Five common questions you might have before branding

Updated: May 31

An FAQ of the five most common questions you might have before branding to guide you through the decision of engaging in branding.


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When I walk into a barbershop it’s easy, predictable and usually delivers a pretty consistent haircut no matter where I go. I don’t need to ask questions along the lines of, “I don’t like my hair-do, but do I really need this haircut?” or “others do it cheaper, why are you more expensive?”.

There may be times when I want something different but I’m not sure what would be better than the 2 back and sides, with a shorter length on top request I usually go with. Though if I did, guess what? I’d trust the person cutting my hair for what they think would be best — after all, they do this day in, day out.

Funnily enough, I actually drop this on a barber a week before my wedding and told him it was for my big day…the guy freaked out and nearly dropped his scissors and comb. So there aren’t really many if any, unknowns apart from specific tools or hair products a barber uses. This is contrary to the experience many business owners have when considering branding.


Which, if I’m honest, is a real shame that it’s not a crystal clear service many people understand before getting into it and make an informed decision. It was something I’d not even realised before offering to help clients with their branding when I started my branding consultancy, G’day Frank.

To be fair, it’s totally reasonable given there’s not really any set-in-stone process every marketer or branding person/team follows, or exact deliverable handed over at the end of it all, especially as every brand is different and not every branding project will need the same deliverables. The crazy thing though, is that most of us (branding and marketing people) have a different definition of what brand and branding means — myself included. So it’s no wonder you’re confused if we’re not clear on what it is we deliver as an industry and help you with to succeed in business. But I’ll say this as a consolation, the common goal is to connect with the most viable consumers so that they buy and keep buying what you have to offer.

As a result of these unknowns, no matter where you are in the world, I encounter the same questions during initial consultations with business owners and teams about their brand and the process of developing and growing it. So this is a guide for you if you’ve thought or are currently thinking, “yep, we need better branding than what we have” but have been unsure of:

  1. What you actually need to succeed at minimum or at most

  2. What you actually get as a result of branding, and

  3. How much you have to pay to get it

All of these thoughts are baked into 5 responses to 5 frequently asked questions I’ve fielded over the last 4 years that I hope will deliver some clarity to see branding not only as a worthwhile investment but as a part of your business that needs to constantly evolve and adapt.

So here are the five FAQs — you can collapse the one that is most relevant for you right now as each response is far more detailed than most FAQs you’ll typically see… or read them all if you have time, given this is an article too.



Q1. Do I need branding if I’m just starting out?

Yes — the short answer is yes because every business that has succeeded at becoming a known name to you or a product/service you have bought, it’s due to an investment they’ve made in branding (and marketing) to use it to their advantage for that outcome.


Just think about that for some of the brands you know and buy. The colour they use to stand out. The shape of their packaging. The signage on their shop or vehicles. The price point or placement on the shelf amongst a certain category of contenders. The voice it uses to captivate and connect with the right people it has targeted. The reviews or testimonials it touts from its customers. The word of mouth their customers push out to others about that brand.


All of this is done for a reason and without it, would you have known about them or bought what they have to offer?


The big part for any brand, especially if you’re starting out, is to stand out — that first impression.


In my last article, I talked about being a distinct brand and how that can help your brand grow, so you’re welcome to give that a read to expand on this point. But in short, if you’re a new player entering the market with a service or product that is not revolutionarily new and a consumer could easily substitute your offering for a competitor, ask yourself:

  1. How are they going to discover us?

  2. How will they notice us?

  3. Why would they choose us over others — especially if they know of others that offer a similar thing to us?

This is why I define a brand as a captivating moment of connection because you really do need to captivate and capture a consumer's attention, especially when starting out to stand out in a crowd of options. If not, the equation is quite simple, you’ll never be noticed.


The best part is that captivating attention is the relatively easy part, connection is the harder part — which is knowing who to connect with and how to best connect with them to take a leap and choose you over others.


For this reason, my definition of a brand extends into a definition of branding as a process of creating captivating moments of connection from clarity. The key additional part being clarity.


So push aside standing out with colours, logos, packaging, signage, etc just for a second. Because yes, it’s the fun and most tangible element of branding. But just like an iceberg, there are a number of layers beneath the surface of what you can’t see that need attending to make the glitzy stuff dazzle above the surface.


This is where a business plan and a brand plan (aka. brand strategy) mix. So be shocked, amazed or surprised that a branding person can actually help you devise a business plan, or part thereof, as it forms the basis of a brand plan for the direction you need to take your brand for it to grow.


What I’m talking about is a plan for success that starts with researching the market you’re entering, competing with and assessing needs and wants (research). We look at all the types of consumers you could potentially help (segmentation). We choose the most viable groups of customers (targeting). We think of how we can position your brand to effectively capture the attention of that target and be their go-to choice (positioning). We set a list of goals to achieve that can measure the success of this process (objectives) and then we plan out what steps you’re going to take to connect with those consumers (tactics — eg, new packaging experience or refreshed brand identity). This is all bookended by how much it’s going to cost and what timeline is associated with that (budget).


For more detail on this process, check out this additional article I’ve written about brand strategy.


And that really is it. The process might sound simple (and it should be, as you don’t need to reinvent the wheel). But this is what most brands, big or small, spend time, attention and money on to get right each and every year to successfully develop and grow their brand by connecting with new and existing consumers time and time again.


The result of it is that it helps everyone in your team to be on the same page and market your brand effectively with a game plan everyone can follow. And it’s why I believe we should always be branding.


Lastly, there is one objection I have experienced a few times during this line of questioning and it’s popped up a few times.


“We don’t think we need this now, we’ll invest in it later once we’ve got our footing” .


Even if you’ve already got a solid footing because you might be moving your existing consumers across to a new business/brand experience, I get that but only to an extent.


The reason is that while it’s all well and good to have an existing consumer base in your back pocket, it comes back to having a brand that keeps those existing customers around AND attracts new ones. Because I’d assume that you’re not changing things up not to attract new business, right?


So I’ll say this. If you’re starting out and you don’t have your footing, why not dig in to start with clarity and confidence to know what the next step is going to be? To look at your market. To target the most viable market and position your brand so that when you do attract them with your pretty colours. To be able to communicate with them on their level by understanding their pain points and needs or wants.


This is something I personally can’t understand not needing — unless you don’t have the money to spend which is the obvious and likely dealbreaker — which is ok.


That said, if possible, why not factor it into your business plan if you’re seeking investment to start your business just the same as you might be doing for your premises and equipment? Because the reality is that this is an investment if done right, that can make a lasting impact for many years to come.


For more on this, I’ve also written an article here that talks about 5 ROI positive ways branding can have a valuable impact on your business, which may be worth an additional read.

Q2. Why does it cost more when people on Fiverr charge so much less for a logo?

Q3. I don’t like my logo and colours do I need to rebrand?

Q4. We do a better job than our competitors but they are market leaders, can branding help us?

Q5. What do I get at the end?


 

END OF FAQ

Well, that’s 5 hefty responses to 5 common questions I’m asked by clients.

You’d have thought I’d have more succinct answers. Though as I said towards the start, this is an article and I hope it serves as a bit of a catch-all depending on your needs and the type of brand you have — especially with some links sprinkled in there to additional resources I’ve written that may be of further help now or after engaging in your branding. Which you can find here on my blog.

So in the event you’d like to get in contact, we can skip right past these questions and get to the root of what your ambition is with your brand to get the ball moving! My contact info is below and even if now isn’t the time, why not say G’day anyway on Linkedin or Instagram or drop me an email.

Frank.