Optimise Accountants -

What Does Your Brand Say About You?

June 5, 2013

Posted by Simon Misiewicz on 5th June 2013

Does your brand image, dress, appearance reflect who you are?

Are you in danger of seaming cheap to the outside world?

A brand is a “Name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller’s good or service as distinct from those of other sellers.”

Branding began as a way to tell one person’s cattle from another by means of a hot iron stamp.

A modern example of a brand is Coca Cola which belongs to the Coca-Cola Company.

People need to recognise who you are in a few seconds. People have used their name to promote their services. Examples of people that I know are Franklin Covey (Stephen Covey but he used the name of his grandfather), Anthony Robbins the great human motivator, Andy Harrington the UKs best public speaker, Simon Zutshi’s Property Mastermind, Zoe Cairns the social media queen to name but a few.

Having leaflets, business cards, banners, websites with your picture will help people to recognise who you are and therefore the products and services you offer. People can always remember a name or a face. For the lucky few may be able to remember both, I envy you. One more positive consideration behind using a person’s name for the business is that people will speak of you by name and this provides a more human touch than saying “ABC Training Ltd”.

It may be difficult to sell a company to someone else if the business has a person’s name and picture. Why might this be? If you have a company called “Simon Misiewicz” and I then get other people to deliver my business start-up training, marketing or goal achievement courses then the audience may be expecting me to be there. If someone else delivers the training course they could feel short changed or feel that they are not getting the expert.

Most of us will appreciate that this is not always the case but perceptions of others will be different to yours and mine. If you wanted to sell the business at some point and the company is named after you, it may be difficult for the buyer to make this work as you will no longer work in the business. You could argue that they could simply change the name of the business and associated branding. This is indeed possible but the ramifications are that people, as we know, remember names, colours, sounds etc. If the name of the business change what does that mean about the standard of products / services, will that change too? There are many times when the brands of products have changed and in my opinion have not worked.

Opal fruits, for those that are as old as me will remember had a saying “made to make your mouth water”. The product is now called Starburst. This could simply be a generation gap issue. That said is it not interesting and I would not buy Starburst but would buy Opal fruits because of what I remembered from my past.What is important to remember is that you are in a people’s business and will appreciate that memories like communication styles are very different.

Applying your branding to suit your customers needs is therefore very important. Some people remember facts (numbers or words), pictures, colours, sounds, feel, touch, and the last one that is always going to be difficult to implement unless you are in the food or fragrance industry is smell. People will also associate one or two combinations such as the big M for McDonald’s, the big yellow and green colouring and of course the “whistle sound” in their adverts and how they pump the smell of their food to the front doors.

These techniques have been purposefully designed to get you to buy their products. How many times have you walked by a restaurant and gone in because of the great smell travelling a speed of light through your nostrils to your brain and stomach?

Let us start with a name for a business if you are not going to be using your name then ensure that your name incorporates at least one of the following: the feelings that you want to give, a description of what you do, the local area that you work, the colours that relates to your products or make people happy, the beautiful smells your products gives out, the positive touch that people have. Let us think of a product or service such as Gardening.Let us first consider feelings.

What are the feelings that you want to get away from when you go into a pleasurable garden. Could it be stress, tiredness, boredom or sadness?

For those that take pleasure of the feelings it gives you to sit in the garden may be relaxing, soothing, contentment, escapism from the working world. What we are trying to do is remind people that they can go into their garden from the daily grind of work and into a garden that fills them with joy and they can have all this from a well maintained garden, done by you. You could therefore call the business “Garden escapes” to describe your product and the feelings you associate with it. I am sure you will come up with better words of inspiration and at this point and I would encourage you to write some down.Having a business logo would be useful. The logo needs to represent the pleasures that your product provides, do not focus on the negative pains and issues here as you want people to think positively when looking at your product or service. Per the previous examples you may want a design of a candle with flickering flames with relaxing colour schemes and designs that do not have sharp lines or images as these would not relate to relaxation.

If you have a motor car business that focuses on luxury cars, providing customers with a comfortable relaxing journey may be a very different logo and colour design to that of sports cars. Think about the emotions that you want people to be in when using your products and services and then design the logo and images.You may also want a strap line to go with our business materials. The strapline for my business, “Optimise Accountants, Helping you make more money and profit from property”. As with images and colours, your strapline should focus on the benefits that your product brings. The most noticeable advert as Nike with “Just do it”, get up out of the sofa and do some exercise, it does not matter how much or little but get up and get going. The strap line has more impact if it is short, say 10 words or less. Here are some more examples to provide you with some inspiration:

Just do it – Nike
It does exactly what it says on the tin – Ronseal
Vorsprung durch technik – Audi (roughly translates as ‘progress through technology’)
Reassuringly expensive – Stella Artois
Take a break, take a Kitkat – Kitkat
A diamond is forever – DeBeers
Because you’re worth it – L’Oreal
Beanz Meinz Heinz – Heinz
The car in front is a Toyota – Toyota
The best a man can get – Gillette
Melts in your mouth, not in your hands – Minstrels
You can do it, when you B and Q it – B and Q

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Email: simon@optimiseaccountants.co.uk