Your Branding Exists in Your Customer’s Mind

On September 25th, Shennice welcomed Jessica Boyd of The Gild Agency into the studio to discuss Branding. Here are the show notes:

Theme for the day:

We’re working on The Lean StartUp this month and we’ve covered the Feedback Loop and Customer Discovery. Today we have Jessica Boyd with us so we’re going to talk branding.

Agenda review:

  • 1MC presenter – we’re still in Arts Month at 1MC and tomorrow’s presenters are Lewis & Clark handmade furniture and Cola Makerspace. We’ll hear from Doug Hartley of Cola Makerspace.
  • Studio guest, Jessica Boyd of The Gild Agency
  • All things branding is our topic today

Where to get replays of this show: and the podcast is available on

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Photo by on

Segment 1:

This week at 1 MC it’s our third installment of artist entrepreneurs and the service providers who support them. Tomorrow we welcome Lewis & Clark handmade furniture and Doug Hartley of Cola Makerspace. Doug will call in at 9:08

What need did you see in the community that you think Cola Makerspace is filling?

What strategic partnerships have you forged to support Cola Makerspace?

Since today’s topic is branding: how did you determine the brand concept and marketing efforts for Cola Makerspace?

Segment 2:

Let’s talk branding. First, what is it and how important is it to your business?

According to it’s the name, term, design, symbol or any other feature that identifies a seller’s goods and differentiates it from other sellers’ goods.

  • Branding affects consumers – it gives you that sense of familiarity, of curiosity, of trust when purchasing a product.
  • Branding affects employees, shareholders, and third-parties or partners/suppliers. Your reputation is why people do business with you.

Your branding exists in the mind of your customers.

It’s what they think. What they feel. Your customers will evaluate your brand based on their experiences, their understandings, their biases.

  • A brand is the sum total of all impressions that your customer gets from all interactions with you, your product and your company.
  • Every interaction sends a message—it is your job, as brand manager, to make sure all of those messages are pointing the right direction to support your brand strategy.
  • Proper branding elevates your product to be more than just a sum of its parts. People make purchasing decisions based on more than just product features.

What branding does for you:

  • Gets recognition
  • Increase business value
  • Generate new customers
  • Increase employee pride
  • Create trust in the marketplace
  • Supports advertising

What’s at stake if you don’t manage your own brand?

The market will define it for you and it may not be pretty.

Here are 7 Stupid Mistakes small businesses make:

  1. Not understanding the power of a brand
  2. Not establishing defined brand guidelines
  3. Overcomplicating your brand
  4. Falling into the vague branding trap — use of “catch all nonsense” that’s so trite it’s meaningless
  5. Cheating on your brand guidelines — on-the-fly modifications that erode the careful work you’ve done
  6. Not policing your brand’s usage — how others are representing your brand
  7. Rolling out brand changes poorly

Segment 3

How is branding done?

  • advertising and communications
  • product and packaging design
  • in-store experience
  • pricing
  • sponsoring and partnerships
  • the visual identity of the brand (logo, website and colors, are just some examples).

Defining your brand:

  • What is your company’s mission?
  • What are the benefits and features of your products or services?
  • What do your customers and prospects already think of your company?
  • What qualities do you want them to associate with your company?

Some tips:

  • Get a great logo and put it everywhere
  • Develop a tagline — something concise and accurate
  • Design templates and create brand standards
  • Be true to your brand
  • Be consistent
  • Create a voice for your company that represents your brand

Here are some of the 16 Rules of Brand Strategy:

  • Don’t play in someone else’s backyard.
  • Be specific.
  • Lead with the story, not the product.
  • Answer the why.
  • Look for triggers.
  • Spotlight the customer, not the company.

Segment 4

Events of the week:

1 Million Cups tomorrow at 9 a.m. at Richland Library on Assembly Street.

The Women’s Business Center of SC is hosting Get Your Business Online: Make Your Website Work for You at the McNair Center for Entrepreneurship at Columbia College on Friday, September 28th at 12 p.m.

Columbia’s chapter of the American Marketing Association is having Happy Hour tonight at Twisted Spur beginning at 5:30. Free admission, cash bar. Meet board members and determine if AMA membership is right for you.

Saturday, September 29th, the Columbia Chapter of the AIGA will host a portfolio review event. If you’re a novice designer or looking for a job, come to the Richland Library between 10 and 3 and network with other designers and get feedback on your portfolio. They have over 18 different reviewers from across the state, so it’s great resource opportunity. It’s free for students and just $5 for professionals.

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