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A guest blog by Sarah Orchard, Associate Marketing Consultant at Cornberry

Branding ­– does it really have an impact on your business and how much money it can generate?

When you start out with a new business venture, branding can seem like an extra and indulgent business expense. However, a lack of a decent brand identity has a significant impact on business development and profitability. Of course, your brand is not solely responsible for the success of your business, but it does have a very crucial role to play in customer perception and whether your business is seen as a credible choice. Your brand helps to provide reassurance that your product or service is good quality; a weak brand will immediately lower customer expectation and potentially lead them to form the opinion that your business doesn’t look to be well established or trustworthy. Much of this opinion forming takes place in a split second and on a subconscious level – often instant and unwavering, which is why it’s so important to get your branding right.

What is your brand?

Your brand encapsulates your business proposition and conveys the personality of your business, as well as supporting key marketing messages. Is it any wonder that large corporates spend tens of thousands of pounds on research, strategy and design to make sure their branding is fit for purpose. Back to the ‘real world’, I thought it would be good to share a small business re-branding case study.

A small business re-branding case study:

When I first met Nina to discuss how she might grow her business to become more profitable, I was struck by her fantastically bubbly personality, her passion and enthusiasm, and her absolute professionalism towards her work. In contrast, The Virtual Transcription Service Limited sounded rather staid and had a dull visual identity, the complete opposite to Nina as a person, and certainly didn’t express the breadth of services she actually offers to her clients.

Fortunately, Nina was very open to a radical approach and agreed to not just a re-branding but a renaming, too. Transformed into The 5 Star VA, the business was given a new lease of life, looking much more modern and dynamic. No longer was Nina pigeon holed into one single strand of work, the new name made it much easier to promote a wide variety of virtual business support and marketing services. Very quickly, Nina began to receive new business leads and in the months and years since the new brand was launched, business has grown significantly, in excess of the criteria we originally set as a measure of the new brand’s success.

The new brand identity:

The 5 Star VA logo

Nina didn’t have a big budget available to spend on this work, but it just goes to show how much can be achieved if you are prepared to invest in your brand. And with companies such as Cornberry offering branding and logo design to small to medium sized businesses, it’s an opportunity to take a leaf out of the larger corporates’ books and see the true value of making your brand work harder and more effectively to grow your business.