Webwisa The Brand

Who remembers Stuart Baggs ‘the brand’ from the UK’s The Apprentice?

In 2011 Stuart was one of Lord Sugar’s apprentice candidates who allowed his boasts to expand so much that he became a laughing stock. This included describing himself as a brand. Possibly not entirely his fault; given his age and the fact that the television company appears ever anxious to supply enough rope for these individuals to hang themselves.

Branding is something that everybody talks about these days and something that smart business owners are expected to get right from the off.

Get yourself a business, a logo and a USP, tie them down in a form that is recognisable across media platforms and hey-presto you have the beginnings of a brand.

Brands don’t need to be nationally or internationally recognisable, unless of course your business model demands it. There are plenty of small businesses in Luton, where I live, that put up logos, signage and billboards that I frequently recognise.

Branding Never Seems Urgent For Many

The thing about branding, though, rather like social media and blogging is that the benefits are not immediately obvious. The power of branding kicks-in as your business becomes established. My business is only about 6 months old, so I could hardly call it a brand.

Branding requires consistency, particularly in the internet age. You not only have to use your logo on your letterheads and website, but also on the various social media platforms as well.

This is easier said than done, unless you are willing to pay a graphic designer to knock something up for all of the main social sites that you use (Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Pinterest, etc.) as well as your website.

This will mean re-sizing and re-designing your header for each platform and then seeing what they look like on laptop, tablet and smartphone. It can be quite expensive.

Me? I have yet to pay to have this done, though I have lashed-up my own quick attempts in Photoshop. The results are not spectacular (meaning not very good), though I am using my owl logo throughout, similar colours throughout, plus the tagline ‘building websites that build business’.

You can see what I have done, below. I am aware that they all need work.

http://www.webwisa.com  http://www.webwisa.com/blog  http://twitter.com/webwisa http://facebook.com/webwisa

Even these less than satisfactory efforts put me way ahead of most small businesses. Go to Facebook, enter something like ‘restaurants in Luton’ in the search box and see how far down you have to go before the businesses returned by the search have no Facebook cover picture at all.

Below is a video that I made a little while ago that highlights the problem.

So, if you are a new ‘do everything yourself’ outfit how far down the line are you with your branding? In the long run it does count. And it counts in the short term as well if you are looking for stellar progress.