Many people think of branding as simply a logo or color palette and while those factors are important, there is much more to a brand than just that. Being a small business, branding is one of the most important aspects to gain awareness. It shows your prospects and your current clients what you have to offer, how you deliver that offer and establishes credibility. Cohesive branding gives clients and the target audience a clear understanding of your company and a larger likelihood for future partnerships. Brand recognition is key for small businesses to break through the mass marketing clutter that is filled with both large and small competitors. To put this simply, if a product, post, or logo that your company produces leaves a memorable impression on a person, they are much more likely to subconsciously remember your brand in the future.
People are drawn to things that are familiar to them so whether they realize it or not, if people recognize a brand, they are going to be more likely to choose that company or product as opposed to one that they have never seen. In an Entrepreneur article, author Arpit Sinha wrote “It includes everything you do, or claim to do as a business.” And that is exactly why determining your brand is something that should be well thought out. Choosing colors and fonts is just the beginning of the process, branding is more about what you say and how you say it.
For J.O., Audrey Hepburn has always been an inspiration and representation of our image. “You have to look at yourself objectively. Analyze yourself like an instrument. You have to be absolutely frank with yourself. Face your handicaps, don’t try to hide them. Instead, develop something else.” And that is exactly what Jennifer did. In 2018, she felt it was time to give our agency a fresh face, so she began a rebranding refresher. J.O. used this as an opportunity to reeducate the public about what we do best. We used this to be open and honest about our heritage and our roots that shaped us into what we have become today — just a bigger, smarter version of what we were 20 years prior. Jennifer said, “The rebrand was really not so much about the visual identity, but the messaging. The look just had to match the grown-up version of what we were saying about our company and our people in it.” After a year-long process, the brand was assigned a fresh set of guidelines and a new face to exemplify who we are as a company. A new website with fresh messaging and visuals also mirrored our company brochure, pitches and documents — even the way we communicate with our prospects and the community. Jennifer preaches to her clients that branding must adhere to having one voice, one message.
For advertisers, it is important to know who you are and what you want to say — how you portray that is key. The public is bombarded with over 5,000 ads and promotions every single day so leaving a lasting impact is an accomplishment. At the end of the day, staying true to your company and showcasing what you have to offer in a creative way will leave more of an impact than conforming to other brands’ techniques.