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Interviewer:     Sophie, a big question a lot of people ask you know certainly in particular when you were looking at building brand, building an impression, we’re trying to you know get into a market and in particular if you’re starting from scratch, you know, if you’re starting from scratch and you are trying to create this brand perception and you want to raise your visibility and people’s awareness of you where do you begin with something like that if you are literally beginning, you know starting fresh?

Interviewee:     Well I guess it depends on budget, see you have got people who have money to spend, to invest in their business to get it going and you have got people who are literally starting with nothing so if I cover both of those a little bit briefly.  I think if you’re starting with, essentially they both have the same thing but one of them is going to have more money to chuck at doing direct mailing and marketing and advertising and that sort of stuff whereas if you are starting from scratch and you have got no budget, which actually I’ll cover that because that works with both then I would say your first thing to do is to identify your ideal client and the people that you are targeting at because once you know that, that is going to help you really drill down on how you are going to get your message out there because otherwise you are going to start flailing around doing all sorts of stuff that you don’t need to do.  So once you figure out who that is, then you are going to be able to know what sort of thing that they are going to want to see, what they are going to be looking for and what their problems are because once you know what their problems are you then you’re going to know how you can help them and that’s really, really important and although people don’t necessarily think of this when they think of branding, they straightaway think logos and business cards and that’s as relevant but it is a bit like a jigsaw puzzle there’s lots and lots of pieces and you’ve got to link them all together to be able to get this bigger picture.  So yep, so you start with your target client, you then figure out what they want, what their needs are then you know what you need to be saying to get in front of them and how you need to look because there is a very different look if you’ve got a very professional business you need to look professional.  If you’ve got a more kind of friendly business then you can afford to be a bit more jokey and friendly with it and they are two very different feels in terms of looks and brand.  Then of course you’ve got logo, you definitely need to get a logo done but you don’t need to spend a fortune on it.  If you’ve got zero budget choose a nice font that hasn’t got commercial issues with license that you’ve got the ability to use just use that keep it simple, if you have got loads of money then invest in a really good company that really connects with you and that can deliver you a logo that’s really going to represent your company and give you something that will take you forward in an ageless way and then you’ve got obviously all the design and everything that comes with that but start small because a lot of people, even if they’ve got investment money they waste it because they think I’ve got to get letterheads and compliment slips and business cards and this, that, the other but again they haven’t thought about who they’re aiming at and actually they might not need half of that because actually their money might be better spent in a different way if a lot of their clients are on social media then they need to be thinking about social media graphics, if a lot of their clients are taking the tube to work every day in London then they are going to need to be thinking about posters and banners that they’re going to put up in the tube so branding is much bigger if you’ve got an actual space where you’re going to be working do you want a uniform, do you need signage outside the building, you know what is it people are going to be looking for that’s going to help them resonate with your business and give them the feeling that they can trust you and that you have credibility and that they then want to use you.  So to build your brand from scratch it’s more than just getting a logo done and getting some business cards, it’s about thinking about the bigger picture because once you know that you can spend your money much more effectively and then you don’t have to waste it on stuff that you don’t need.

Interviewer:     And do you think as well, there’s also this, I’ve seen several times and experienced it myself and it’s sort of now a revolution in terms of branding, the brand that you start off when you, in particular a new business if you’re a start-up within six months to a year the business has almost transformed, it’s developed, it’s grown into its model at that point then obviously the branding sometimes needs to catch up with it.

Interviewee:     Yep, I would use my business as a case in point I started The Brand Kitchen in December 2013 and within the first three months all I have was a website and business cards I haven’t got anything else, I’ve got lots of social media graphics, I’ve got lots of stuff I’ve been putting out, I’ve been building my mailing list, I have done on-line courses and developed products and e-books and stuff now the branding goes across the board with all of those, but I haven’t actually spent any physical money on lots of things.

Interviewer:     So you’re testing?

Interviewee:     So I am testing what works, I am discovering and I am putting feelers out, feeling what do I actually need and then I can then spend more money on doing the right things.

Interviewer:     And presumably you can find out, well once you’ve found out what works then you’re able to extend that and grow that a little bit more and leave the stuff behind?

Interviewee:     Yeah because I think a lot of the time in business you think you know what your clients want and then you find out that actually they want something a little bit different.  It works a lot in retailers I think a lot of the time they buy things that they like and you see things and you think, oh that’s horrible I would never buy that but actually that’s the thing that sells and ultimately you are in business to make a profit, you’re in business to make a life but also you need a profit to be able make a life and so therefore you need to be doing the right things.

Interviewer:     And serve the customer.

Interviewee:     You need to be serving the customer but from a branding perspective you need to be giving them the things, that you know they’re going to connect with, you want them to be proud of your brand so that they can then tell other people how brilliant you are.

Interviewer:     Fantastic thanks.