Nextphase Strategy Blog



Branding Your Company

“Life is a journey – not a destination” is a phrase we often use. Branding your company is a journey too, but it does have a destination – the success and recognition of your product or service. The time and energy you use to plan your branding journey will serve you well in celebrating the launch of your business, and for many years to come.

The first step in this journey is of course “the name”. In the hypercompetitive world we’re in today, your company and your domain name are key elements in driving consumer traffic your way. Communicating something about your business in your name will likely help reach your target audience faster. However, whether your name is straightforward or metaphorical, it should project a strong image and evoke a sense of authenticity to the customer.

When you get your “name list” down to a few really good ones, try them out on friends or colleagues in your target audience. Pay close attention to their comments and opinions – are you getting your message across? Ask what their impressions of the business would be with each different name. Now, try not to ruin your friendship by making them choose from dozens of options, get your list down to a special three or four names. A good bottle of wine or a lunch date would be a nice exchange for the time and knowledge that they are giving you.

Once you have your name your can carry on with the rest of the steps on your branding and marketing journey. Think about what colours you’d like to use in your logo and how they will help project your image. Do you need a “positioning”, or “tag” line? A memorable tag line can speak volumes about your product or service: ‘Comfort Shoes Inc.”, walk more than a mile in our shoes. On the legal end, make sure to register and licence your company, learn how to protect your name and trademark etc.

Of course all of the above can be done most effectively with the help of a branding and marketing company such as NextPhase Strategy. It’s our business and we can provide the guidance you need on your journey to success. Ultimately, you want your business name to convey the message to your customer that they are in good hands and that your company will get the job done well. 





B2B vs. B2C Marketing: What's the Difference?

Broadly speaking, both B2B and B2C marketing involve selling a product or service to a customer. However, there are fundamental differences between these two types of marketing.

Put simply, B2B marketing is brain-driven, while B2C marketing is heart-driven. In other words, B2B marketing makes use of logic, whereas B2C marketing makes use of emotions. Let’s delve a little deeper into what distinguishes one from the other.

B2B Marketing:

·      Centered around relationships
·      Smaller, more focused audience
·      Lower customer turnover rate
·      Educational, awareness-building work to turn prospects into clients
·      High cost of sales
·      Logical purchase process driven by business value
·      Longer sales cycle

B2C Marketing:

·      Centered around products/transactions
·      Larger, broader audience
·      Higher customer turnover rate
·      Aggressive promotional work to turn shoppers into buyers
·      Wide range of cost of sales
·      Emotional purchase process driven by benefits and desires
·      Shorter sales cycle 

The most effective marketing occurs when you understand what your specific market requires to make a purchase decision. What are your thoughts on the key differences between B2B and B2C marketing? Share your comments below.





How to be a Great Branding and Marketing Client

Achieving great results from a marketing agency has two parts to it. Here is the obvious part: you should hire a company that best fits all of your requirements. The second and often neglected part is being a good client to work with. Without both parts of the equation, the work that comes out won’t reach its full potential. So, keep the following simple tips in mind when hiring an agency’s services.

  • Provide as much information as you can during the creative brief.
  • Communicate your objectives - short-term and long-term.      
  • Participate actively in the project.
  • Be responsive.
  • Make clear what success is in your dictionary.
  • Remember that changes almost always affect deadlines.
  • Give constructive, specific feedback.
  • Acknowledge your limitations.
  • Trust the expertise of the hired agency.


Adopting these traits will help you get the most out of your relationship with your agency – and optimum results from your branding and marketing programs. 






A Blast from the Past

Packing up and moving usually inspires and requires us to sift through all sorts of boxed away bits and pieces from the past. And that’s exactly what we did during our recent move to our new Yaletown office. And guess what we found: a picture from the 80s of our old, burned-out office – now the Yaletown Galleria building.

On July 1st of 1981, as owner of USA – Ullrich Schade and Associates, I was at the cinema with my wife Robyn, watching Das Boot – a chillingly realistic WWII movie with lots of burning and torpedoed ships. On our way back home, we smelled smoke, but didn’t give it much thought. The next morning, my friend Derek Murray, who owned a photo studio in the same building, called me with the bad news...his office had burned and my office was completely smoke and water damaged. It all started with a fire originating in the clothing importer’s space down the hall – and something to do with getting rid of a large quantity of non-licensed kids' Disney clothing they couldn’t sell due to copyright infringements. All my work was destroyed. My bookcases, design books, work samples, layouts, advertising memorabilia, graphic camera – the list goes on and on – was gone. In the end my company lost over $100,000 – which was a very large sum in the early 80s. From there, we moved to West Georgia…and now, we have traced our roots back to Mainland Street. 

Building_After_Fire.jpg

Image of the burned out building.

Ullrich_and_Robyn.jpg

Ullrich and his wife, Robyn, in the office after the fire.