Business as a story. Branding.
Welcome back. This is BizBaby and i am Sergey Patrikeev, your guide into an exciting world of business.
This chapter is one of my favourites, i love a great story associated with a brand and how creative some business owners are at telling it.
Im sure you are as excited as i am, so let’s get into it right away.
Let’s imagine a situation when you needed to tailor a suit, you researched a tailor shop and found there are 2 options in your area:
- 1st Avenue Tailor
Generic name, non-owner operated store, cheap pricing, almost nobody seems to care about you as a customer, but they have good reviews, however nothing speaks to you about this place. Just a simple tailor shop.
- Makeworth Family and Tailors
3rd generation of tailors, owner run and operated. Mother, father and sons.
Their shop is full of pictures of a father and mother standing next to some celebrities in a custom made to measure suits and gowns.
Showing pride in their work. There is a story written at their storefront about how this store was opened 75 years ago by their grandparents and since then was a go to place for special tailoring jobs of all kinds from small hamming to making costumes for actors in some big name movies.
They have a large amount of reviews and their prices reflect the great quality of work.
Almost instantly you're gonna be drawn to the second option where it speaks trust and quality. You have never heard of that tailor shop, nor have you ever seen or stepped foot inside it.
However you already have a feeling that you and your suit will be taken good care of at “Makeworth Family and Tailors”.
You don’t mind paying a little higher price and you will feel good supporting a local family business that has been there for generations.
And the brilliant part is that you will most probably consider going to this tailor shop again, even if you move out of the area, since you already established trust and relationship with business owners and you want to be part of their brand and their story.
This is just an example of how you can stand out among hundreds of faceless businesses like: Laundromat X, Pho Restaurant, Excellent Shoe Shine or 24 Hour Grocery.
You don’t have to be in business since 1950 or have family working with you, however people want to have a place they belong, places that are unique, that speak to them, places they can trust.
More and more places focus on exposing their inner works, for example: restaurants with open/exposed style kitchens, shirt printing shops that accept orders and make them right in front of you in one open space.
Ability to tell the story is as important as running ads and marketing. Story and brand that people can understand.
You have probably seen many businesses that have some complicated made up names and bright shiny logos. That’s another side of bad branding.
When people can’t pronounce or remember your name by heart, it takes a huge amount of investing and advertisements to make people memorize a made-up word, not something small businesses usually have resources for. Here are some tips:
- Using first or last name is often great for local businesses when the owner is present at the business, example would be “Craig’s Great Sandwitches”, if Craig is the one who works at the restaurant every day, it will create a great loyalty and business recognition.
- Words of association are a good choice “Speedy's Cleaners” would be a great way to tell customers that this place is fast for dry cleaners or “Lazy Suzy’s Home Cleaning” a good play of words to describe state of customers mind when they shop for a home cleaning and don’t want to do it themselves.
In the last 20 years, logo trends went through some significant stages. From trying to get the attention with the most unique drawing, shape and colors to name/word as a logo.
Just like the naming, it’s best to stick to the simple concept, to avoid trying to create a something that would require alot of investment to make people remember, best is to stick to the actual word as a logo.
For example “Craig’s Great Sandwitches”, would be best to make “Craig’s” as the main logo and “Great Sanwitches” as underscore wording.
Same for “Speedy’s” as cleaners, eventually once brand recognition is improved and people know what Speedy’s is, you could completely remove cleaners and just stick to “Speedy’s”.
Adding a wheel to it would also be a great addition.
What makes this brand special?
Name, logo and a concept are a good start. Now let’s focus on creating an actual story.
You can create a story that centers around your employees, customers, product and what makes it special, or yourself and how you got here (opening a business is hard and im sure it was full of stories to tell).
Interesting fact, it’s easier to tell the story for a business that has been struggling than the one that was successful from day one.
Make a lemonade out of your lemons and share your experience through a story people can relate to, is one of many great ways to connect with your customers.
It’s a common mistake many business owners make when they create a great looking space, beautifully designed interior, storefront, name and logo.
However, it doesn’t tell a story and it’s hard to relate to. Customers might be lured inside by the looks, however they will rarely visit again.
One of the best branding stories i’ve seen is “Max Brenner - Chocolate by a bold Australian”. It has a beautifully designed logo shape of a bold head and bold letters “Max Brenner”, it speaks about passion toward chocolate and it’s design… And restaurant interior looks very much like a Willy Wonka Chocolate Factory.
However, the owner of the restaurant is not Australian and he is not completely bold. You don’t have to be the brand and it doesn’t have to be your personal story to WOW people and excite them about the experience you created.
I hope this wil inspire you to think outside the box. Btw, I love Max Brener experience and chocolate, so if you have never been, you should try it.
Congratulations! Now you know a thing or two about a storytelling and brand building basics.