For many small businesses, branding is one of the most overlooked and underestimated business tools. While many business owners may think of a brand as a logo - it’s really much more. A strong brand represents the essence of your company, a clear statement of what your company is and what differentiates you. And it can have a big impact on your business. As Cardmember Laurie Cumbo, founder of the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts (MoCADA), says: “A strong brand can help us compete with much larger organizations.”
Laurie’s museum is one of the small businesses featured in Project RE:Brand, OPEN’s new webisode series that follows five small businesses as five creative agencies help them to rebrand their companies. Project RE:Brand was created to help small business owners learn more about the value of branding, with clear take-aways to help you examine and evolve your own brands, such as:
One key to building a strong brand is authenticity, which can begin with developing a brand mission that captures the “why” of your business and then delivering on that mission. In the series, you learn that Artyarns’ mission is to elevate the art of knitting. Rebranding is helping them to focus on communicating that mission.
Consistency is also imperative. It’s critical that you communicate your brand through every customer experience, every day. As you watch agency Pandiscio lead aviation company Air East Airways through how their new branding could extend across various touchpoints – from the logo on the planes to the extra touches like snacks and blankets on flights – you see how creating those consistent ties can make the brand even more memorable to customers.
Branding is more than design. Good branding extends into other areas, like how you handle customer service or innovate products or services. I like what Laurie told our team: “The rebranding process has raised the bar for everything we do, like how we present ourselves, how we greet visitors. It’s like getting a makeover; you start looking for other areas to improve.”
I hope you enjoy Project RE:Brand, and find these and other branding lessons helpful to your business. And I’d love to hear how you’re building and communicating your brand. This is another goal of Project RE:Brand,– to help everyone learn more about the innovative brands being built by small businesses. We want to showcase more brands like Artyarns’, Air East Airways, and MoCADA – to help these and other businesses Start Booming.
E-mail your story to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. And view all three episodes of ArtYarns’ and Air East Airways’ rebrand experience, now available at openforum.com/projectrebrand. Look for other brand makeovers, like MoCADA, to be added soon.