Uncut interview: online branding with Enterprise Nation

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Last week we were interviewed by small-business experts, Enterprise Nation. We spoke briefly on their blog about 'how to build an online brand that will make more sales for your business’. Our expertise as a small business is creating great brand identities and cultivating our clients' online presence. So naturally, we thought we would dish the dirt on what exactly goes into those, and how to make the most out of it.

Enterprise Nation helps young companies (just like us!) grow, stay agile, and be successful in business. We here at Studio 77 believe in small businesses working together to succeed, and thought it would only be fair to give our full and complete advice back to small businesses like us.

So if you’re yearning for some learning, here’s the full, uncut interview…

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EN: What does your business do and why?

My business, Studio 77, is a small design agency. It’s built around the idea that good design isn’t just about assembling, ordering, or even editing, it’s about adding value and meaning to other people's businesses. We create full branding identities, from your logo to your website launch, committing to create an engaging, memorable brand experience.

It's easy to get caught up in the smaller picture, but we like to take a step back and think "how are we positively changing the world with what we do?”. Our aim as a studio is to make a difference through design and create things for people who are as passionate about both their businesses and making our world better as we are.

EN: How important is your online branding and how much work do you win this way?

Seeing as we offer online branding as a service, it's paramount that we keep our online branding and presence uniform and engaging. When people view our online presence they are essentially sampling our product! We’re primarily an online business, so about 50% of our work comes from our digital branding and marketing campaigns, and the other 50% referrals of a job well done.

EN: What are the key online touch points for your brand? What has the biggest impact?

The two biggest digital touch points are our website and Instagram. As we’re a team of visual creatives, Instagram is a lot of fun for us, and this shows in our campaign conversion rate. It’s a great place not only to publicise our recent work and campaigns but also to have fun with our brand culture and engage with our audience. We also get to connect with other brands, artists and designers and be inspired by a creative online community.

EN: What do you do to ensure the branding is consistent? Is this a concern?

We have our own brand book which we refer to make sure that our own designs are “on brand”. We also work collaboratively to keep ourselves in check - both on our own brand and our clients. It’s definitely important to remain on brand, but it's even more important not to let your brand guidelines hold you back. It’s about finding the balance between keeping true to your message (both visually and in practice) and knowing when to push the boundaries. To create a working brand, you need to know your visual language, whether this is through your colours, typefaces or image style. If you know that inside and out you can tell any story and people will know and remember you.

EN: How important is imagery to what you do?

Choosing relevant, beautiful imagery is so important when portraying your online business. You could have the most beautiful, considered designs, but throw a 'cheesy' image in there and it instantly devalues your presence. For our photography, we use a mixture of own photographs and high-quality stock images that reflect, and fit our brand.

EN: Is there anything you want to add about your online brand or general advice that you think would help our members?

The most important thing is to know your brand. Your visual identity isn’t just your colours, your fonts, your images. It’s all those things and more, how they work together, what they say together. And most importantly, do they compliment each other over, and over, and over again. Being consistent is one part, but creating a living breathing brand is about using these assets to tell an evolving story without losing where you started. You’d be surprised just how valuable a consistent, well-executed brand identity is.