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Young start-ups never spend enough time (or money) on their brand. For me, 12 pt. Times New Roman for your logo doesn’t cut it.

Branding is an essential element that takes time and energy to maintain. With that said, it is one of the greatest experiences of operating a business. You’re literally creating something from nothing. An identity for a business. A persona and a way of being for your company.

What’s in a brand? A brand is something that can be created not by you, but by the people who interact with your company. That’s where the power in the brand is: seeing it from their view. They’re paying for it, they’re using it and they create its success.

When I launched my printing company, I was all about branding. I became friends with a brand genius and got a great web team together to build the site. I was quoted $4,000 for the site and $16,000 later it was up and running. In the midst of it, I blew my marketing budget.

My printing company is all about being eco-friendly. I was amazed at how eco-friendly printing can get. One hundred per cent post-consumer recycled paper, soy based inks that are resludged if there’s excess. And all shipped by Purolator with hybrid vehicles. Plus we plant a tree and purchase wind power credits, which has the added bonus of attracting regular press coverage.

Three years later with my favourite brand under my belt, I have what my customers currently want. From 12 product types, we’re narrowing down to three: business cards, postcards and flyers. Quantities of those three product types will be more compact.

The site has been revamped with new features. A new shipping partner, more information and a custom made, brand new payment system — all things that make my clients happy. Plus we just purchased a press in Burbank to serve them better. The brand starts with your logo but continues with how you work with your customers, or better said, how your customers work with you. Make their lives easy and suit their needs. It’ll make them feel more at home. And why work with someone that you wouldn’t go for beers with? Share your brand like a two-four after moving in.

No homework for this week, it’s essay time.


If you have any questions about running your own business or have feedback for Evan, send an email to ekosiner@ryerson.ca

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