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Build Your Brand - Part 2

September 28, 2012 | 6:44 AM
pull in the pros
interview the experts

What you should ask before hiring a branding expert.

what is a brand? “If he tells you it’s a logo or an image, walk away,” advises Ed Roach.

how do you feel about my spa’s philosophy? “If the consultant seems lukewarm about your idea, he isn’t someone you should partner with,” says Dianne Stasi.

how do you get paid? “It’s important to get that out on the table before you start working together,” says Roach.

what related experience do you have in the spa industry that you can show me? “Seeing examples will give you a feel for their work,” says Stasi.

By the time you’ve researched the state of your spa’s brand, you may feel overwhelmed, as the process of properly establishing your brand is no small task. The right choice for you might be to call in an expert, especially for designing your logo and accompanying marketing materials.
“Whomever is going to do your branding has to understand your vision and illustrate it in a really great way,” says Stasi. “So beforehand, gather ad materials and brochures from any businesses with design that you like, and start a concept board.” This is a collage similar to what interior designers create when showing a client what a room will look like, with examples of colors, textures and symbols you would like to associate with your spa. “The more clearly you can portray your vision, the better you can work together as a team,” she says.

where to start

Think you don’t have time to research the state of your brand? Think again. Here are some quick tips from Ed Roach, consultant with The Branding Experts.

get a feel for your brand. As you walk past employees and suppliers, simply ask, “What do we do here?” This will give you a fix on where your corporate brand is right now. (Time to execute: 2 minutes)

ask for honesty. Next time you’re talking to a customer, ask, “If we no longer existed, would you miss us?” See what this conversation sparks. (Time to execute: 2 minutes)

online research. Go on the web with a list of your competitors’ websites, and make a list of their positioning statements. Do you see your own shared with others? If things sound very familiar, you’re probably not leading the competition as much as you think. (Time to execute: 15 minutes per site)

self-analysis. Go to your own spa’s website. Take an overall look at your mission statement and marketing materials. Are all the imagery and corporate colors consistent across all pieces? Do the messages reflect the mission statement? Are there any conflicting statements? This exercise will give your brand a mini-physical. Remember, consistency is power in branding—inconsistency delivers a mixed message in the minds of your customers. (Time to execute: 20 minutes)

revisit the competition. Go back to your competitors’ websites and write down which predominant colors they use. When complete, write your own colors down, and see where everybody resides. This will show you where your color opportunities are if you would like to differentiate by color as a strategy. (Time to execute: 5 minutes per site)

For more, visit www.diybrandbuilder.com.

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