Marketing Blabs – Podcast

Blab #3: Creating a Great Brand

Date of Blab

29 March 2023

Blab Host

Categories

Listen Time

00:36:54

In this episode of "Creating a Great Brand", the team uncovers all the bases of effective brand building. 

We start by delving into the importance of understanding your audience and perfecting customer profiling. We also discuss crafting your messaging, focusing on value propositions, brand personality, and making a promise to your audience. 

We also chat about the role of visual identity; touching on colour psychology, typography, and essential design elements. Don't miss this comprehensive guide to developing a brand that stands out.

On this Blab: Tom Haslam (Host), Mel Healy, Nick Janaway and Josie Quigley-Jay

Blab Transcript
Tom Haslam - (Host):

Hello and welcome to Marketing Blabs. This podcast is brought to you by Marketing Labs, an expert digital marketing agency based in Nottinghamshire. If you're a business owner or a marketing professional looking for straightforward non-salesy tips and advice to help grow your business online, then this podcast is for you. Strap in because we're about to reveal the things that other agencies would rather you didn't know.

Hello, listeners. Here we go again. Read it and raring to go for the next blab. I hope you enjoyed the last pod where we talked about digital trends and how you can utilise AI to improve your workflow. By now, the majority of you should know who I am, but for those that don't, my name's Tom and I'm the creative director here at Marketing Labs and the host for this podcast. In this episode, we're going to talk about what it takes to create a great brand, something I'm excited to get stuck into myself. Here with me today to chat about probably the best subject yet is Mel, our head of content. How you doing, Mel?

Mel Healy - (Head of Content):

Good, thank you.

Tom Haslam - (Host):

First pod for you. Are you excited?

Mel Healy - (Head of Content):

I'm very nervous.

Tom Haslam - (Host):

Oh, you'll be fine. Josie?

Josie Quigley-Jay - (Digital Marketing Assistant):

Hello.

Tom Haslam - (Host):

Our digital marketing assistant. How you doing?

Josie Quigley-Jay - (Digital Marketing Assistant):

I'm good.

Tom Haslam - (Host):

This is the first pod for you, isn't it?

Josie Quigley-Jay - (Digital Marketing Assistant):

Yeah, yeah, first one for me.

Tom Haslam - (Host):

We did a few trial ones though, didn't we?

Josie Quigley-Jay - (Digital Marketing Assistant):

Yeah, I was great on the trial and then-

Tom Haslam - (Host):

Oh were you?.

Josie Quigley-Jay - (Digital Marketing Assistant):

Cut it out, it's fine.

Tom Haslam - (Host):

I'm glad that you said you were great.

Josie Quigley-Jay - (Digital Marketing Assistant):

Thanks.

Tom Haslam - (Host):

You were good. And finally Nick, our head of digital. How you doing, Nick?

Nick Janaway - (Head of Digital):

Hey, Tom. I'm good, mate.

Tom Haslam - (Host):

Good, good. Who won the pasta competition today?

Nick Janaway - (Head of Digital):

Don't know what you're talking about.

Tom Haslam - (Host):

Just for listeners, we had a pasta making competition and I won.

Nick Janaway - (Head of Digital):

It was rigged.

Tom Haslam - (Host):

So we're here to talk about what it makes to create... What it takes, sorry, to create a great brand. I always think, with branding, there's a big misconception there. I've been doing what I've been doing for a long time and a lot of people, I think, are a bit confused about what branding actually is or what a brand is. I think a lot of people think that a brand is just a logo, but it's not. There's lots of other things that you have to consider before you even get to the point where you're designing the logo such as understanding your audience, which is obviously a really big part of it. You've got to understand who you're targeting at the end of the day, otherwise the visual side of the brand isn't going to resonate or the messaging. So-

Josie Quigley-Jay - (Digital Marketing Assistant):

Yeah, I think it's not just down to the visual side either. It's anything with your business. If you're building your whole business and you are wanting to target, let's say, the younger generation, Gen Z, that's who you're looking to target, it's no good if you are coming up with this brand that looks so premium and luxurious and expensive or if you're targeting them through platforms like Facebook, because that's not where that audience sits, that's not what they're more likely to be interested in. People of that age group are a lot younger. They won't be able to afford luxury. They're not really using platforms like Facebook anymore to connect with them. So down to just creating your brand and where you want to sit, you to know the audience that you're targeting and how to reach them.

Nick Janaway - (Head of Digital):

Yeah, I think just out to that as well, I think traditional demographics are obviously how you reach your audience online, how you define them based on their age, their gender, their location, et cetera. I think a really key aspect also to consider is attitudinal statements and building personas around who and what your customers believe and what attitudes they have to certain things. And although you can't target them specifically, traditionally at least, if you can cater your messaging around that to a traditional demographic but really precise, really targeted messaging around that, you'll much likely resonate with those people to a much greater level and improve click through rates or conversions or whatever your objectives are. So it's certainly something to bear in mind because traditional targeting, although it can be very precise, you can still be talking to very, very different people even if you're quite precise on how you've targeted them.

Tom Haslam - (Host):

I guess the buyer persona side of things is always useful. Let's say I'm doing a brand workshop with somebody who is starting from scratch. They've got budget for all of that kind of work, and understanding the personas will also help later down the line for things like Google ads, I assume.

Nick Janaway - (Head of Digital):

Yeah, yeah. I mean, that's key really. So you've got two things with your target audience. You've got who your audience are now, because that might be very different to who you want them to be in the future. So who typically uses your product or your services? What do they look like? Are you going to grow with them? Do you need to expand past them? What's the size of that audience? Are you going to open up your product range, or whatever it might be in a few years' time to cater for a wider or a different audience set? So having a clear picture of, and a clear map I suppose, of your goals and your objectives over the next one year, three years, five years, and mapping that to particular segments and audiences and objectives and targets, I think, is really helpful.

Tom Haslam - (Host):

I suppose from a creative side of things as well, Mel, you write lots of content. Obviously when you are writing your... I guess you're taking into account audience a lot of the time, but do people who you are writing the blogs for understand their audience?

Mel Healy - (Head of Content):

I would say mostly probably not, but I'd say there's a misconception around understanding your audience and who you're targeting. And if you are a bigger brand with a lot of money, you can afford to go out and do a lot of expensive market research. But if you don't have that budget to do that, it doesn't mean that you can't write your own buyer persona or a... Let's call it a description of the kind of person that you want to target because there are cheaper ways of doing it. So you can talk to your sales people and find out what they already know about the customers who are coming to you and go out to trade shows, exhibitions, talk to the people there and build up an idea, a picture in your mind, of who the pupil are that you want to target. And then when you are writing anything or doing any kind of creative, you can bear that in mind so that you've always got that reader, in my case, for content front of mind so that you know what you're putting together will resonate with them because you know them. You know them really well and, like I say, if smaller brands that don't have a budget to do market research, actually speaking to the salespeople who go out and see these people day in, day out, getting their insight into who they are, that's key.

Tom Haslam - (Host):

I agree. I think, well ultimately if you're understanding your audience, albeit what Nick said, it can change over time. If you understand at least your initial audience, then you'll be on the right track to start developing your brand and moving it forward. I guess the next thing that you can talk about, with regards to audience, is then the messaging and how you talk to that audience. You've got your personas, you know who you're targeting, in what areas, et cetera, but in everyone's experience, how do you create clear messaging that's consistent?

Nick Janaway - (Head of Digital):

I think for me, there are lots of different ways of doing this and achieving this, but organising yourself and creating something like a brand house or some kind of structured framework can really help and identify how you can consistently pull together marketing that relates specifically to aspects of your brand that you want to be remembered for. So doing a bit of research on that and it's really customizable. You could create your own structure within that or you could use a fairly standard framework, but if you search for brand house online, I'm sure you'll find something that resonates and is useful for you. But the general concept really is having a purpose, which is if you were to distil your brand down to its simplest form, what would that be? And then you can position your brand around that. So make statements around that and delivering against that purpose.

And then start to fill in things like attributes. So creating a tone of voice, getting into the imagery side of things and what your logo looks like, what your website looks like, what assets do you have that customers might see that might be front facing. So storefronts, vans, things beyond websites, your social ads or TV ads or whatever it might be. You can all then pull that together and keep consistency with not only the messaging and how you're delivering that message, but what it looks like and how it represents the brand. And then beyond that, again, you can then start to think about how you can educate people on your brand. So that can all be brought into the framework and what your key messages are and how you're going to instil that with your customers. And then finally, any kind of proof points that you might have that are evidence points, if you like, of how you relate to the particular messages that you want to get across as part of your marketing or part of your content that you're creating.

Josie Quigley-Jay - (Digital Marketing Assistant):

I feel like a part of it in messaging as well is the tone of voice you use to convey that message. Mel might be able to go into it a little bit more than I can, but deciding on your tone of voice, again, depending on your target audience completely changes how you're going to talk to them. If it's people of a younger generation, you might be more relaxed looking at lots of slang, new terms that are coming up that's used by those people. And if it's an older audience, just on its simple basis, you'd probably go for more of a formal tone or, again, it depends on the company you are. Your tone of voice is quite big in that.

Mel Healy - (Head of Content):

Yeah, that's right. And a bit like the visual side of things, so that if you only saw something written from a particular company, you would be able to identify who they are just from the words on the page without seeing any other identifying markers. And that's true for visual as well, isn't it? So colours or so certain other assets of a brand that you would be able to identify where it came from on its own without anything else. And that again is important for consistency because, as Nick says, that's absolutely key when it comes to brand building. We know that people have to see things, hear things, read things multiple times before they remember.

Tom Haslam - (Host):

I think a big part of messaging as well is, I know it sounds quite traditional, but from doing brand workshops with people and businesses, it's getting them to understand what their unique value proposition is or what their US peers, what sets them apart from all their competitors. If you have that in mind, then what I always used to like to do was get them to make a promise as well. So what sets them apart and what promise are they going to make to that audience that is beyond making money? I always like to use IKEA as an example for that. You know their core principle is that they're creating affordable functional products and that is their audience and they promise to do that. And it's in their messaging, it's in everything that they do, their advertising campaigns. I always use IKEA. It's a great example of how making a promise really sticks. I know that it's a big brand and a lot of the people who are listening to this podcast are small businesses, but it does matter. It's not just a logo at the end of the day. And if you understand your audience and how you're going to talk to them, then you're on the right track.

Josie Quigley-Jay - (Digital Marketing Assistant):

So I was going to say, spinning off your IKEA example on messaging, I think another... Two brands, but because we're focusing on smaller businesses that do their messaging really well is Innocent Smoothies and more recently Surreal, the cereal brand. So Innocent Smoothies, they're a lot bigger and they've been around a lot longer, but they position themselves as a really fun smoothie brand. They want to come up with new ideas and stuff for their smoothies quite ahead of the game. I can't think of a... There's Naked Smoothies, that's another smoothie brand, but they're not quite as up there. But Innocent do it in all of their promotions. They just get fun and creative and they've done things with Heinz before of a bean smoothie. I think one of them accidentally posted their boss's wedding photo on social media at one point, or did it as a profile picture, whether that was actually an accident or not, we don't know.

But similarly, Surreal is the new cereal brand that's doing it quite well as well with the playful messaging and everything they do. In their recent ad a campaign, they were getting people with the same name as famous celebrities. So people like Michael Jordan and they were finding people, just everyday people that have the same names, getting them to try the cereal and getting their quotes being like, "Oh, Michael Jordan loves our cereal," and things like that and using that in the ad campaign. So even in the messaging like that, they're showing that they're different from... They're not your average Kellogg's cornflakes, they're fun and their cereal's different and it stands out. And I think doing things like that, using your messaging in everything you do is so important to stand out.

Tom Haslam - (Host):

Yeah, I saw those campaigns, was something like, but Michael works on a construction site in London or something like that.

Josie Quigley-Jay - (Digital Marketing Assistant):

Yeah. Not Michael Jordan who you think.

Tom Haslam - (Host):

It's like they wanted to do small texts at the bottom to say it's not actual Michael Jordan.

Josie Quigley-Jay - (Digital Marketing Assistant):

Yeah, I think there was Dwayne Johnson as well, and then on the LinkedIn post I saw as well, they did a follow up on where they'd crossed out being like, "Oh, our solicitors don't back this," and that kind of thing, being really playful with it. And I think where a lot of companies like that are heading as well and just being a bit more fun and creative and that reflects their brand because it's how their messaging's coming across.

Tom Haslam - (Host):

I always like those kind of brands, to be honest. Innocent are really cool, especially in their product packaging and everything. We were talking about audience and messaging. But obviously a big part of it is then usually the processes when they've created their audience and understanding what their messaging is, it's getting into the visual side, which is a bit I love doing. And a big part of that is colour psychology. I know a lot of people take the mickey out of me in the office about colours and there is a big, big thing there with colour psychology because if you are choosing colours that are going to essentially represent your brand, you want it to evoke-

Josie Quigley-Jay - (Digital Marketing Assistant):

The right feelings and emotions.

Tom Haslam - (Host):

Exactly, yeah.

Josie Quigley-Jay - (Digital Marketing Assistant):

Yeah, I was looking at this recently. I found that there was a colour called... I think it's Baker Miller Pink, and they found... Supposedly it's believed that it's meant to meet you more relaxed and calm, this certain colour of pink. And so it was used in psych wards. I think it was mainly in America, painting in the full places pink to try and keep the people in there calm. It has been used in prisons and everything. And I'm pretty sure there was also an American football team that put it in their home grounds. They put it in the away team's locker room so that any away team that came in would supposedly be relaxed before, so a bit of psychology in it and things like that I found really interesting.

Tom Haslam - (Host):

There's lots of different examples that you can give. For example, yellow. Mel's wearing a yellow top. Essentially that's a vibrant colour that's typically going to make people feel warm, might feel optimistic or it's quite a energetic colour, if that makes sense. So that's why when I came in this morning, I had a spring in my step because you've got a yellow jumper on.

Mel Healy - (Head of Content):

That's why. Okay?

Tom Haslam - (Host):

That's why.

Mel Healy - (Head of Content):

That explains it.

Tom Haslam - (Host):

But it might be because you want to put across a friendly and approachable image or messaging. Yellow is a colour that's used a lot to portray value as well. So that's quite a big one.

Mel Healy - (Head of Content):

Colour is an really important way of telling a brand story, so it often means more than it might seem at first sight. So there are a lot of brands that use the colours from the country of origin's flag. So IKEA, for example, the yellow and blue is from the Swedish flag and there are a lot of Italian food manufacturers that use red, green and white, the colours of the Italian flag so that it's telling part of their story of that brand, of who they are and where they've come from, which for food and Italian food specifically is important to their value proposition.

Tom Haslam - (Host):

Gives it that authenticity, doesn't it?

Mel Healy - (Head of Content):

Absolutely.

Tom Haslam - (Host):

Yeah. You could use an example of, let's say, blue. It tends to be a colour that is used to portray trust, reliability and calmness for example. It's used quite a lot in industries like financial technology companies, maybe healthcare organisations, because it's trying to portray that message. Example could be IBM or Visa.

Mel Healy - (Head of Content):

NHS?

Tom Haslam - (Host):

NHS, yeah. That's a perfect example. Visa, they use blue in their branding to convey a sense of security, which makes sense because you you're buying things with your card and it's a brand that you want to trust. So there's some good examples there. I think there's lots of ways people can consider colour more than, oh, I want green because-

Mel Healy - (Head of Content):

I like green.

Tom Haslam - (Host):

I like green. What colours do you like, Nick?

Nick Janaway - (Head of Digital):

I'm quite boring, Tom. Blue, I think, is my favourite colour.

Tom Haslam - (Host):

You are quite a calm person to be fair. So that makes sense.

Nick Janaway - (Head of Digital):

Mostly calm.

Josie Quigley-Jay - (Digital Marketing Assistant):

What made you choose our Marketing Labs' purple, Tom?

Tom Haslam - (Host):

Well, it's not purple, it's an RGB colour, so we are fully digital. We don't print anything. So when I considered our colour scheme, I took that into account and initially we were just using a... I don't know, a CMYK blue or a standard sky blue-type colour. So it is how we could take that to the next level and make it a little bit more innovative. And I guess, when considering the brand and the colour scheme, that's what I took into account to make it sort of more technical because we are a technical company. If you add more purples to it, then that represents that.

Josie Quigley-Jay - (Digital Marketing Assistant):

I think that's quite important as well, is, I remember you teaching me that when I first started, is using RGB for... Well, looking at where your branding is going to be, whether you are mostly a print company or whether you are mostly digital or whether it's both, and then choosing whether you use RRGB or CYMK to do your colour because they will print differently and appear differently in those different formats and you need to take that into consideration.

Tom Haslam - (Host):

Absolutely. It's usually good practise to design for CMYK first. Well, it was traditionally because a lot of companies would print lots of stuff, but now it's moving more the other way where you'd need to consider more hex codes, RGB and things like that. It's a little bit more technical, but I'd say that every company should consider having a Pantone reference as well, just in case they ever do get anything printed. It's nice to have those Pantone references in there.

Josie Quigley-Jay - (Digital Marketing Assistant):

I think when you've got your visual identity as well, it's so important to make sure that you reflect that in everything you do and everything, whether that's your email signature, whether it's infographics you're producing, even your team LinkedIn pages, we've got all our LinkedIn pages with all our branding on and even for our personal profiles. And I think just in anything that you produce, you've got to reflect that visual identity to show it as a solid, solid piece together.

Nick Janaway - (Head of Digital):

It comes back to consistency again, doesn't it? Ideally, what you need to do is map out every single touchpoint that a customer could have along their journey with you. So whether that's your marketing, whether it's your website, whether it's offline stuff, how do you represent yourself across all of those and how do you make sure it is consistent as possible? And making sure that how you do that represents your brand in the best way. So coming back to your point on the visual identity stuff though, and the different colours and what have you, there might be a spectrum obviously of colours and slightly different changes in colours could mean different things to customers.

So it is worth spending a little bit of time doing user research and focus groups and you can do that relatively cost effectively. There's lots of people that can help with that and spending a few hundred pounds or a little bit more than that just to make sure that you have an A versus a B, or even a C if you have that. And just make sure that your customers, how you've identified them, what segments they exist in, actually agree with your version of how you want to present yourself and you can really maximise your results by doing that.

Tom Haslam - (Host):

Yeah, that's a good point. I think lots of people, just coming into that, is consistency and how Josie was saying everything that you create should be consistent is bang on, but a lot of people, when they're considering creating their brand, first of all, they don't understand their audience, then they don't create the right messaging and then worse than that, they don't have a brand guideline document that... And that sounds really sad, but they don't have... Even if it's just a basic one, just one page that explains what their colours are, what codes they've got, what their font scheme is or what typefaces they should use, where and when they should use it. It doesn't have to be completely detailed. It could be anywhere between one page to 50 pages. I've seen brand guideline documents thousands of pages long. It's ridiculous. Does anyone know the difference between sans serif and serif fonts?

Josie Quigley-Jay - (Digital Marketing Assistant):

Serif has got a little flicky bit on each of the letters, doesn't it? And sans serif's-

Tom Haslam - (Host):

Flicky bit.

Josie Quigley-Jay - (Digital Marketing Assistant):

Flicky bits, yeah. Sans serif is sans, the little flicky bits. Without. I'm a genius.

Tom Haslam - (Host):

What application or what industry would you typically... This is a quiz now, quiz time with Tom, when would you use a sans serif font?

Josie Quigley-Jay - (Digital Marketing Assistant):

Serif looks quite fan, so I'd say things like lawyers, solicitors, because you've got your little flicky bits on the end. It just looks a bit more formal, a bit fancier, so quite prestigious-y things. Whereas sans serif, I feel like, is it a lot of fashion industry seem to be going sans serif?

Tom Haslam - (Host):

Yeah, so for... I mean, going a step further, there's block serif as well, like Surreal, the example that you brought. That's like a block serif because it's really big, bold and blocky.

Josie Quigley-Jay - (Digital Marketing Assistant):

Makes sense.

Tom Haslam - (Host):

So does it does what it says on the tin. But a sans serif would typically be used for tech companies, startups or any brand really aiming to put across a contemporary image. Just a modern... It's just modern, clean. Modern, clean. Ours is called called Filson Pro, that's a sans serif font and it's quite... I guess it's not commonly used, but it's quite a popular font and it's really... It's just clean and modern really. And that's-

Josie Quigley-Jay - (Digital Marketing Assistant):

Yeah, I do like the clean look of sans serif.

Nick Janaway - (Head of Digital):

There is a usability point there as well, isn't there? So lots of websites, or apps or anything digital really, you need to make sure, as part of the usability functionality, that people can read it. It is easy to identify. So not just your branding, there's a functional element there as well.

Tom Haslam - (Host):

I feel like you get away with that more with sans serif fonts because they're not as flicky.

Mel Healy - (Head of Content):

Interestingly, when I worked for the police, we tried changing the logo from having a serif to without. And when we did the user testing, people really struggled with it without, because it moved away from what they considered to be something quite traditional that they could rely on, that they trusted and without it felt just too wayward, too modern, and we ended up having to find a compromise somewhere between the two of them that our audience were comfortable with, basically.

Tom Haslam - (Host):

Google's a great example. If you look at their logo, I don't know, 10 years ago, maybe not that long ago, but they used a serif, a serif font. And then now, they're purely sans serif. It's really quite clean, simple.

Josie Quigley-Jay - (Digital Marketing Assistant):

Do you think they've led on that tech change of fonts or do you think they've just part of it?

Tom Haslam - (Host):

I think, over time, companies and brands have realised that they have to adapt to modern times. Everyone's going... Not everyone, but more brands now are going down the sans serif route of cleaner, modern, minimalism.

Nick Janaway - (Head of Digital):

It's technology based as well, isn't it? You think over that time mobile is skyrocketed. The number of people that have mobiles now is pretty much everybody, even down to younger kids. And if you have a smaller device with a smaller screen, everything on there needs to be clear. The resolutions are slightly smaller, you obviously need to scale. So it is not specific to fonts, but you need to make sure that that works across as many different devices as possible. So typically, I guess those sorts of fonts are better able to do that.

Tom Haslam - (Host):

I guess there's a lot of use cases as well where you can have, let's say, a typeface logo with a serif font and underneath it you might use a sans serif to give it more a traditional feel, but also with a modern, not using two, and it gives you a bit of a contrast between the fonts as well. See, that can be more prominent as well, so that they're not using just all of the same. For example, on a website you might use a serif font as the header or the header font font, and then the body copy might be a sans serif, because if you have two of the same, it might not be readable.

Mel Healy - (Head of Content):

That's the kind of thing that you would put into your brand guidelines. So you would have a colour palette with all of the different approved colours in there, and then you would have the same for family of fonts, if you like, with different type faces for different applications.

Tom Haslam - (Host):

Yeah, I think that's a good point actually, because some people think that you just have to have one font for a brand. You might have, let's say, a font that's used for call to actions such as, let's say, a script font for example. Then your headers might be a serif and then your body copy might be a sans serif, and then there's font weights that you have to chuck into there as well and consider all of that. When is it bold? When is it light? And so on. You're getting into the real detail of it now. But in general, if you've got a document that outlines all of that, then everyone within the business is going to be clear on it, aren't they?

Mel Healy - (Head of Content):

Is there a colour that you would suggest is better for call to actions that stops people as they're scrolling and is more likely to evoke action?

Tom Haslam - (Host):

I would say if that's not part of their colour scheme, green, for example, then they need to revert back to a colour that is the boldest, if that's the right way of describing it. So let's say it's a really monochrome brand, they're using blacks, whites, greys, et cetera. Then you'd probably consider using green in that. But if, for example, they're blue, darker blue greys for example, then you might want to use the blue or the lightest shade of blue that they've got in that colour palette. So it's a tricky one because obviously green is the type of colour that's going to generate an action because there's research on it, especially on a webpage, let's say a product page for example. But it's not always going to be usable but for that brand. I guess once you've considered all of the visual side of your brand, which is important, but if you've not done the bits before, how are you going to build trust with your audience?

Josie Quigley-Jay - (Digital Marketing Assistant):

I feel like this is quite a tough one, particularly in this day and age. People really want transparency, really want to see the in-depth side of your brand, want to know what's going on. And with things like social media, it's so hard to, I guess, not be transparent. It's so hard to keep things under wraps if there's something that you are trying to hide in your business. You need to just be upfront and honest because people will find out, and particularly social platforms like TikTok is renowned for dragging brands that have slipped up, made mistakes, and they've been caught out. And they'll get brandished and they'll get dragged.

For example, I think it was 2019, Millie Bobby Brown launched her skincare brand, Florence, I believe it's called. Obviously Millie Bobby Brown's in Stranger Things. She's a young actor and she posted this video of her washing her face with the skincare products, but she wasn't actually using the products, she wasn't even touching her face. She was just pretending to wash her face. And social media absolutely rinsed her. But the brand itself, because the promotion that they were doing was faked, none of it was real. And people, they don't believe it, they're not going to buy into it. So why would they then put their trust and spend with a brand that they don't trust?

Nick Janaway - (Head of Digital):

Yeah, you've got to demonstrate what you're saying, haven't you? You've got to be able to prove and back up anything, especially when you're making claims, if it's about the environment or whatever, you need to show that you're actually doing that and people need to buy into that with you. And it's like you say, it's very easy to try and hide that or perhaps make claims that aren't quite true or there's a little bit of grey in there somewhere. And as you say, lots of companies are getting found out about that now. So one of the key things really is making sure that whatever you claim, especially if it belongs in your brand house or any of your brand guidelines, whatever you claim, you need to be able to demonstrate and show that you are proactively going out and doing that sort of thing. And obviously one of those things really, it takes a bit of time to build that trust, but it's something that can eradicate that trust almost overnight. So it's really, really important that you're doing things for the right reasons. Because otherwise, as Josie said, you could lose that pretty quickly.

Tom Haslam - (Host):

I think coming back to what Josie said about being transparent, let people know what your goals are and even your challenges as well as a business. If you're more transparent with your audience, then they're going to connect with you, aren't they? that's what I think, anyway.

Josie Quigley-Jay - (Digital Marketing Assistant):

Yeah, 100%.

Tom Haslam - (Host):

That's only my personal opinion. You can use obviously storytelling on Instagram, with your Instagram stories, to connect with your audience emotionally, because if they're going to see what you're doing on a daily basis, then they're going to connect with you, aren't they? And it's going to create that loyalty.

Josie Quigley-Jay - (Digital Marketing Assistant):

Oh yeah. Behind the scenes, I think Instagram stories is great use to show that because then you can keep the majority of your social media clean. It's what you're doing, it's what you're promoting out to the world at first glance. But using things like Instagram stories, you can show that more in-depth personality a little bit more. I think a lot of brands have started doing that on TikTok again as well. People have been a bit more playful with that.

Tom Haslam - (Host):

Yeah, I guess you... You used to work for Centre Parcs, Centre Parcs are a really big brand. Was there anything specifically in your brand, not necessarily brand guidelines, but your values and mission that was spread through employees or how would you build trust? Is there any examples that you can give there?

Nick Janaway - (Head of Digital):

Yeah, they used to take brand very, very seriously. A lot of weight on brand internally across the business. And it pays dividends in terms of that success or that reward at the end of it as well. And really making sure that you do things for the right reasons, making sure that you're honest with your customers, and also making sure that all of your staff are working towards the same goal. So showing people why there's a reason for doing things, the reason for particular branding, might be staff uniforms are consistent with that. There are lots of touch points, as I mentioned earlier, lots of touch points with customers and why you would do certain things in a certain way with a particular focus. So yeah, I think a lot of thought goes into that, not just... I think a lot of big companies have to think about that these days and how they talk to customers and consumers, why they do that and how they do that more importantly. There's a lot of thought that goes into that.

Tom Haslam - (Host):

Because obviously we're an SME business, it's always nice to see, or hear I should say, what those larger brands are doing because we always try to put the foundations into new businesses. But I imagine a brand like Centre Parcs has got a full-on brand and marketing team that handles it all. But it is always interesting to hear from a... Not a social side, but also a website side. I think a good way of building trust is via the use of video testimonials. I know you've done a few, Josie, that aren't necessarily a video of the actual client, but it's a recording.

Josie Quigley-Jay - (Digital Marketing Assistant):

No. Yeah, so it doesn't need to be even showing their faces if they don't want to be in it. I've seen a few people where they... I think it was House Movers and they were getting the people they just moved house for, a full video of them stood chatting about it, but it doesn't need to be anything like that. You can just simply get an audio clip, just ask them to pop on a call, check they're all right with you recording it and sharing it and take that audio file. You can make visuals to go along with it if you wanted, or you pick out sentences from that clip that you can then write out, have them put as imagery across your website. You can use them in so many different ways. They're brilliant for sharing on social media and it shows its value. It shows it's a legitimate person reviewing you because they've got the voice or a person and you can just repurpose it in so many different ways.

Tom Haslam - (Host):

Yeah. When you're writing content, Mel, do you consider the trust element there?

Mel Healy - (Head of Content):

I would say from the perspective of not overselling, which is a key thing in articles and blog posts, because that isn't why somebody's landed on your site. They've had a question, they've wanted to learn more and they're expecting you to provide that and you have to meet that need without luring them there under false pretences just to sell to them. So that's a really key consideration to make. And it's all about, going back to what we said earlier, about promising and meeting your audience's expectations. If you've promised something, then you ought to deliver on it and under delivering on it will just lead to dissatisfaction.

Tom Haslam - (Host):

No, I agree. There's lots of things to consider, isn't there, when building a brand. And I think on that basis, we'll wrap the podcast up. Thank you guys for coming on and sharing your insights. Cheers, Josie, Mel and Nick. Hope you've all enjoyed it.

Mel Healy - (Head of Content):

Thanks, Tom.

Nick Janaway - (Head of Digital):

Lovely, Tom.

Josie Quigley-Jay - (Digital Marketing Assistant):

It's been great.

Tom Haslam - (Host):

Cheers. Thank you everybody for listening. In this episode, we've talked about everything that you need to create a successful brand. It's essential to understand your audience, your demographics, and their pain points. You can develop bi-personas to help with this, to maintain consistent messaging and strengthen brand recognition. Remember to craft a unique value proposition to foster those emotional connections. Establish transparency and trust with your audience.

Consider colour psychology and typography in your visual identity. It's all about creating a cohesive, memorable brand by unifying all of your visual elements as well. This will help your brand stand out in a competitive market. I'm excited to announce that our next blab is going to be about tips for improving the performance of your e-commerce platform or online store. Whether you're a seasoned professional or you're just starting out, there's always room for growth and optimization in the e-commerce world. So join us as we dive into the world of e-commerce performance. And until next time, I'm Tom and this is Marketing Blabs. Thank you very much for listening, and we'll see you next time.

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