Ask the Expert Q&A with Andy Boothman BusyasAB in the hot seat!

This is a compilation of the Q&A in our Facebook Group. One question was so deep it got a post all to itself! See Lucy Churchill’s “How do you brand an ancient skill?”

Branding is more than a logo

Andy Boothman Good branding is so much more than a logo. It encompasses every aspect of a business.

Krishna Dhokia Solanki so for example, like fonts, colours, patterns, imagery. I believe the bigger companies, ie, Starbucks or Apple also have tone of voice as part of their branding too – although this is more in terms of guidelines I guess.

Berenice Smith That’s an interesting point, one I’m reminded of working with large companies to whom the brand is often more apparent in-house than externally.

Andy Boothman Good point Berenice. That’s why internal comms are so important. Everyone connected with a business should know and understand the brand values.

How to handle a name change

Louise Lee Hi Andy. At some point I will be considering a name change and a re-brand. When it comes to the name, is that something an agency can help with or do I have to work it out for myself?

Andy Boothman Best practice would be to let the agency look at it all. By all means share your insight. But part of the remit is to challenge perceptions. You may or may not agree with what comes back but it’s important to have had that discussion/exploration

Louise Lee Cool! I’d much rather delegate this to someone who has expertise and what’s life without a challenge! When it comes to the initial brief, how complete does it need to be? Or, can one just say, my business needs a new name, times have changed, grateful for your expert advice?

Andy Boothman  depends on who you’re dealing with. Big agencies will have a raft of paperwork before passing you through a Chinese whispers system. I prefer face to face discussion so that I get a really good sense of what’s needed. Then I can go away reflect and create concepts. You need to be clear about what service it is that you provide. You can be too clever with these things and no one understands what you do

Kathy Salaman I’m considering changing my company name too but am struggling to come up with something that isn’t already taken on Companies House and that reflects my changing business. My limited company is currently The Good Grammar Company, which is so last century, but I trade as The Cambridge Tutor (which CH won’t let me have).

Andrew Hawkins  You don’t need to use your ‘Limited’ name a your trading name. You could use a really strong trading name – something really dynamic.

Andy Boothman   Good point. This is happening more and more as top level domains play a major part in the decision.

Krishna Dhokia Solanki What do you think would appeal to your audience Kathy?

Kathy Salaman Krishna Dhokia Solanki Going by most of the parents I help, something along the lines of ‘Help With F***ing Homework’! ?

Berenice Smith ‘Cambridge’ has a big draw in educational terms, according to brand and name research that I’ve been recently involved with. That might be worth exploring further.

Kathy Salaman Yes – that’s my main reason for keeping Cambridge in there somewhere. My Cambridge Tutor site attracts a lot of traffic as most people in Cambridge use those words when searching for a private tutor in this area. However, as I’m branching into videos I suppose the tutor bit could change.

Andy Boothman In this instance the location is a very important part of your brand values. You need it to remain prominent

Kathy Salaman Thank you all for your help – I now need to walk my impatient dog but I have plenty to think about. You’re all fab!

Branding recognition across sectors

Arran Selhi I’m looking to get my brand and ethos across to people who aren’t involved in the actual activity that is my work. Recent conversations with corporate based professionals has found that I am only being recognised and understood by those in the same sector. What adjustments can be made to branding to allow the original message and ethos translate across the masses? Thanks.

Andy Boothman Two things. One you need to understand what/how the sector implies from your current positioning. Two research the potential bigger market. What is the general understanding and how can you connect with those people.

Personal v Corporate Branding

Graham Haddock  Hi Andy if you are working with a smaller company < 10 employees say, but with a key founder / Partner, what would make you decide on the focus of a branding strategy between Personal and Company …. Or is it practical to try and do both? .. Thinking a company with strong B2C but associated SME B2B.

Andy Boothman Unless you’re after the lime light and already established in your expertise I’d always go with business rather than the individual. You also need to consider succession planning if you use the personal route

Graham Haddock Makes sense as always … 🙂

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