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    The Joi Design blog is about what SME's can do today, everyday, to win and retain quality clients via strong branding strategies, social media and internet marketing.


    Joi Murugavell founder of Joi Design, is a designer by trade. She's passionate about 'cutting the crap' and helping her clients make money from good, solid Brands.

    Simon Young is a cofounder of iJump, a social media consultancy that helps organisations conduct real, human conversations with their communities through Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other forms of social media.

    James Mawhinney is the Business Development Manager at PositionMEonline, providing high quality internet marketing strategies to a range of clients including Merrill Lynch, Downer EDI, Hawaiian Group, Citect PLC, and Quest Serviced Apartments.

    Thursday, November 12, 2009 by Joi Murugavell

    Little plasters on big broken brands



    Working on a website now, biggest problem is not really what they hired us for, but I had to say something. I have old fashioned values (thanks mum and dad) if someone gives you their money, give them honestly.

    Anyway, I can't mention their name here but picture this : you sell mangos, your name is oranges. I didn't need to do a whole bunch of research to find out what their clients thought, with permission I called a few of their clients and every single one said (initially) they didn't know what said company even did, because of their name.

    They have been in business for 4 years, confusing Victorians with their name no doubt, very little advertising budget to back up the strange name choice. Change it now I said! your name makes up a gargantuan portion of your 'brand. No! they said. Why? Because they have purchased a domain name (purchase another one, its not expensive) they love their logo (get another one to love) they can't afford the rebrand (do it in stages). No! they said to my pleas. They're very excited about the new website and have been excellent clients to work with, the kind who pour a lot of energy into content (rare). The website looks fantastic, though its nothing but a little plaster on a big broken brand.

    If you don't have a large budget for a rebrand, in order of importance, focus on:

    1) Message/Engagement
    This involves your time and you'll get some amazing ideas from this brainstorming session that goes beyond writing copy. We've seen clients come up with fantastic growth and strategic plans from answering the questions "how do I give my clients what they want" "how do I speak to them" "how do I empower them to speak back". Its often a lot simpler than you think. In fact keep it simple.
     
    2) Logo  
    If you can't afford a logo but you've hired a good designer to build a website, ask them to pick a good font to 'type' out your company name, the result will be a lot better than trying to do it yourself or using a dangerously outdated logo. Logos have to look professional, yes, but they don't have to be 'fancy' to stand out, its what you make of it. Its how you express your business that matters, that builds a brand.

    3) Website
    Make it an empowering simple brochure website for stage one (don't just talk, allow prospects to converse with you), nuke the bells and whistles.

    Fix the message, fix the strategy, fix the brand first. Then get a fancy website, glossy brochure and big fat billboard otherwise you're spending wasted money trying to put little plasters on a big ol broken brand.

    THE SMALL BUSINESS BRAND AGENCY