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JohnW
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Hi Johny,
We are wandering far from the original post topic. Perhaps the Concierge will give us more latitude…

Johny, post: 261982, member: 34822 wrote:
We are told, “people buy from people”, by the gurus. I think that is lazy, and doesn’t tell the full story.
Be very wary of any “guru” advice on any subject. As best as I can find, this is a partial quote from an author of multiple self-help books about selling. His LinkedIn profile shows a uni degree in English but no education or experience in selling or marketing is listed.

I don’t subscribe to the thought either because ISTM, there would be no supermarkets, convenience stores, petrol stations, post offices, online ecommerce stores and a squillion other product/service suppliers if it were true.

To be fair, the full quote seems to be:

“All things being equal, people will do business with, and refer business to, those people they know, like and trust.”

Another problem with the statement is that “all things” are never equal in the marketplace. In my 46 years of marketing across a wide variety of industries and product/service categories both off and online, I’ve never seen any two that are close to similar. I’ve certainly found many businesses who thought they were similar to others but that was due to poor marketing research, planning or implementation.

Johny, post: 261982, member: 34822 wrote:
For a small business, for me their brand is quality and personalized service.

With respect, it seems you are confusing different marketing terms.

Any defined levels of “quality” and “personalised service” are features of a product/service, not a brand or branding.

Here are the generally accepted marketing definitions:

What is a Feature?

“In business, a product feature is one of the distinguishing characteristics of a product or service that helps boost its appeal to potential buyers, and might be used to formulate a product marketing strategy that highlights the usefulness of the product to targeted potential consumers.”

What is a Benefit?
We should cover a definition of “benefits” as “features” are pretty useless without them.

“A product benefit is actually the answer to questions which the customers face when they are offered product features. … But features never attract customers to buy the products. Here product benefits weigh in and give meaning to the features, showing customers something-of-value in return of buying the product”

What is a Brand?

“Unique design, sign, symbol, words, or a combination of these, employed in creating an image that identifies a product and differentiates it from its competitors”

What is Branding?

“The process involved in creating a unique name and image for a product in the consumers’ mind, mainly through advertising campaigns with a consistent theme.”

Thus, the brand design objectives from the link to FEE above were:

Zodiac Vet Clinic
“The ‘Star of Life’ symbol, also used by emergency medical services across the globe, was incorporated into the logo with animal elements added which represents the services offered by Zodiac Pet & Exotic Hospital.

The colours used were specifically chosen to represent a close to nature feel as the hospital wanted to portray a caring and nature-loving impression to pet owners.”

Lobster Central
“The brand identity was created to give that grand presence by using red as the primary colour, the red represents the authenticity of the lobster rolls presented in their simplest, naked form.”

A brand or logo can only try to set an expectation. The way the business owner delivers his/her products/services will enhance or ruin a brand’s “goodwill”.

Johny, post: 261982, member: 34822 wrote:
That lobster restaurant you mentioned, well, the first thing I did was visit this site:-

The Purchasing Process
In marketing terms you are now describing your purchasing process.

We can all undertake different actions in the process and the duration can be short or long depending on the purchase.

Creating individual web pages that address the different needs of different customer types (personas) as they progress through their purchasing process can be a rewarding SEO tactic.

Some now add an “R” for retention to the AIDA acronym.

For many social media is more effective in the customer retention stage of the process. I.e. The research indicates that customers primarily follow brands on social media for discounts, coupons, loyalty programs and new product release information.

Johny, post: 261982, member: 34822 wrote:
I just don’t think the logo is as important a part of the “brand” for a small business. As such, I’d rather invest my limited budget on more important aspects of my brand

Johny, I understand you are in a B2B market where your potential clients may be located internationally. I expect your communications are mostly web channel based.

As such, I suggest you are in a very unusual situation vs. most FS small businesses. I suggest this may be colouring your opinion.

Go check the FS Directory. Most will be targeting potential clients within a 20 km radius. There are some small online business shops who will largely be targeting Australian clients. They may think they can target international customers but these are likely beyond the budget capabilities of most.

When you consider the long list of different marketing collateral that is available, then start assessing its application in various small business marketing communications programs, you will find it is more diverse than applications of it in big vs. small business.

Examples:

Real estate agents: Need expensive shop front signs and POS for their offices. Need a bunch of expensive “for sale” signs and their installation for all their properties that are on the market. Need a large supply of of flyers for letterbox drops in their area. Need logos for use on a bunch of online third party sales websites.

Vet clinics: Need expensive shop front signs and POS for their offices. Need to send out large volumes of reminder letters/emails/texts to existing clients.

Some small businesses will preferentially use car windscreen/letterbox flyers, brochures at trade shows, direct mail communications, fridge magnets, promotional products and the list goes on forever…

Every one of these communication applications will need a consistant brand/logo execution to achieve its objective.

It could be argued that in the small business world the different marketing communication oportunities/applications are minute compared to the big corporate world and therefore a logo can be relatively more important as an individual marketing component.
Can I ask, where would you re-allocate your logo development cost? I’d have trouble thinking of a marketing cost component that would be better value than Ann’s $5 logo development.