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Whose Brand Is It Anyway?

Whose Brand Is It Anyway?

Isn’t it great when you hire an expert, whether to decorate, sort out a leak or fix your car? You can relax knowing the job is out of your hands and focus on other things. Wonderful!

Unfortunately for business owners, when it comes to outsourcing work for their business, they need to be just as present and involved, passing over the tools and directing the task in hand.

“You can’t really know where you are going until you know where you have been” – Maya Angelou

If you’ve ever tried to create a website from scratch, you’ll understand how overwhelming and frustrating it is starting from a blank canvas.

Having to figure out the layout, the font, the font size, the images, the style, the copy, oh god the killer copy…..the pressure of it all! It’s brain-wracking to try and figure it out, and then later down the line, suddenly deciding to pivot and change it all.

It’s a complete waste of time, resources and budget.

Often, I’ll recommend that some clients spend time on their branding proposition before starting work on their marketing and PR activity. Contrary to belief, it’s not up to the marketing supplier – whether that be the website designer, PR or social media consultant – to tell the business owner, who they are.

If business owners want to build a brand then it’s their vision, values and goals that are needed by PR companies. There is a distinct difference to when a company has a clear vision and when they don’t.

Let’s start at the very beginning….

I always enjoy asking business owners how they started their business journey. There can be three businesses in one sector but each business owner has a different backstory that shapes their approach, their vision and their drive in what they wanted to achieve. It makes them each distinctive despite being in the same market.

It sounds easy but it’s not always easy to articulate it all and bring it all together.

Working with a branding consultant means they can take the experiences and mission and tighten up the brand’s core proposition. What is it that the brand aims to achieve, its values, its personality, its tone? How does it compare and differentiate itself from the rest of the market place? What makes it stand out and what audience will it attract?

What will this achieve? Rather than try and second guess every move, or jump from one marketing approach to another, business owners can stay firmly in their lane – consistently driving forward and making progress. They stop chasing shiny object syndrome.

Also, if a business can’t communicate its ‘why’ effectively then, how are they going to attract and retain loyal customers who really resonate with what they’re trying to deliver.

Example 1: The “I’ll Know It When I See It” Client

I was working with a client to produce ad designs for their industry titles. The client didn’t give us a brief, only advised that she ‘didn’t know what she wanted, but would know it when she saw it’.

This was not an option. No brief means you’re wasting time and money.

We sat down with a brief template and made sure she provided all the information. There were a few changes during this process and we had to start charging for extra time, but otherwise, we minimised wasted time from days to hours because we weren’t given any brief in the first place.

Example 2: The Gold Star Client

I could not have asked for a better client. Exciting, enthusiastic, and very clear in their proposition and what they wanted to achieve. They delivered their branding document and rather than have to go back and forth on their press materials, it was agreed and signed off in record time.

This clarity energised the team working on their launch. Partnerships were easier to set up as there was a clear synergy between the audiences. Media were quick to understand the concept and because the information was concise and clear, they were quick to feature the company.

Many business owners embark on hiring a PR company thinking that as professionals, we’re able to magically bring this information together and articulate this for them.

There have been many times when we have tried to work with the clients to get the basics understood, but unless the business owner digs deep, we never know the full story and perhaps miss that gem that clearly makes them unique.

Wondering if PR is right for your business? Click here for your free 30 minute consultation call https://kvcomms.as.me/30mincall 

Kristel Valaydon

Kristel Valaydon, founder of KV Communications – delivers a straight-talking brand communications approach to building company success and longevity

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