Working with Ann Arbor’s Branding Team, Pt. 1
On any given day at any given time, in the rockin’ town of Ann Arbor, Michigan, you may find Vanessa and I seated in an area coffee shop – usually Sweetwaters or Espresso Royale – and sometimes you’ll even see someone with us. That someone, you crazy Mayniax maniac you, is a gutsy entrepreneurial client. Hell, just for funsies, let’s pretend for the rest of this post, said gutsy entrepreneurial client is you.
That was a lotta commas.
Our Gutsy Branding Process
We’re in Sweetwaters having our very first chat, and we just asked you about your “why.” You gave us some crappy answer relating to business. “No,” I say, with Vanessa kicking me under the table, reminding me to keep from being too blunt.
“Don’t make me wanna kick a puppy!” I exclaim, holding back.
We tell you to not even consider a little bit what you do for a living, or what type of business you want to start. We tell you your “why” is about you. As Simon Sinek says, it’s your purpose, your cause, or your belief. And it’s so difficult to get you to think of yourself independently from your business, that we meet a couple more times, until we’re all satisfied your “why” is genuine, and that your “why” is all about you. Because you are who we’re building your brand around.
And with that, the most important part of our branding process is over.
We set up one or two more chats because what we’re about to tell you is gonna be counter-intuitive to everything you “know” about business. We’re gonna tell you to pick one thing to specialize in. And you’re going to fight us about it. You’ll say something like, “But my industry’s different,” because everyone thinks that. We’ll tell you it’s not about your industry, but how everyone’s brain’s function the same way biologically, and about how having one product or service will stick in people’s minds a lot better than several. You’ll still fight. I’ll wanna kick a puppy. Vanessa will be kicking me.
Eventually, we’ll tell you that the best way to have more than one service is to have more than one brand. But we’ll tell you to start with just one brand first, and build the others as we all learn lessons from that initial one. You’ll look suspicious of us, but you’ll relent, because you know we really are in it for you.
We don’t need a lot from you for this part. Vanessa and I will just ask you to hand us a list of who you feel your competition is, and then get cracking on finding more. We’ll tell you the reason we do competitive research is to figure out how you are, and how you’ll be, different from your competitors. And this, our gutsy entrepreneurial friend, is the first thing you won’t fight us on.
This research will help us come up with your brand name, your tagline, a word to describe your brand, your logo, and a whole lot of other things to make sure no one could possibly confuse you with your competition. And until we get to that point, you can take some time off. And drink copious amounts of caffeine.
The End of Pt 1
That’s all I’m writing for this one, fellow entrepreneur! Hope you got a bit of Mayniax Branding process information from it. And, of course, we know you don’t really care about our process so much until you think we’re people you want to brand with. So read our About page to see what we’re all – err – about.
And stay tuned, you gutsy entrepreneur, you! Pt 2 will be out next week!
If you have any branding questions, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we’ll get back to ya. Because hey, it’s us!
Have fun, drink coffee, avoid the rabid spider monkeys, and as always…
Stay gutsy, gang!