “pet” design on you for your brand! You need to make the right choice for you. Too many times I’ve seen design agencies say this is THE solution and then get frustrated when their client doesn’t agree. Expect more!
At Cre8ion, once we have the creative strategy we build everything required by your brand narrative manually. From copywriting to Mission, Vision and Values. Essentially, a tool kit for your business, unique to you.
You can then commission websites, emails, social campaigns and press ads.
You’re ready to refresh everything your business uses to communicate. You might even change your offices with big, bold graphics!
This approach and investment should last 3-5 years.
If you are a Grown Up.
This is where you are established, even a household name. Rebranding takes longer, following a similar process to scaling up BUT you need ongoing help. You put aside a regular budget to invest in campaigns from press to video, social to direct mail.
We’ll help you to use CRM solutions to track, monitor and measure results against your activity. We currently use HubSpot for some of our clients and it helps them make educated decisions on their marketing spend.
This type of relationship is based on a retainer agreement. Regular reports and discussions help everyone make informed decisions. It’s in this process that we test and measure, review and execute, staying in tune with customer behaviour.
Digital campaigns, content strategy and building a narrative across multiple channels all take time but when you do catch the moment things will really get interesting!
Recently we made an internal decision to go to a four day work week and write about it on a blog. Having been asked about it we were connected in with The Post (Bristol Newspaper) and are now on BBC Radio. (Listen from 2:06:23). Our website hits have gone through the roof, more connections than ever and opportunities presenting themselves that we could only have dreamed of!
We recommend 6-12 months regular reviews to keep everyone on track and continue for as long as everyone is getting value. Be clear on expectations and work together!
Finding a brand marketing agency you can trust is easier when you’ve been referred by someone. If not, don’t just take a punt, meet them, have a few conversations, get a proposal (see how they present), and make a confident choice.
So now that you have identified where you are on the journey, commit to the necessary action and enjoy the ride, taking your business to the next level both externally and internally.
If you need help now we’ll do our best to help you take steps in the right direction.