This is a good question – and one that start up’s, sole traders, and now even individuals looking to establish and grow a personal brand are asking themselves!
Our team at Verkoop all have experience working in big corporate companies where a marketing and branding budget could soar into the tens and even hundreds of thousands of pounds realms, but what happens when your starting out… when you’re establishing your place in the market and need to spend investment doing that, before you can even think about investing in communicating this message effectively to your target audience.
You’re company’s set up, you’ve simplified your service or product offering… is heading to Vista Print for some £4.99 business cards going to be enough to send a clear brand message and generate customers? No, probably not. And to be honest, it’s no longer going to impress.
It seems like the perfect solution doesn’t it? Set aside £50 and boom, you could have a neat little pile of business cards with your name on them, some compliment slips, maybe even some branded letterheads to send out your first invoices on…fancy huh?
Well – it might be fancy, but what is it actually telling your clients? What message does it give your perspective customers? What is it allowing you to believe about your business?
In an ever evolving digital world a business card will say ‘OK – this business is old school, but now I have to hold onto this piece of card with their details on it… it’s OK though, I might need to get rid of some chewing gum later, it’ll be perfect for that’.
Good news is a comp slip will probably find it’s way onto your clients desk, but it will be an ideal canvas for jotting down the details of your competition when they call up your client with a quote… you see where we’re going here.
And the branded letter heads… well by ordering a supply of these, you’re allowing yourself to accept that it’s alright to invest your precious start up money in an increasingly redundant commodity… Your clients don’t want invoices or estimates delivered by carrier pigeon, on branded paper in a wax sealed envelope… We all know you’ll email any formal communication!
So, to bring things back to our subject question and answer it as clearly and as thought provokingly as possible… yes, YOU DO need to think about your branding, especially as a start up! And yes, YOU ABSOLUTELY have to be creative about it. We’ve addressed the obvious that you’ll likely be sending any communication via email, so brand yourself and your business in an email friendly fashion… attach a video, insert an animated graphic, record your pitch as an audio file and attach that! Do something that your competition won’t be doing. Get in there first and YOU’LL be remembered; you’ll get the job and if you impress on that, maybe even the whole contract.
And if you’re worried your landscape gardening qualification or numerous years studying Law to establish your own practice won’t quite stretch to the creative prowess the above examples might require – don’t worry… that’s what we’re here for. Just get in touch!