2018-01-07 / Insight

If you build it, you must brand it

EMILY CASWELL

From boutiques to manufacturing plants, entrepreneurs in our county are building businesses. They’re investing their time, money and most importantly, their hearts and souls into these businesses. Unfortunately for some, however, they fail to invest in a vital part of their business — branding.

Business owners may have a logo, website, business cards and even a digital sign outside of their location, but branding goes far beyond those items. Your brand includes your mission and vision. It is who you are and what you want to be, it’s what sets you apart from your competition. Having those items in place is important, but what’s even more important is communicating your brand to your customers with a brand strategy that includes when and where you advertise and mar- ket your brand.

“Nothing disappoints me more than when we only have two opportunities to talk to a business in our community,” said View Newspaper Group Publisher Wes Smith. “Once for their grand opening and once for their going-out-of-business sale. Yet, what some businesses seem to forget is that if we aren’t meeting with them and working on their advertising and marketing, those may be the only times they get attention.” Brand strategy, just like a website, a sign and business cards, is an investment, but contrary to what some may believe it doesn’t have to break the bank, especially in Lapeer County.

A consistent brand message placed strategically where your customers are far outweighs spending thousands of dollars on billboards, print and radio campaigns.

Before a grand opening, we encourage business owners to meet with one of our team members (the meeting is free) to discuss brand strategy and budget.

While it’s likely we will encourage print as part of a brand budget, it’s for good reason. We have hundreds of customers who see results thanks to our products including The County Press, with 10,000 readers on Sunday alone and the Lapeer Area View, which is direct-mailed to 35,000 homes in the county. No matter your audience or your message, one of our products will find your customers. What may be surprising is that we often encourage business owners to consider advertising and marketing avenues outside of the print world too. Our team believes in an integrated approach, and in turn we often recommend including social media, event sponsorship, branded products and more into a business’ brand strategy.

In fact, with the addition of View Group, the branding division of View Newspaper Group, we have team members who can meet with businesses to talk about each and every aspect of branding from the logo to the mission to a complete annual branding strategy built on a mutually agreed-upon budget.

No matter what phase you find yourself in while building your business, the brand experts at View are here to help. Contact Emily Caswell at ecaswell@mihomepaper.com. Emily Caswell is the brand manager of the View Group of companies.

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