Better Business: 'Free' doesn't always mean it's worth accepting

PC Pal's Jat Mann talks branding
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Jat Mann takes a look at the best ways for a company to build a consistent brand.

In my column last month, I mentioned my three tips for branding, which were to keep it simple and clean: use imagery that is memorable (for the right reasons) and use these consistently throughout all your marketing and communication material.

I wanted to expand on the last of these, which is using a consistent logo and colour scheme through all of your marketing material. I cannot stress this highly enough and feel not enough business owners pay attention to this important element.

There are many definitions of what a ‘brand’ is, but the one I subscribe to is that it’s essentially a promise that you make to customers: a promise to deliver on the expectation of a level of service that you promote via your marketing.

At PC Pal, we extensively advertise both online and in the traditional printed media and there is one golden rule that I always, always adhere to. It’s very easy to succumb to this offer but it will not help you in the long run. The rule is to never, ever allow a newspaper or magazine to design the advert artwork for you. Especially if they do it for free!

Now, there is nothing wrong with their skills, but ask yourself how can a third party working to a deadline and a cost structure emulate what you are trying to convey to a customer? Branding must be consistent in terms of using exact colour schemes, shapes, fonts, arrangement of key messages – the list of factors that need to be considered is very long.

Instead, seek out a talented and experienced designer. They don’t have to be the most expensive, but you need one who can encapsulate your business ethics and message. And once you find a good designer, look after them, as the cost of getting it wrong or rebranding can be very high!

Jat Mann is MD of www.PCPal.co.uk. You can contact him on jat@pcpal.co.uk

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