Thousands of entrepreneurs launch a new brand every year in Australia. Of those, some will flourish, but many others will fail dismally. How do you ensure that you create a brand that will stand the test of time?
Many entrepreneurs in the launch phase of a new business wrongly believe that a logo is the same thing as a brand, but that certainly is not the case, says Andy Bateman, CEO of brand agency, The Leading Edge.
In fact, a brand could best be described as how your businesses dresses, looks and behaves to the outside world, he says.
“Creating a brand is more about a definition of how your business behaves than anything else. A good brand can differentiate your business from the market, while a poorly defined brand can easily get lost in the clutter,” Bateman says.
The first step to launching a brand is to research the market, find out who your competitors are and what motivates consumers to buy particular brands within the market, he says.
“Consumers make decisions on what to buy based on several things,” advises Bateman.
”You need to consider what those criteria are so that you know what makes them pay more for one product over another. That can help you define what your brand will look like.”
Alisha Jade Dunsford has launched brands for numerous small businesses. The creative director of AJD Design says keeping it simple is the key to brand consistency.
“Don’t be tempted to overload yourself with brand assets,” she says. “Too many colours, fonts, images and graphic devices will only confuse your message and adds complexity to your brand.
“Invest in a basic style guide and document templates which will help you and your staff control the visual presence of your brand.”
Jo Harvey launched organic bamboo baby clothing brand BabyJo three years ago, trademarking a panda as part of her logo.
With a background in hospitality management and no experience in marketing, she admits launching a brand was a steep learning curve for her.
She says: “I’ve become known as the Panda Lady, which has really worked in my favour. People remember my brand.”
Tell your story
Entrepreneurs should consider defining their brand by telling its unique story, Dunsford advises.
“Create a compelling story that people will want to be a part of and will actively spread the word about,” she says.
Nudie Juice, Bloom Cosmetics and Goodness Superfoods have done this and it’s worked well for the success of their brands, she says.
“Rely on your branding to capture people’s attention through your story and couple this with your great product or service; and sales will naturally follow.”
Sharing her story has worked for Samantha Molineux, who launched an organic skincare business, Lily Loves Pearl, five years ago.
“There were so many brands in the market at the time that all sounded quite similar and I didn’t want to get lost in the clutter, so I tried to find a name that people would remember,” she says.
“Growing up it wasn’t unusual for me to be sitting around the kitchen table with my Gran Pearl and Aunt Lil, who would be cooking up their own skincare products in the kitchen using natural, effective ingredients. Something around that was an obvious choice.
“It works so well because people remember my story. It also brings some connection and authenticity to our customers.”
The cost of a brand
What about cost of creating a brand for your business? According to AJD’s Dunsford, start-up branding shouldn’t cost the earth.
“Begin your business with the absolute essentials in mind – a well-designed logo that captures the uniqueness of your product or service, a matching business card and a considered web presence,” she says.
To have all three professionally designed should cost around $2,500 to $3,000, she says.
Melbourne’s Trout Creative Thinking will walk a start-up business through a considered brand creation process around brand promise and the creation of a slogan, which director Carlo Tarquinio says Trout would charge between $10,000 and $20,000 for.