Darcy FlandersAnother post that proves that great marketing advice is evergreen! First published in September, 2012, the methodology and advice Darcy shares is still important to the success of every business today.

“Branding means putting a cohesive face and personality on your business that connects to your customers emotionally. So when a client sees something from that company, he or she connects emotionally with it.”
— Darcy Flanders, founder of Baseline Group, a NY branding and design firm.

Interdisciplinary branding isn’t new. “You used to do it with printed collateral, advertising and direct mail,” says branding expert Darcy Flanders, founder and chief design officer at Baseline Group NY, which specializes in branding, interactive design and strategic marketing.

These days, print is secondary to the internet, Flanders says. But a cross-disciplinary strategy among the various ways you reach your audience – from e-commerce and social media to mobile apps and eblasts – remains the heart of good branding.

Flanders says the biggest mistake a company can make is calling a design firm and saying, “I need a website” or “I need a brochure.” Strategy is the first step, before you spend a dime on design or content. “You have to understand who your clients are, where they find information, and what’s going to end up in their inbox that they will look at,” Flanders says. She adds, “A website isn’t going to help you if you haven’t done the research to see what your website needs to do to connect you with your audience.”

Per Flanders, there has to be a reason for everything you do now. You don’t want to build the wrong things – or build the right thing the wrong way. Flanders advises every company – no matter how small — to have a branding strategy. “If you are really small, you won’t get bigger if you don’t spend some money (working with professionals to develop) your marketing and branding,”