Why brand communications matter for scaling businesses

I recently had the pleasure of hosting a panel event at EntreConf, an inspirational and practical conference for entrepreneurs and advisors.

We discussed all things brand communications, focussing on the evolution of comms strategies as businesses grow. I was joined by AMBITIOUS clients Emma Brooks from e2e-assure, Zoe Colosimo from Neighbourly and Tashia Cameron from BOXPARK. The core purpose was to help businesses explore and navigate the challenges they may face when scaling.

 

Our brand communications are fine, why change?

Scaling businesses are navigating an exciting yet challenging period of growth. During this time, it’s important to stay relevant, consistent and compelling.

Your brand is more than just a logo, it’s an articulation of your purpose and mission and how you communicate, whether that’s with employees, customers, clients or wider stakeholders. As you grow, you must consider how your messaging needs to develop, evaluating your vision and proposition to accommodate the changing demands of new audiences, markets or size (or possibly all three!).

As communications experts, we work with businesses at many different stages of growth and understand the challenges they face when entering a new phase of development.

At EntreConf we offered a unique illustration of brands on this scale-up journey who could offer insight into their own experiences, to both budding and established entrepreneurs. Here are the key takeaways from the panel:

 

Starting where you are

No scaling business is the same. You may be trying to give visibility to an investor, expanding into new territories or evolving your service offer, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach.

Mapping exercises are a great way to establish your audience, their shared behaviours and traits, plus your ideal client personas to look at moving forward. They can also be used to map your overall business goals.

 

Thinking ahead

To continue growth, you need to position yourself for the future, knowing where you want to go, how you want to be seen and how you need to get there. Fast forward 5-10 years, ask yourself these questions:

  • What have you achieved?
  • How do your audiences feel about you?
  • How many employees do you have?
  • What is your turnover?
  • How have you evolved?
  • What is now setting you apart from the competition?

 

Know your values

During your stakeholder and audience mapping, you may find that you have a host of words that represent the company’s values. Refine them. Create a full list and ask people to shortlist and vote on those that matter most to them.

The values you may have set out at the start of your business journey may no longer apply so evaluate them: do they reflect your present values? Do they represent what you and your audiences are looking for? How do they make your audiences feel? How do you want to make them feel in the future?

 

10 steps for success

  1. A strong brand can open doors, but it’s your reputation that sustains long-term success.
  2. Recognise your ‘why’ but talk plainly.
  3. If it ain’t broke – aim to evolve, not transform unless necessary.
  4. Take time to REALLY understand your audiences.
  5. Employ golden threads through all brand assets and communications to stay true to your core.
  6. Acknowledge external factors that impact your goals – and how you can influence them.
  7. Remember your own, your employees are a huge brand asset.
  8. Embrace the evolution and be the business you want to be – think and act bigger.
  9. Thought leadership and visibility become increasingly important as you scale.
  10. Maintaining a strong online presence increases the likelihood of attracting potential customers.

 

Want to know more?

If you’ve found this event round-up valuable, our new eBook ‘7 ways PR & communications can support your scaling business’ is for you. Click here to download.