Let's talk about branding: An interview with brand expert Amanda ChetwyndMar 20, 2022
Recently I was lucky enough to converse with Amanda Chetwynd, a fabulous graphic designer and brand expert, about all things branding.
I’ve been fortunate enough to work with Amanda and she knows her stuff. She doesn’t waste time on unnecessary “fluff”. After asking a lot of great questions, she works out exactly what you need, sticks to an agreed budget, provides you with a fresh take on who you are and who you could be as a brand, and then she makes you look fab too!
Here, I share some of her valuable insights into marketing for small business owners.
Firstly, please tell us about yourself and what you do.
Hello, I’m Amanda. I’ve been working in graphic design for a little over 15 years. I am originally from New Zealand but have settled in Australia. I have only ever been a graphic designer, it’s something I have always loved to do. I spent 6 years working in publishing, then I studied a little more and made the move to a packaging and branding studio. I then freelanced for some of Sydney’s top packaging and branding agencies.
Now I’m a mum of two little ones and I work for myself. I create branding and packaging designs for various small businesses, and have to say I’ve really found my niche. I love this work.
I find so much satisfaction in helping small start-up businesses present themselves in a way they hadn’t thought possible. It’s a huge win for them to burst into the market they desire looking strong, professional and consistent, and it’s a huge win for me getting to work solely on some amazing projects and meet some inspiring people.
What are your products / services?
Brand design, packaging design and content design I would say do the most of.
Who do you work with?
Small businesses and start-ups, and occasionally I freelance for other designers or agencies.
So, what exactly is branding? Why is it important?
Branding is more than just having a logo. It's how your business represents itself. The way it looks, sounds, and feels to people. Creating connections with your customers is vital and can set you apart from your competitors. It can add professionalism and give your customers confidence in your product/service.
Branding is often seen as a luxury, or something you do after you have some revenue coming in. What do you say to that?
I'd say 'first impressions last'. It's so important to start your business off strong on the right foot, and in the right part of the market. Starting with a brand that has been thought out, presents well, has scope/flexibility for growth, and has a clear voice and position in the market can set you up for success.
I've read that from a survey of 1,000 consumers, that more than three quarters say they would buy from a brand they feel connected to over a competitor, and 57% say they are more likely to increase how much they spend with a brand when they feel connected.
The consistency can be tricky to maintain, BUT it is what will ultimately build trust and connection with your customers.
If you’re marketing your business on a tight budget, what are the bare bones of branding elements that you need?
The part you need to get started is a strong a visual identity and brand concept. This is something you should spend the money on, as it will set you up.
It creates a 'world' for your brand showing how this brand could exist and connect with others. The concept should include a strong logo and reasoning, a visual style and examples of how this could be seen, a tone of voice/personality of how your brand will sound to customers and ideas of how to connect with your customers and make them feel something.
I would then think about where you're going to present yourself i.e where this new brand will be seen, and also which channels you will use to market the brand, and concentrate on those. Once the brand concept is set the content and visual representation of the brand is much easier to create and keep consistent.
In an ideal world, what would every business have to work with in their brand arsenal?
In an ideal world every business should have a strong brand concept and identity. The rest flows from there.
What should you look for in a brand development partner if you’re starting (or rebranding) a small business?
Someone you trust, can communicate well with, and most of all someone who listens and asks the right questions about your business.
It is all about getting your business out there in a way you feel excited and confident with.
Also I think finding someone who is flexible around the needs of a small businesses. eg. Someone happy to work on small bits and pieces and have patience and flexibility around when the work is needed.
What sort of questions should you ask before selecting a brand agency or brand professional to work with you on your brand?
I think before the questions, it would be liking their style of work. Also seeing if their work is thoughtful and idea based / has relevance.
I would look for testimonials from others in your position. I would ask if they have worked with many small businesses, what their rates are or how they price, what the work includes (eg. Will they liaise with suppliers on your behalf), how accessible they are once the main body of work is done.
What do you wish every business owner knew about branding?
Just how much of a difference it can make when done well.
So that’s the insider take from a brand designer. How do you think you can you use these insights in your business?
If you have any questions on anything to do with branding (or perhaps rebranding) your small business, be sure to reach out. I’m always happy to help where I can.
Where you can find Amanda online
If you have any questions about any aspect of this blog post, or would like more information on this topic, please contact us and let us know. Thanks!
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