Important Takeaways from Our Brand Marketing Workshop
At the end of March, myself representing Vision Advertising, Phil Hollow of FeedBlitz, and about 20 local entrepreneurs and marketing professionals tackled one of the hardest questions of a business: what is your brand? The workshop – Your Brand is More Than Your Logo: Insights on Branding from the Front Line of Marketing – was a great success for both workshop leaders and attendees. Teaching has always been a passion of mine and the feedback attendees provided was invaluable. The workshop goers got not only to learn from the experience of a marketing agency and established brand, but also ask questions. I’m excited to share with you my favorite parts of the workshop.
Who Attended Our Branding Workshop
I was invited by the SBDC group at Clark University to present on marketing as a part of their spring member workshop series. I decided it was important to present about a company’s brand within the sphere of marketing, as it’s so often overlooked and yet is the central tenant of the exterior voice of a company. From our partnership with the email marketing company FeedBlitz, as well as my long friendship with its CEO, Phil Hollows, I brought him into the planning and presentation to present multiple perspectives from marketing leadership.
Our Attendees Included
The SBDC group workshops are attended by Clark University students and members of the Small Business Administration (SBA). With approximating 20 attendees, they cover a large variety of industries and career stages. Some examples:
- A local college student starting his own house painting business with his roommate.
- A corporate executive with multiple decades of marketing experience now starting his own senior home care company.
- A first-time, early-stage entrepreneur starting a menswear company.
- A recent college graduate who is the in-house marketing coordinator for the Worcester Housing Authority.
I was excited to meet so many local entrepreneurs and business owners and teach and learn from such an extensive breadth and depth in marketing knowledge and experience.
What They Learned About Brand Management
During the 3-hour workshop, Phil and I took turns exhaustively covering a company’s brand and its place in the corporate structure, explaining the core parts of brand and identity, and what brand goals you should make for your business (as well as what pitfalls to avoid). This included (but was not limited to):
- Driving Sales: How a strong identity helps you and your customers love and identify with your brand and thus convert those evangelists into clients.
- What is Your Brand: Explaining the parts of a brand, including your mission statement, goals, culture, and what deliverables you need to meet.
- The Branding Dilemma: How a strong brand defines itself, and how that can be both a boon and a risk for starting companies.
- Building Brands: The tools you need to create a brand, including tone, platforms, and content.
- Notable Brand Moments: Looking at defining moments of brand marketing from big companies, including Nike, IHOP, and Wendy’s.
Questions They Asked and We Answered
At the end of our session, we had a Q&A to answer all the burning questions of our attendees. This is my favorite part of any workshop: many at our workshop are successful entrepreneurs with experience and knowledge they are looking to apply to new branding. A couple of my favorites:
When Should You Launch Your Brand or Rebrand?
Waiting for perfection can destroy brands and projects as much as launching too soon. I told the story of launching our latest company website, a rebrand to better represent how we had modernized our company and services. Instead of working from scratch, we ported the old content over to a new theme and filled out the additional content needed. Had we waiting until everything was perfect before launching, we’d still be building it. The takeaway: don’t let perfect be the enemy of your business.
What’s the Difference Between the Voice and Tone of a Brand?
It’s important to understand that your company’s voice and tone are two different tools to use in your marketing. Voice is about speaking the language of your customers, establishing a rapport and style that sets you apart. Tone is more nuanced and focuses on feeling and emotion. Depending on your platform for products, formal, informal, humor, and wit can all play a part. A couple of blogs you might find useful on the subject: Industry Facing vs Client Facing: Picking the Right Voice and Finding Your Company’s Voice on Social Media.
We also got a lot of questions surrounding social media. Here at Vision Advertising one of our core services is managed social media, and we’re hoping to get another workshop set up soon to cover all the questions we couldn’t get to during the workshop. Keep your eyes on our blog and social media for more details.