Welcome back to the second part of my interview with graphic designer and marketing and branding expert Robin Dann in which we talk about business branding and marketing. If you missed the first part of our discussion on logos, click here.
My conversation about business branding with Robin Dann
Nancy: At what point in their business, should entrepreneurs be thinking about branding and corporate identity?
Robin: If you’re not being taken seriously! If your business and marketing materials look like this is a hobby rather than a real business, or when you want to bump things up to the next level.
There’s also the point where an entrepreneur is ready to take the focus off them, and put it on their business brand identity. This often happens when a business has expanded, additional personnel are brought in and /or additional services are provided.
At this stage, a designer will establish a style guide explaining how to use your logo: The placement of your logo on the page: Your font use and color: All the things that will build consistency in your brand. You’re basically setting up your visual identity plan and making it easier for all in your company to follow it to retain a consistent visual presence.
Nancy: Say a company already has a logo and or an established brand, would it still benefit them to work with a designer?
A designer can help business owners, and even corporate professionals to step back and see their business from their client’s perspective.
I am amazed at how often I get copy for a flier or website, that is “all about me.” In helping my client’s put together promotional materials, I often have to remind them to address their client’s problem or concern… tell the client “what’s in it for them”…and less about you. Of course I do this in polite and professional manner…but the prospective client or customer’s primary concerned is with how you can help them solve a problem. Once you have captured their interest… they will want to know more about “you!”
I do a lot of work with hospitals. Often there’s a doctor who has put together a program the hospital wants to promote. Doctors are brilliant people. They like to focus on the technical side of things such as new equipment available, and the research done. But their target audience doesn’t want to know how it works…They’re really only interested in the benefits and what it can do to for them.
As a designer, and market and branding expert, my job is to get, and keep the focus on the end user, and the benefit to them.
Branding is not all about the logo, the ads or the website. It’s about developing your business identity and being consistent in all your marketing efforts. It’s about how your business interacts with your existing clients and customers. It’s about networking and sharing of information to establish yourself as an expert in your field. It’s about keeping up on trends, and also being visible in your community – whether that’s your online community or sponsoring a softball league in your town.
People buy from people and companies that they know, like and trust. Personal branding can be hugely beneficial in establishing trust and expertise that will reflect back on your business. Think of Bill and Melinda Gates, or Richard Branson. They’re doing the same thing, only on a global scale.
Branding is all about relationships. When people become familiar, and comfortable with you… and recognize you as an expert in your field, you will remain first in mind when it is time for them to make a purchase or refer your services to a friend.