I may have started my business out of my home and seem like a dedicated full-time mom – but there is so much more to me than you may think.
I’m a visionary, who looks at things from alternate perspectives to craft a story that shares the passion and culture a company brings to its community. I think differently, therefore I act, direct, and design better. It’s strategic and creative in one stroke. It’s smart design, to help businesses grow smart. It’s being laser-focused on the main goals, and helping businesses and organizations stay accountable to their mission by empowering actions to make deeper connections with their customers.
See how passion inspired me to become a brand consultant and how passion turned me into a brand therapist. Enjoy this Q&A done by Matthew Flowers of Ethos Copywriting – without his words you would not be able to see my vision and passion.
In the most basic sense, Brand is the name for a product. Hence the phrase “brand name,” meaning a non-generic name for a product. However, business owners—at least the successful ones—quickly realized that a brand is much more than a name, it’s an experience. For this reason, a great brand consultant will do more than generate a theoretical return on investment (ROI) for your marketing initiatives, they’ll align your core values, message, and passion with every element of your brand. This, in turn, will give your organization laser-focused results instead of erratic, flash-in-the-pan results.
In order to do that, however, conversations between businesses and brand consultants must “go deep,” so to speak. The questions of “why” are prevalent and often transcend the sterility of a traditional marketing meeting. This is precisely why Jenny Poff, owner of Presque Isle Designs (PID), occasionally changes her role from “brand consultant” to “brand therapist.”
So Many Questions, So Much Passion
“I have clients who come in saying, ‘we’re ready to take it to the next level,’ but they’re so engulfed in all the stresses and tasks of daily operations that the initial flame of passion which started the business has burned out,” says Poff. “I feel like it is my job to reignite that flame.”
In order to do that, Poff needs to ask a lot of questions. Just like Simon Sinek’s famous advice, Jenny starts with “why”. Every business owner knows (or at least they should) know what they do. They probably also know their process—but do they know WHY they’re doing it?
“I go beyond finances, ROI, and target audiences,” asserts Poff. “All those elements will come into play. But first, we have to answer the big question of “why.”
The question of why goes deep. Like a therapy session, business owners, executives, or decision-makers can talk about their passions, visions, goals, and even their challenges and fears. Examples of these “why” questions could be:
- Why did you start the company?
- Why do you love doing what you do?
- Why does it matter to your customers?
- Why does your process matter?
- Why differentiates you from your competition?
“I love watching the magic during this part of the “Discovery Session,” notes Poff. “People come in stressed and leave with that flame reignited.”
Essentially, when passion is reconnected with a process, a business’s “brand” can start taking shape.
The Hardest Question to Address
“I really like to work with the people who are trying to forge a long-term relationship with their clients, have repeat customers, and connect,” notes Poff. Yet, there is one question that tops the long list of why’s. This can be where a little twinge of fear makes its way into the branding/rebranding process.
“I’ll also ask them, are you really ready? Can you keep delivering that same quality if you grow?” shares Poff. “That means we need to answer internal-operations questions. Sometimes those questions unveil struggles.”
Aside from answering why, the question of readiness is arguably the most important of the consultation meeting. In fact, in a report from Startup Genome, researchers found that a staggering 70% of startups fail due to premature scaling. While startups are historically more volatile, the point remains the same: You need a stronger infrastructure.
From Brand Consultation to Brand Therapy
If you’re supposed to keep your personal life out of business, why do brand consultations take such a personal turn? “Whether you’re a business owner, executive, or decision-maker, this business is your baby, it’s precious cargo, and you want it taken care of,” Poff says. “I’m a mom. The first time I had someone babysit my kids I was a nervous wreck. It’s the same kind of anxiety business owners feel when starting the process of hiring a Marketing and Brand Consultant.”
Business decision-makers take branding conversations to a deeper level when working with Poff because of trust. Poff notes this is not only helpful to accurately capture their brand message, but it shows that these executives truly understand she is an advocate for their success.
“I’m going to help them succeed through creative marketing strategies,” Poff states. “I’m going to take their precious cargo and deliver it in a way that amplifies their brand.”
As transparency is one of Poff’s core values, she, like a therapist, will try to help you see your thoughts more clearly. “When businesses are ready to unveil their struggles, I have no fear of saying ‘you’re not ready yet.’’ I get really real and tangible with them.” But most of the time, the business passion is reignited and they are excited to get started.
That reality check, while it may initially come as a surprise, is what a transparent B2B relationship looks like. “They hug me when they leave,” Poff laughs.
Consistency is Key
You may be wondering how a brand consultation can turn into such an intimate conversation. Well, here’s the thing: your core values are most likely going to align with your business’s core values.
Under Poff’s “Brand Umbrella,” a business’s name and logo are at the peak. Then, inside the umbrella are your core values, your philosophy, and your mission. If you follow the ribs of the umbrella down to their tips, you’ll find everything from custom stationary and leave-behinds to websites and social media presence.
However, there is one thing to keep in mind:
“Anything your logo touches or business’s name touches, hits a “Brand Touch Point,” and all of those elements need to be consistent.” Poff is right. As a matter of fact, Lucid Press found that brands that are consistently presented are three to four times more likely to experience brand visibility! Moreover, the average revenue increase that can be attributed to presenting the brand consistently is 23%.
When considering those figures, think about the brands you like. “It’s the whole experience. Once you have that umbrella, the whole point is to build up the anticipation of the experience your customers are going to have when they interact with you,” reminds Poff. “Brand is also how you deliver that promise.”
The Outcome of a “Therapy Session”
“I offer an alternative perspective that helps shake things up in their mind,” says Poff. “I think that an alternative point of view is what puts me at the decision-making table of the clients business.”
Poff notes that quick print shops and some online resources will make it look like growing a business is a breeze. She warns, however, that the companies offering such a “deal” are generally recycling templates. “You can be quick, easy, and cheap and order from a template, or you can authentically and visually communicate your story,” cautions Poff. “So it’s up to you, do you want to blend in with everybody else, or do you want to stand out?”
Poff lays out the two main factors of a brand:
Through these sessions, Poff brings out both elements by analyzing your core values, mission, process, and creating an authentic brand that aligns with your beliefs. Through this process, businesses thrive, as their consistent messaging matches the experience customers receive when they interact with the brand.
Yet, Poff notes “for some reason, branding and marketing are always secondary for startups. Businesses are more worried about the attorneys, accountants, and hardware to open the doors, which I totally understand. But, it makes your wonder, what if they had their brand ready as well when those doors open?”
Jenny is Here to Help Make Your Vision Become a Reality
The considerations are nearly endless when building a brand or rebrand, or needing building a laser-focused marketing roadmap for where and how to spend your precious advertising budget. For that reason, it can be helpful to bounce your thoughts off a “brand therapist.” Give your business a marketing health check by completing Jenny’s FREE Marketing & Brand Audit – you’ll be surprised by what it reveals about your business.
Whether you’re a small business, nonprofit, or a development group, reach out to Jenny when you’re ready to amplify your brand and expand your marketing. We look forward to talking!