Going Beyond the Surface of Your Brand

Strategy, insights, random thoughts about building out your brand.

Is marketing more important than branding? 1

Is marketing more important than branding?

We’ve already covered the difference between marketing and branding before, but a little refresher won’t do any harm: What is marketing? Marketing is the overall strategy and act of promoting a product or service. Marketing pushes your message and stimulates demand for your products and services using advertising campaigns. What is branding? Branding is the intentional and strategic shaping of what people think and experience with your company, its products, and services. Branding pulls customers to you and turns them into loyal customers based on your who, how, and why. Branding is the marriage, not the wedding. It’s a continuous process. So, now that you know what branding and marketing are all about, it’s time we get to the root of this issue. Which one is more important? Here’s the thing, you can’t effectively market without branding. It just doesn’t work that way. Branding is the act of applying your…

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does-your-company-stand-out-on-the-shelf

Does your company stand out on the shelf?

When you’re looking at your own brand, it can help to take a step back and look at it from another angle. When I run my brand workshops, I always ask my clients to imagine their company as an option on a supermarket shelf. If your company was a product, what grocery store would you be in? Are you more of a Walmart or a Whole Foods option? In which aisle would you be located? On what shelf would you be stacked? Would you be at eye-level? Knee level? Are you on the top shelf where only those in the know will be able to find you? What does your packaging look like? Is it cohesive and high quality, or is it plain, bland, and made from cheap materials? What alternative products stand next to you, above you and below you? What sort of person is walking up the aisle…

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communication-out-of-alignment

What is a communication strategy and do I need one?

Do you feel like your customers just don’t get you? You’re not alone. It comes down to that old cliché of miscommunication (duh, right?). Ok that might sound obvious, but hang in there & we’ll show you how to connect with your audience.

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need-a-new-website-bab (blog header)

My sources are telling me I need a new site

Why a new website won’t solve your problems Your competitors are doing really well right now. They’re beating you in sales, they have more customers and, oh yeah, their website is brand new. That must be the reason they’re getting so many customers through the doors, right? The new website. They must’ve spent thousands of dollars on it and it really makes them look professional. How do you compete with that? By getting a nice shiny new website too – of course! One that looks exactly like your competitors and you spend a fortune on it, so it must bring in some seriously big contracts, right? Wrong. Hey, I’m not saying a new website can’t get you more sales. I’m sure it will, for a little bit. The website is your digital headquarters and it is a crucial part of building a modern business. It’s pretty much a necessity, and…

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Is your brand out of alignment? 2

Is your brand out of alignment?

If we looked at the messages on your website and compared that to the ad campaigns, brochures, social posts and what your sales team is saying in the field, would it be cohesive? Or is it all a bit disjointed? The speed of business has increased and the workload on each team member has increased as the world becomes digitized and so many channels of communication are out our fingertips. This is where confusion can sneak in and we all know it loves to wreak havoc. Taking a step back and looking at everything your firm is communicating (visually, verbally and experientially), is vital to keep your brand in alignment. The complexity of your business model can make alignment harder and even more important. Let’s look at the basics of how your company’s communication engine works. How do marketing, branding and business goals fit together? I’ve written about what a…

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Stop throwing good money away on random acts of marketing 6

Stop throwing good money away on random acts of marketing

Are you pumping your hard-earned cash into digital marketing but not seeing your bottom line increase? Advertising online is a great way of gaining exposure for your company quickly – but it doesn’t guarantee a return on your investment. It doesn’t guarantee customers through the door and it doesn’t guarantee your money problems are going to go away. Here’s the deal, marketing gets you awareness, that’s it. If your message is the wrong one or it’s watered-down to appeal to everyone, that awareness you paid for, is wasted. If you’re not seeing a good return on your marketing efforts, you need to ask yourself why. Are you finding your company is: Having a hard time standing out? Struggling to get traction against your competitors? Competing on price more and more? Being seen as just another vendor by new prospects? Getting bypassed for new companies that don’t know their stuff like…

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The Difference Between Marketing and Branding 8

The Difference Between Marketing and Branding

I was having a coffee date with a girlfriend who works for one of the biggest general contracting companies in the city and she came out with this show-stopper: “I think our CEO will have a hard time seeing the value of branding – they see marketing as a cost center, not a driver of sales.” Wait a minute, what? How did we go from branding to marketing in one sentence like that? How can you confuse the two? Well, that’s easy to say when you’ve spent the best part of the last 25 years devoting your work life to crafting amazing brand experiences for the A/E/C sector. Taking a step back, I realized this is a pretty common problem – a lot of people don’t know the difference between branding and marketing! So, without further ado – I’m here to explain the difference between the two and why it’s…

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Do you have an authentic brand inside and out? 9

Do you have an authentic brand inside and out?

Brand management is essential. The expectation you set (brand promise) needs to be authentic and align with the customer’s actual experience. Let’s take a quick look at a recent outing I went on with my son – he is in middle school and has been really stressed out lately. Telling a baby teenager to unplug and relax, maybe even meditate is a tough ask. So we decided to go extreme and try out a sensory deprivation floatation pod. We were both pretty excited to float for an hour in the dark with no distractions. We get there and step into this super chilled out lounge – we’re talking relaxing music playing gently in the background and a soothing aroma as soon as you walk in the door. Everything about the place oozed calmness and tranquility. From the decor to the smell, to the super-chilled guy at the desk. Mr. Super-Chilled…

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what is rebranding

What is a rebrand?

The terms brand, branding, and rebranding are thrown around a lot these days and the concepts can be a bit overwhelming and confusing. If you are feeling this, you’re not alone! What you need to know before attempting a rebrand There is a lot of jargon out there that doesn’t really explain what rebranding is or what a good rebranding process covers. So, we’ve put together this guide to cut out the unnecessary crap and help you navigate through all that indecipherable advice online and get to the facts you actually need. But first, let’s start with some definitions. What is a brand? The most misused term in marketing. A brand is the definition people hold in their minds about your company and the products/services it offers. It’s a collection of emotions, senses, and memories. A brand is built in two ways: by what you tell people and by what…

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common website mistakes you can avoid

Common website mistakes that tell prospects you don’t care

A lot of companies in the commercial building trades put their website on the back burner for more urgent demands. Before they know it, it’s been 4 or 5 years since their website and marketing materials were updated. Unfortunately, your potential clients can see and feel this as soon as they visit your website, and this makes it look like you just don’t care that much. Think about it: how many solid sales leads go cold after they research you online? Your Biz/Dev team are working their butts off trying to make connections and close deals, only to be undermined by the outdated website…they deserve better. Your firm deserves better. You deserve better. What impression does a prospect get when they visit your site to check you out? Is it the impression you want to project? What can you do to improve a potential client’s perception of who you are…

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