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We are so pleased to welcome Alison Joshi, founder of JWJ Design as our guest blogger for March.

JWJ Design offers a full suite of brand and design services ranging from workshops that introduce clients to the benefits of branding effectively; right through to developing a brand and rolling it out across all touchpoints and marketing channels.

This blog takes a look at rebranding your business – when is the right time and what should you be focusing on.

As a small business owner making sure your business brand image is the best it can be is extremely important, and yet when you are so close to something it can be difficult to know when you might need to rebrand your business. For many businesses that set up 20 years ago there was no such thing as social media marketing and they probably just about had a website. Today your brand is everywhere, from your social media business pages, through to your website and printed marketing, so you need to make sure it is working as best as it can. 

Since the Covid pandemic hit last year many businesses have turned their attention to their online presence and realised that the visual message they are putting out there is not necessarily communicating their services, product or business personality effectively. 

This sudden focus on your businesses in the online environment is a catalyst for thinking about the visual image you are projecting to your potential clients. One of the first signs that your brand image is in need of some attention is when people start confusing what it is that you do and the service you offer. Perhaps they assume you are too cheap or too expensive for them, either way if they are your target market then you need to reassess how you are talking to them visually. 


Here are some questions you can ask yourself about your business that may help outline if you need to invest in your branding:

• Has your business changed direction? Are you now specialising in a different sector or offering a slightly different service?

• Have you started losing out to competitors? Has a new business launched in your market and taking away some of your clients? 

• Is the company a family-run business that has stuck with the same brand focus for the past 20 years? The world is a very different place to 20 years ago and your target market will have possibly changed, or their shopping habits and how they purchase goods and services definitely will have.  

• Are you bored and tired of your business brand image? Do you dislike the way everything looks and feels whenever you create any marketing? 

• Does all your marketing look and feel different? Are there different fonts and colours used in your social, online and printed marketing pieces? 

• Do you only have a logo and no brand assets to use in your marketing? (For example; fonts, colours, graphic or image assets.)

• Do you apologise for the way your business looks when speaking to new clients or when networking? 

If you answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions then you do need to think about a rebrand or refresh. 


Rebranding a business from scratch

When rebranding a business JWJ Design would look at your business in detail; who your target market is, what values you want to project about your business and how that can be reflected in your logo, colours, fonts, graphic shapes and imagery. It is starting from the beginning and stripping back what is essential and important about your business. It is not just simply designing a pretty logo, it is making sure that the logo and brand is right for your business and that it will last as the business evolves and grows over time.

A brand refresh

A refresh is as it says, just refreshing certain elements of the logo and brand. It could be that when looking at the business the main emblem or logo still works but the colour palette or supporting fonts need to be updated and modernised.

Sometimes clients with limited finances may choose to go for a refresh in the short term with a long term plan to rebrand in a few years. This short term option just helps lift their business image and ensure they start to talk in the right way to their clients or customers.

Alison Joshi is the creative director and founder of JWJ Design, a design studio dedicated to elevating small and medium businesses in their respective categories through the use of strong, consistent branding in print and online.

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Nicole Martin

Guest Blog – Planning for your business in 2021? Is it worth it? And why you should plan and how you can do it?

We are surrounded by brilliant businesses who we collaborate with on projects and over the coming months will be sharing some guest blogs. First up is the wonderful Nicole Martin of Pinpoint Marketing Consultancy Ltd

Nicole is an expert marketing strategist and planner – thank you Nicole for contributing.

This guest blog looks at why you as a small business owner or start-up business should plan, even if it’s not in the traditional sense at the moment, and how can you avoid your marketing being haphazard and inconsistent over the coming weeks and months.

The world is very much in a different and unusual place at the moment and there are a lot of things about day-to-day life and the future, that are out of our hands. So, there is every reason to think of battening down the hatches and keeping your business head down when it comes to planning. Or you can think because of all the uncertainty, that maybe now could be the right time to plan? Use some downtime you may have to good use and plan for what you can control in the meantime?

Why you should plan for your business

A plan allows you to take a bird’s eye view of your business, take stock and review your business to build your foundations. As well as getting organised and getting ahead, a plan allows you as the business owner to brainstorm the bigger picture, take a step back and think logically. Be on not in the business.

No one likes taking risks unnecessarily or spending money if they don’t need to and if you haven’t set any objectives for your business and your marketing activities, how can you decide at the end of it all if you have achieved what you set out to do?

Other key benefits to planning for your business include breaking down what is potentially a huge and overwhelming task or goal into manageable pieces, therefore making it much more achievable, as well as you having somewhere to keep an eye on costs and ROI. A plan can also save you time, avoid procrastination and keep you focussed and on track. Detailing out what you will do, when and to whom also ensures you cover all the marketing mix and use all marketing channels that are relevant to your business and your target audience.

Be proactive not reactive (although at present, I appreciate this isn’t always possible).

What should a marketing plan look like

A plan can come in many forms. It can be a carefully crafted document covering pages, charts and tables on the 7 stages of marketing planning including objective setting, defining your message and target audience and implementing and measuring your tactics. Note a marketing plan differs to a business plan as it doesn’t cover financial sheets like P&L or balance sheets. Your business coach or accountant can assist you with these areas if required.

Or your plan can be goals/tasks to do, on a 30 or 90 day basis, in a simple table format.

Or your goals and action points can be in the form of a grid or mind map. Or even as part of a vision board exercise.

There is no right or wrong answer here and you could use one or a combination of all methods. The method you chose will depend on how you and your business work, what level of detail you need, and what resources you have around you to create and execute this plan.

It is worth saying that a plan can be created, reviewed and implemented at any time of the year. It isn’t just a January only thing. The same goes for goal setting as well. (read more.)

To summarise…

Whether you are ready to take the planning plunge or not or whether you have a plan written and ready to get going on, know you why first and be clear on your goals and direction. Do not see marketing as a tick box exercise that you should do because people tell you to.

Good luck!


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