Brittany Pickrem, graphic designer and branding expert, has a lot to say about the importance of your business’ brand and the effect it can have on your marketing and social media campaigns. Mischka got to chatting with her…
Mischka: Do you have any tips or advice for startups that don’t have the budget or access to branding experts?
Brittany: Before you even consider branding or hiring an expert, you have to establish your mission, vision and values, and you have to establish them clearly. This is such a crucial step – one that needs to be done before the rest can happen – and no one else can do this work for you. For those that have a clear why, I have created a free Bold Brand Blueprint that anyone can access. I would like to add though that if you are in a position to pay for professional branding, you are at a competitive disadvantage if you don’t hire someone to help you create professional, high quality pieces.
Does branding influence your social media reach and online advertising ROI?
Social media and online advertising are merely an extension of your branding. They’re another way that your brand has presence – just like your brand voice, wardrobe and personality. Everything you do and everything you put out there has to create a consistent experience. So yes, this will ultimately have an impact on your ROI, because without alignment, your customer base will lose trust in you.
How important is branding when it comes to marketing, advertising, as well as building brand awareness and your client base?
With the right branding – branding that matches your mission, vision and values – you will attract more of your ideal clients. But you have to show up consistently and at your highest value. When you’re really clear about your brand, you’ll find your customers will recommend and refer you to others. It’s the power of word of mouth, it’s the truth factor. And it’s what will enable trust to form.
What happens when companies get branding right?
When companies get their branding right, they become iconic. They become a symbol, because they stand for something. Everyone will know them. If you say the words Nike or Apple, everyone knows immediately what you mean. And this happens because these brands have a consistent customer experience. They’ve put a stake in the ground and have declared what they’re all about. Everything about these great brands is beautifully aligned.
What happens when companies get branding wrong?
When you get your branding wrong, you won’t attract the right type or right calibre of client. And in the long run, you’ll find your business plateauing, stagnating. You need to pay attention to your brand, you need to evolve your brand, otherwise your business will be obscure, faceless and unremarkable. Your business will have no impact.
When and why is it important to invest in a brand?
It becomes particularly important when a lot of people do what you do. If you think of McDonald’s and Burger King for example. Branding is key when you need to differentiate yourself from your competition. You need to show that they don’t do exactly what you do, it’s not the same experience. You show your full value in branding – this is where you influence the buying decision.
It’s also important to invest in branding when you’ve outgrown your current one, or if it’s become outdated. It’s exactly like when you’ve outgrown old clothing. Sometimes brands become ill fitted and need to evolve as the companies evolve and grow to attract larger clients and corporations, to reach more people.