MORE than 30 members of IoD West Midlands Women as Leaders came together to learn how brand can take their businesses forward.
The Importance of Brand, held in Birmingham city centre in July, was the latest in the ongoing programme of events for the Women as Leaders group.
Three speakers, including two who are members of Women as Leaders, shared their knowledge and top tips in identifying, building and promoting brand as an essential element in successful business.
Ruth Duggal, founder of video production company Shuut Ltd and co-founder of Make Your Own Video Training Academy, emphasised the need for good story-telling in sharing company messages with customers.
“Over the years I have learned that telling stories is much more effective than simply relaying facts – people remember stories,” she said. “Telling your audience your story gives them a reason to care.”
Ruth, who specialises in using film to tell human interest stories and is a Women as Leaders member, advised the audience to keep a journal to record possible ideas. She also stressed the importance of ensuring story-telling is targeted and authentic.
“Make it personal - emotions are what makes stories memorable,” she added.
Personal stylist Jane Brookthen explained the importance of personal brand – and how appearance can influence that.
“Like it or not, you have a personal brand and, like it or not, people make judgements on other people based on how they look,” she said. “Your personal brand is under your control and you have the power to influence how people remember you.”
Jane, a franchisee with House of Colour, shared top style tips with the audience and encouraged them to think how they are perceived.
“There is really interesting research which says that if you make a poor first impression you need to meet someone 20 times or more to overturn that,” she said. “Your clothes really count, so make them work for you. If you wear colour you become more confident and more memorable.”
Kate Curry, founder of The Curry Design Studio, discussed the importance of creating a strong and consistent brand to promote business.
“Find out what makes your business different, what makes you stand out and begin with that,” she said. “And think about how you want to be seen.”
Kate, a Women as Leaders member, also stressed the importance of refreshing branding regularly.
“I would say it’s good to look at some level of rebranding every three to five years,” she said. “Your company is adapting all the time so it’s good to re-assess its branding.”
The event, at the Community Hub at John Lewis in Birmingham’s Grand Central, was hailed a success by Women as Leaders chair Janette Rawlinson.
“I was very pleased with the event. The different speakers looked at different aspects of branding and yet the messages were consistent,” she said. “What came through very clearly was that no matter what your business, you need to be thinking about story-telling, presentation and your identity.”