As a small business in the process of creating a brand, or rebranding your existing materials, you are juggling logo designs, brand impact surveys and demographic studies – plus trying to manage your everyday business. It can be challenging to keep all the steps straight. Should you launch your new web site immediately? Or wait until the matching business cards are done? Should you roll out your new materials as they are ready? Or in one fell swoop to create impact? And what about your advertising strategy? Should you stop all communications until your brand is ready for its closeup?
The Case for Advertising:?
Sometimes a brand's audience can only be reached through a very narrow media channel. If so, it pays to keep that in mind from the beginning. If the message can only reach people through a round hole, it makes little sense to spend creative energy and marketing dollars exploring variations on square pegs. If you need to advertise exclusively in regional print media to reach your customers, do that! In many cases, it’s true that the medium is the message.
The Case for Branding :?
At the end of a thorough brand creation process, a company's goals, aspirations, and message should be crystal clear, and perhaps very different than what you previously thought. You will have a thorough understanding of your market and your audience as well as your brand values. This process can refine your brand's image and message into a simple and focused storyline. Clearly defined corporate objectives and brand messaging will inform your advertising and may improve its effectiveness and ability to communicate to your target audience. When we worked with the luxury yarn supplier ArtYarns, we developed all the parts of the brand's story before focusing on advertising. We think of advertising as a potent distillation of a brand's image and messaging. Good advertising needs to be succinct and that requires having a thoughtful and thorough communication strategy in place. Simply put, traditional advertising is too expensive to get wrong...or only half-right for that matter. Working with ArtYarns, we realized that they needed to focus their advertising dollars on niche publications. But if we hadn't gone through a thorough re-branding process we may not have been able to create powerful imagery necessary for an effective ad campaign.
The Case for Both:?
Lots of ideas and messages are going to take shape over the course of a branding process. Some will hinge on a specific context — maybe clever concepts for street marketing or other unconventional media placement. Every creative idea can help generate or buttress strong foundational brand recognition, which is the goal. Keeping in mind a consumer's real world experience of media is always a good thing. Maintain a record of the ideas that come up during the process. If you can't implement them now, you may be able to execute them in Phase Two of your marketing campaign. ?
This article is part of our Project RE:Brand web series in which small businesses undergo brand makeovers from design experts.
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Dominic Sinesio is Co-Founder at OFFICELAB, a New York City boutique branding agency specializing is in full-service brand identity and communication design for print, packaging, retail and digital media. Watch Dominic and Co-Founder, Lesley Horowitz, give first-hand branding advice to OPEN Cardmember, ArtYarns, in our special web series, Project RE:Brand.
View the business profile for OFFICELAB in the OPEN Forum Connectodex