It wasn’t so long ago that during a marketing consultation a business owner asked me, “What’s this new branding thing all about?” I thought it odd but after a few more similar comments that year (2005) I realized that branding in Nanaimo (at the time) and branding on Vancouver Island, and the concepts behind it, wasn’t something uncommon to Islanders.
As with most trends and technologies, some would say that Vancouver Island is one of the last stops to receive the news of these advancements. Perhaps it has to do with our “Island Way” or we’re too relaxed, or perhaps we’re just not paying enough attention to what’s going on elsewhere. The latter was my own belief and I have often suggested clients have a look at what’s happening in Europe (5 years ahead of us) or the US (2.5 ahead of us) or Vancouver (1 year ahead of us) and you’ll be ahead of the curve in new marketing ideas and initiatives.
It seems to me though that Vancouver Island is growing up. I see more professional looking business cards, sophisticated logos, savvy taglines and smart advertisements than ever before. Good branding has arrived and businesses are recognizing that there really is no truth to the idea that something is better than nothing. Trust me; a crappy looking brand does more damage than good. Just because your next door neighbors’ kid has Photoshop doesn’t make them a branding expert.
Island businesses finally seem to recognize that spending money (us marketers also like to say “investing” money) on professional marketing services is similar to obtaining professional legal or accounting advice. This is something I’ve never understood: companies who spend money on managing the logistics of business they have obtained but not spending, or investing, in obtaining more business. It seems backwards to me.
Good branding or a good website will not only attract more customers but the right customers. Every business owner will say the same thing: “I wish I could get more customers like them”! Done right, and with the right sales process behind it, every business, including Vancouver Island businesses, can benefit from good branding.