If your brand could walk, would you be able to smell the strawberries?

If your brand could walk, would you be able to smell the strawberries?

Introduction to an SMME Brand Audit

Can pigs fly? So how would it be possible for a brand to start walking? Never mind walk in a straight line?

Quick SMME Brand Audit
Quick SMME Brand Audit

The reality is that our brands should be alive and singing the most joyous song while walking with a spring in its step on a sunshine-filled summer’s day!  It should bring a smile to your face while you are checking all your little offsprings walking merrily behind.

Crazy thought? Let’s unpack.

A brand should be the sum total of all elements that help to identify, form, and influence unique and positive associations for a product or service, that differentiates you from your competition, creating meaning, value and preference in your prospective clients’ mind.

Corporate vs SMME Branding

For starters, most people think a brand is just a logo plus a couple of corporate colors and you’re good to go. 

In corporate situations, you will hire the services of an award-winning advertising agency. When you are running your own SMME, things will most probably work slightly differently. To save money you might use a super-slick design-your-logo-in-10-minutes-internet service. It is also fairly common to get a web designer to put your website together. After all, a website is an IT function, right? You might get the print shop to design your business card. You are the expert on presentations, so you grab a trusty template with a cool background, and voila! Your presentation is done.

A Babylonian Branding Confusion

The reality is that all your brand elements should talk to each other and more importantly, it should be singing the same unique song while walking down the path towards that scrumptious summer picnic.

The most ideal way of fixing this Babylonian branding confusion is to start with a proper marketing planning session. Get crystal clear on what will differentiate you from the competition and what will create true meaning and preference in the minds of your clients.

Once you have arrived at a conclusion that makes you so excited that you are ready to take on your first run around the park, get a team together that understands the importance to design around your strategic specifications and not what they think is cool.

Your visual brand family will typically include your logo, business card, email signature, proposal design, website, and all the associated website elements including social media profile pictures and icons as well as the style of your typical social media posts.

Elements such as your presentation template, your company video, and even your invoice should be part of your brand family.  If you really want to leave a meaningful message, your office and your background in the event of online coaching sessions should ideally match the whole storyline.

A Quick SMME Brand Audit Exercise

Does the end result work for you?

Get your family of brand elements together by printing them out and laying them out in front of you to get a clear picture of whether they are all talking the same language, and more importantly, that your unique message is crystal clear and so strong that you feel like you are on top of the world.

This is the very best exercise you can do even if you think you have got all your bases covered.  Be brutally honest with yourself. If you still can’t see the trees from the forest, you can get your family and friends to critique your brand. Or you could hire the services of a brand coach to get you out of the woods and safely back to your summer picnic where your chilled bubbly and farm-fresh strawberries await you.

This article was originally published in Coaching News Africa, Volume 3 Issue 6.

Author: Chistél Rosslee-Venter

Christél Rosslee-Venter is a business coach, marketing consultant, author, and speaker with almost 30 years of experience in the marketing and advertising industry.

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