Seven Steps to Building a Strong Brand

Have you ever wondered what it takes to build a strong brand. Well wonder no more...

Our leading ethos is to apply big brand thinking to every piece of work we deliver. Most people immediately think big brand thinking is all about budget, but it's not. We believe... no, actually we know, that big brand thinking is actually about process and execution.

In this edition of 'Marketing Tit-Bits' we identify and define seven steps to build a strong brand. Whether you're a bakery in Cardiff, an accountant in Bristol or a law firm in London, if you follow these steps you can build a strong brand, a brand that will create a personal connection with your audience.


Marketing Mix Made Easy

Thanks for checking out our first 'marketing tit-bits' post. The marketing tit-bits series will explain some key marketing and design principles as easy to understand infographics.

In this first post we have focused on the marketing mix, which has become synonymous with the 4 Ps, or the more recently extended 7 Ps. The marketing mix in all its 7P glory includes: Product, Price, Promotion, Place, People, Process and Physical Evidence. This infographic also provides a little information on the heritage of the marketing mix and how the 4 Ps, or 7 Ps, are applied differently.

We really hope you enjoy this infographic and find it helpful in your quest for marketing perfection. We would love to discuss this topic in more detail, so please feel free to post comments.



Naming your company


I am about to start a business consultancy service and wanted advice on naming my company. Are there are rules or helpful tips to choosing a successful name?


Put your feet up and grab a cup of tea, this isn't going to be short answer...

Naming a business is 5% creativity, 40% perspiration and 55% political. In essence you need to find a name that scores well against an exhaustive checklist (which is below). We use the rule of 7 to generate names for our clients, the rule of 7 is 2 lists; the first is 7 types of names and the second is a list of 7 areas to score your names against (qualities of the name). But before we get into that, let's bust some myths about naming brands.

Naming a company is easy
Naming is a rigorous and exhaustive process. Frequently hundreds of names will be thrown in to the mix and reviewed before a final solution is reached, finding one that scores highly in all aspects of the naming quality checklist.

We will do the search ourselves
Various thoughtful techniques must be utilised to analyse the the effectiveness of a name to ensure that its connotations are positive in the markets served.

I will know it when I hear it
People often indicate that they will be able to make a decision based on hearing a name once. This is not true, good names are strategies that need to be examined, tested, sold and proven.

We cannot afford to test the name
Intellectual property lawyers need to conduct extensive searches to ensure that there are not conflicting names and to make record of similar names. It is too large a risk - names need to last over time.


Qualities of a good name:

1) Meaningful
It must communicate the essence of the brand. It supports the image that the company wants to convey.

2) Distinctive
It is unique and easy to remember, pronounce and spell. It is differentiated from the competition.

3) Future-orinted
It positions the company for growth, change and success. It has sustainability and preserves possibilities. It has long legs.

4) Modular
It enables the company to build brand extensions with ease.

5) Protectable
It can be owned and trademarked. A domain is available.

6) Positive
It has positive connotations in the markets served. It has not strong negative connotations.

7) Visual
It lends itself well to graphic presentation in a logo, in text and in brand architecture.


Types of names:

1) Founder
Example:     Ralph Lauren
Strength:     Easy to protect, unique and distinctive
Weakness:   Inextricably tied to a human being
2) Descriptive
Example:     Toys 'R Us
Strength:     Clearly communicates the intent of the company.
Weakness:   Growing diversity and can be difficult to trade mark due to the descriptive nature.

3) Fabrication

Example:     Xerox
Strength:     Easy to copyright and trademark.
Weakness:   Additional cost of educating the market to the intent of the company.

4) Metaphor
Example:     Patagonia
Strength:     Can often visualise and tell a good story about a company.
Weakness:   Few weaknesses 

5) Acronym
Example:     IBM
Strength:     There are no inherent strengths of acronyms.
Weakness:   Difficult to remember, difficult to copyright, difficult to communicate the company intent.

6) Magic Spell
Example:     Netflix
Strength:     Creative, distinctive and protectable (trademark and domains).
Weakness:   Can be difficult to pronounce or spell, also can be difficult to recall.

7) Combinations (of the above)

Example:     CitiBank
Strength:     Often create names that customers and investors can understand.
Weakness:   Weakness vary.

Source: Although we would like to claim that we had thought of this, it is actually a published process by Alina Wheeler in 'Designing Brand Identity: An Essential Guide for the Whole Branding Team'. If you are interesting in branding, we highly recommend purchasing her books (by clicking here).


Should I be using Pinterest to market my bridal store


I run a boutique bridal store based in Cardiff. Recently a number of my customers have mentioned they are using Pinterest to plan their weddings. I currently have a website, plus I am using Facebook and Twitter. Is Pinterest a fad, or is it something I should invest time in? If I should invest time, do you have any helpful hints?


To put it simply YES, you should get on board now. Pinterest is a great opportunity for businesses, especially those in retail.Pinterest is popular, it has more than 12 million users in the U.S. alone. In fact Pinterest is the fastest ever site to reach 10 million users. In terms of audience demographics, the video below states that 60% of users are female, in the UK only 46% of users are female, however 60% of users are aged between 25 to 44. In broad terms, the audience demographics are a good match for your business and the audience is huge!

What to do next:

  1. Request a Pinterest account - click here
  2. See what is going on in your market - click here
  3. Start building your boards, make them relevant and segment by topic e.g. bridesmaids, colour etc
  4. Use your other networks such as Twitter, Facebook and email to build followers

When you are up and running with Pinterest, there are two activities you should consider: customer acquisition and customer experience.

Customer Acquisition

Use as much of your content as possible on Pinterest and make sure it points back to you website, or a place where the audience can purchase your product.

Customer Experience

Use Pinterest to enhance customer experience. Why not get your customers' involved in building Pinterest boards of the styles they like, or of their weddings, so you can see exactly what they like.

A word of caution, Pinterest terms transfer the responsibility for copyright to you as the user. Therefore you need to be sure that you are not infringing any copyright laws when you are using the site.

Here is a fantastic video on Pinterest and how to use it. Please note that some of the figures stated are for the U.S. and us Brits' are using it slightly differently.



Marketing Nonprofits in 2012


"I work for a nonprofit organisation and our marketing budget is very limited. It is sometimes extremely difficult to know how to use our budget to get the most out of it, and even more difficult backing up our decision to senior management. Do you have any advice on what we should be doing?"



This is a difficult question to answer without taking an in depth look at your organisation and the resources you have at your disposal. It is always good to take a look at what is going on around you and see what is working for other nonprofits. Take a look at the infographic below which will give you a steer on nonprofit communications trends in 2012.