You open the door to a room vibrant with the aroma of freshly brewed coffee, softened by the sound of relaxing music and gentle conversation amongst friends. This is an experience that you find in over 21,366 coffee shops over the world.
Until Howard D. Schultz first experienced an Italian café, this was an experience that in 1986 was not as widely available in America (or the world) as it is today. It was an idea, an experience that drove him to achieve and build the Starbucks that we know today, not a great business plan riddled with great logistical or pricing strategies. It was an experience that gave birth to one of the word’s most recognisable brands. It became the personality, and the lifeblood of everything they have done since.
So what’s the point of this statement?
Many small businesses believe that branding is just for large worldwide corporations with bottomless pits of money, or worse, that it is just a visual aspect of a business – and therefore a necessary evil. The truth is this idea makes your ‘branding’ just that — a pointless evil.
What can/should you do?
The truth is to create a great brand can (at first) cost you nothing. Ask yourself who are we? What do we believe in? Find your values, find what makes you stand out from your market place and make sure everything you do radiates this message. Do this and your customers will begin to know you for it, it creates brand recognition. Before you know your message and express it well, your visual Branding will be meaningless.