Attended a very inspiring branding event last night at Central, a new business hub in Soho for entrepreneurs/start-ups who want to network and have an inspiring place where they can work a couple of hours to 3 days a week, and have all the usual facilities of an office. It is a very friendly and cool place, can definately recommend it.
The speaker was the Central co-founder and serial entrepreneur James Layfield, who has been working with Richard Brandson and marketed brands like Coca Cola and Absolut. Inspiring guy, I must say.
We discussed that marketing and branding is not rocket science, but the thing is that so many people get it wrong, so it can’t be that easy! Even the mega brands get it wrong. Here are some of the key points from the evening: (with my own twist)
– Get the customers along when you develop your business idea. The more you talk about your ideas, and get feedback from it, the more you can improve it and customize it to your target audience. – Understand what your audience needs!
(James put out all his suggestions of a logo for Centralworking on the web for people to vote which one they liked the best – just to get it right. I like that he actually action as he preaches! To the right is the one which people selected, now their logo!)
– Be authentic: Why do you even start the business, what is it that you can do better than others? Do what you say you are going to do! Keep promises, then you are creating a truth to the the customers, a meaning around what you do.
– Connect with people! The more you can connect with people (twitter, blogs etc., face to face..), they can connect you to new people. Your message “should live in the hearts and minds of customers.”
– Keep it simple: Your message can’t be complicated. You need to be able to describe your business in one sentence! Back the the authentic truth. People have little time, or don’t care, they need to be able to grasp your product in a few seconds.
– Be consistent: Stick to your style! One consistent message; this is what we do. This should be the driving force.
This was just some of the most important stuff discussed during the evening. Most of it I had heard before, but it was really good to get it refreshed, and to start thinking in new terms about things to improve with our own brand Acabo Games. Why is our logo not as glammy as Central’s? hahaha. Well, we do have another target group, but perhaps we should have used crowdsourcing before we decided on one. Anyhow, if you have read this far, please let me know which version you prefer out of these two colour combinations?