Defining your brand

5 reasons why defining your brand is good for business

Recently, I was fortunate enough to attend a very insightful presentation about defining your brand by Marty Neumeier, author of many great books, including The Brand Gap, Zag and The Brand Flip. Marty is the one who coined the often quoted phrase “Your brand is not what you say it is. It is what they say it is.” He’s right.

But that doesn’t mean you don’t have any influence over what they say. Spending valuable time defining your brand and managing the communication of that brand, will go a long way to getting ‘them’ say what you want them to say.

As Steve Forbes, editor in Chief of Forbes magazine once said, “Your brand is the single most important investment you can make in your business.” He’s right too.

Brands are not the sole domain of large multi-national businesses. If you own or run a small or medium-sized business, it makes commercial sense to put some serious thought into your brand.

Here are five reasons why defining your brand is good for business.


Whether starting a new business, or taking an established business to the next level, there plenty of ‘shiny things’ vying for your attention, and your money. Software packages that promise to simplify your world. TV and radio stations guaranteeing eyes and ears. Newspapers and magazines claiming to have your target audience’s attention. Online marketing deals promising you clicks through to your website. Business advisers and training courses claiming to transform your sales. SEO, social media channels, exhibitions and events, affiliate marketing. The list is endless.

All so tempting. Where do you start? Where do you stop?

Going through a brand workshop will help you to better understand who you are, how you differ from your competitors and why you are relevant to your customers.

Once you have defined your brand, you will have a much better idea of whether those temptations are ‘on brand’ or ‘off brand’. If they are ‘on brand’, then they are worth considering. If, on the other hand, they are not ‘on brand’ then you should steer clear.

I get some of my clients to create an ‘on brand’ checklist, to check any activities they are considering fulfil a list of ‘on brand’ criteria.

So, the investment you make in defining your brand soon repays itself many times over, by saving you time, money and effort on things that aren’t going to work for your business.


The people within your organisation are usually the DNA that makes your business unique. Involving them in everything you do will make your company better.

As Zig Ziglar, one of the all-time sales greats and author of more than 30 sales and motivational books, once said; “Research indicates that workers have three prime needs: Interesting work, recognition for doing a good job, and being let in on things that are going on in the company.”

Defining your brand and communicating it with everyone within the business, provides employees with an understanding of what you want to achieve, direction on how you plan to achieve it and the motivation to help you achieve it.

Take your employees on the journey with you. You never know, they may even lead the way.
If they are shown the moves and taught the words, your employees will become the cheerleaders for your business.

Defining your brand is also good for HR. It will help the business retain staff, attract new talent and create a stronger sense of community.


Unlike the big multi-nationals, your exposure to your customers is probably very limited. So, it is really important that when your customers are exposed to you, they are given the same experience every time.

Defining your brand will help you tell your story. Combine consistent brand messages and storytelling with consistent visual branding and customers will find it much easier to recognise what you do and what you stand for.

If your target audience becomes familiar with your brand, you will need to spend less money getting them to recognise you in the crowd of messages they are exposed to every day.

Familiarity also breeds trust. When something becomes more familiar to somebody, they are more likely to trust it. And trust is the biggest reason people cite when they talk about their favourite brands.

I’d like to quote Zig Ziglar again; “If people like you they will listen to you, but if they trust you, they’ll do business with you.”


Defining your brand is all about giving you, and your customers, confidence.

You will have a clearer understanding of what, how and why you are doing what you are doing.

During the brand creation process, we will help you identify and analyse your key target audiences.
Understanding who they are, and why they should be interested in what you have to offer, is an extremely valuable exercise. It will give you the confidence that you a saying the right things to the right people.

So, conversations with customers, presentations in client pitches, elevator pitches at networking events and posts on social media will be delivered with confidence and consistency.

And, confidence is infectious. If you have more confidence in your business’ brand, your customers will have more confidence in your brand too.

Confident customers are more likely to buy from you, more likely to want to come back and buy from you again and again and, ultimately, be prepared to pay more for what you offer.


I have asked the best until last.

The best reason for creating a brand is that people get passionate about brands. Creating a brand will help customers to fall in love with you. And what do people do when they are in love? They gush!

People in love can’t stop talking about the object of that love. To their friends, their work colleagues, on social media channels. Basically, to anyone who will listen.

Passionate consumers become willing referrers. Doing the hard work of selling your business to new customers for you. Word of mouth is more effective than other forms of marketing.
I started with a couple of quotes, so I would like to finish with a couple.

As David J. Greer, author of Wind In Your Sails, said; “A customer talking about their experience with you is worth ten times that which you write or say about yourself.”

And Ken Peters, owner and Creative Director of Nocturnal Graphic Design Studio, said: “If you want your brand to benefit from word of mouth, you’d better give consumers something worth talking about.”

That’s exactly what defining your brand does!

Brand Satellite “Top 30 Graphic Design Agency”

Brand Satellite has been recognised in the Top 30 Graphic Design Agencies on DesignRush.

DesignRush is A B2B marketplace connecting brands with agencies.

DesignRush websiteDesignRush’s team members have extensive agency experience. This enables them to understand an agency’s needs when working with DesignRush, or know exactly how to help a brand select and hire the best firm to achieve their goals.

They analyse and rank hundreds of agencies to help brands find top full-service agencies, web design companies, digital marketing firms and top technology companies.

The website allows companies to find and compare agencies on size, hourly rates, minimum project budgets and client rosters.

In their latest press release, Brand Satellite features in their Top 30 Graphic Design Agencies.

Brand Satellite appear on the site for a variety of services, including branding, graphic design, advertising, web design and integrated marketing.

Brand Satellite creates a new brand identity for IAAS

Working with our strategic communications partners Message Matters, Brand Satellite has created the new brand identity for the Institute of Auctioneers and Appraisers of Scotland (IAAS).

IAAS brand identityThe IAAS is the representative body for livestock markets, valuers and auctioneers across Scotland. They fight for the interests of those markets and the central role they play in the working of the rural and agricultural economy.

IAAS Twitter feedTheir aims are to:

  • Promote the livestock market system
  • Influence policy to benefit the rural economy
  • Achieve recognition for our members
  • Inform on latest price data and trends
  • Educate the next generation of auctioneers
  • Bring together the farming community

Castlegate Nursery launch their website

Brand Satellite has created a new website for Castlegate Nursery & Out of School Club.

The new website has an outdoor feel, promoting the nursery’s outdoor learning focus.

As explained on the home page, “We’re passionate about play and believe that play and the natural environment are essential elements of children’s learning and development. At Castlegate we combine these elements and have created a lovely, loving environment for your child to grow in, supported by child-led learning and rich outdoor learning opportunities!”

The website also goes on to explain that the benefits of outdoor play are endless – children can explore, risk take, develop fine and gross motor skills, physically exercise, experiment, expand, change, shout, sing and create! They learn about the world around them through maths, science, literacy, ecology, gardening, the ever-changing seasons and the weather. They can problem solve and enquire, and being outdoors is hugely beneficial to children’s health and the development of their social skills.

A photo and video shoot were done with Lloyd Smithy Photography, to populate the website with images, and video, that illustrate the outdoor ethos.

The website is the next stage of the rebranding of Castlegate, which started last year.

Castlegate Nursery branded merchandiseCastlegate promoted the launch of the website via a Facebook competition, with branded merchandise as prizes.

Facebook comments on the branding and website, from parents of children at the nursery, have been extremely positive:

“All the new branding and website are fabulous!”

“Wow, the new website looks amazing. Our children are very lucky :-)”

“Love the new website.”

The website has been really well received internally as well. “The team is delighted with the website,” explains Christine Hamilton, owner of Castlegate. “They’re chuffed with how it portrays Castlegate.”

Mentoring for Growth

Giles Etherington completes Mentoring For Growth peer-to-peer mentoring programme.

As part of his Continual Professional Development, Giles Etherington took part in the Scottish Borders Mentoring for Growth programme.

Mentoring for GrowthThe Scottish Borders Small and Micro Business Mentoring programme is a pilot project, and could be thought of as a ‘living’ project that is expected to go through a number of iterations over the eighteen months of its length.

The project is a result of a two year (and ongoing) collaboration between the Scottish Borders Chamber of Commerce, the Scottish Borders Exporters Association and is supported by the FSB (Scottish Borders). Representatives of these organisations are founders and voluntary active participants (senior stakeholders) of the programme.

The Mentoring for Growth peer-to-peer group mentoring programme is designed to assist ambitious Small and Micro Businesses within the Scottish Borders to grow their businesses.

Each business is given 8 months of group/peer to peer mentoring.

They will not only attend Business Content Sessions run by a seasoned content specialist, they also receive peer to peer mentoring from their fellow group members and interim 1-to-1 support from the programme facilitators.

The Business Content Sessions include vital subjects such as strategy, finance, operations, sales, marketing and more.

Giles was in Group 2 of the pilot scheme. Group 2 also included:

Hannah Longmuir,

Hannah a countryside artist. Working mainly in pencil, she record the details of the fields and woodlands and hedgerows around her. Hannah’s aim is to create calm, delicate drawings, carefully observed and full of character. She then uses these drawings to create my range of charming, nature-inspired cards and stationery.

Alison Pottie, Chief Wonky at Wonky Woolies

Since 2010 Wonky Woolies been knitting vibrant Wonky designs and customised bobble hats for customers throughout the UK and as far away as New Zealand!

Originally starting as a hobby, Alison & her mum Carol began by knitting jumpers and cushion covers, among other things, for themselves and friends. Shortly after, Wonky Woolies became established as a bespoke knitwear company specialising in custom design beanie hats, which then became an award winning company.

Joanne Turner, Managing Director of NS24 Ltd

NS24 is a new bookkeeping firm, based in Galashiels. NS24 Ltd are practicing members of the world’s leading bookkeeping organisation, The  Institute of Certified Bookkeepers. As such they are governed by professional conduct regulations, required to keep our knowledge up to date, follow best practice guidelines and maintain high professional standards at all times.

Mike McGarvey, Owner of Tartan Plus Tweed

Tartan Plus Tweed Ltd. is located on Bank Street in Galashiels in the Scottish Borders. They are a family owned business, providing kilts, kilt hire, Scottish gifts, and much much more!

Tartan Plus Tweed try to keep everything as local as possible. From the cloth to the final product, they provide traditional hand sewn kilts, tartan trousers, sporrans, belts, kilt socks, cushions, cashmere scarves, jewellery and much more that is all still made right here in the Scottish Borders.

“I have found the Mentoring For Growth sessions extremely valuable. Taking time out of the day-to-day running of my business and discussing how to grow the business, with other like-minded business owners, has allowed me to focus on areas I may not have thought of on my own.
We are five very different businesses, whose paths would probably not have crossed without this programme. I believe we have all learned a great deal from each other. There is a genuine desire to help each other, in the sessions, on the Facebook group and through emails and phone calls between sessions.
As a sole trader, it is great to be able to candidly discuss business issues with other people who ‘get it’. Learning from their experiences and being able to pass on my knowledge and experience has been very worthwhile.
Leaving each session with three or four action points and knowing the next session is coming up (and knowing you are going to have to explain to the other what you have and haven’t done) has been a real catalyst to getting things done.
I have now written my first business plan with real purpose, that concentrates on the areas of growth, rather than just writing a business plan purely as a required exercise.
I have already seen the many avenues to growth open up to me and I am expecting the next year to be a very busy one. Watch this space!
If you are a small business looking to grow, I can’t recommend this programme highly enough.”

Giles Etherington, Owner of Brand Satellite and Brands Start Here

SC Optic - Branding

SC Optic unveils new branding

SC Optic, a new distributor of ophthalmic surgical equipment, has unveiled its new branding.

The company is the UK’s sole distributor of the new, ultrasound free cataract removal CataPulse® system.

Many of the world’s leading cataract surgeons recognise the patient benefits of avoiding phacoemulsification (ultrasound) energy in the eye. The CataPulse® system is a breakthrough technology.

The branding has been designed by Giles Etherington, through Brand Satellite’s sister company – Brands Start Here. Brands Start Here was introduced to offer affordable 1-2-1 Brand Creation and Branding packages to start-ups and entrepreneurs.

2nd Annual Global Open Banking Summit

FDATA Global Open Banking Summit & Awards comes to Edinburgh

Brand Satellite created the branding and promotional material for the 2nd Annual Global Open Banking Summit and inaugural Awards, hosted by FDATA Global in Edinburgh on 6th & 7th December.

Global Open Banking Awards Programme
FDATA Global‘s mission is to work with government, regulatory authorities and the financial services industry to open up the financial sector all over the world to the benefits of financial data and technology.

Their annual two-day summit brings together regulators and policymakers from around the world to discuss how we’re going to deliver Open Banking, collaborate on standards and set the agenda for best practice. These events are about influencing the decision makers and regulators and establishing the tone for the Open Banking movement globally.

Brand Satellite worked with our strategic partners Message Matters and Melbec Events, to bring the event to life. Designs included promotional materials, social media images, agenda, awards programme, banners and Powerpoint templates.

Global Open Banking Award



Giles Etherington conducts brand creation sessions with the latest intake of Fashion Foundry fashion designers

As part of his role as Industry Associate for the Cultural Enterprise Office, Giles Etherington has completed brand creation sessions with Fashion Foundry’s latest Emerging Designers.

Fashion Foundry, founded in 2012 by the Cultural Enterprise Office (CEO), is a sector-specific fashion and textiles business incubator and talent hub to support the creative and commercial development of the fashion sector in Scotland.

Fashion Foundry

It provides business support for fashion and accessory designers in Scotland. Supported by Creative Scotland, the programme focuses on accelerating the growth of talent in fashion and textiles for the apparel sector in Scotland, with a specific focus on the international luxury goods market.

To date, Fashion Foundry has supported the business development of 21 brands through our Emerging Designer studio residency programme. Emerging Designers are paired with a creative mentor and coach chosen to help provide a tailored programme of support allowing the designer time, space and industry expertise to develop their brand and build their business.

Giles is CEO’s Industry Associate for Brand & Branding. This role extends to helping Fashion Foundry’s Emerging Designers with brand and branding advice at this vital stage in their business development. Giles worked with 6 of the 7 designers from last year’s programme.

Fashion Foundry quote

“Giles puts himself in the shoes of his clients by diving right into research before meeting. He looks at brand positioning and competitors, so when you arrive at the session you feel like he’s prepared and really knows his stuff and is in an informed position to talk to you about brand creation and development. He asks you questions and take lots of notes, pulling out snippets and phrases that add up to the essence of your brand. We can fully recommend him to anyone looking to streamline and fine-tune their brand story.”

Alan Dibble, Director at Fashion Foundry

“I have done a lot of these sessions and it never ceases to surprise me how much the advice I give can differ from one session to another.
Here are three designers at a very similar stage of their business. But my advice on the next steps for their business/brand, by contrast, varied considerably.
That’s why the 1-2-1 aspect of what I do is such an important part of the process. Every business is unique, and the 1-2-1 session allows me to ask specific questions, which in turn allows me to give specific advice.”

Giles Etherington, Brand Satellite

This year’s Emerging Designers are:

NADIA-STUDIO is a small, independent, accessory studio based in Glasgow. Aesthetically, we draw upon a mixture of Eastern and Western influences that underpin the design process. Small-scale production is at the centre of NADIA-STUDIO, which means minimal waste and a sustainable alternative to mass production.

Rosella May is the fresh and pioneering voice bridging the space between creativity and social issues, through a denim focused lens. The young designer created her eponymous brand during her time as a denim designer for Calvin Klein in Amsterdam, and for SS19, has collaborated with Scottish Association for Mental Health, on the ‘Stigma’ collection. Through her design work, Rosella seeks to highlight the stigma that surrounds mental health and incite conversations, to begin to break down negative perceptions and misunderstandings.

Hayley McSporran is a womenswear brand focused on the construction of a modular wardrobe. With an understated femininity and a play on functionality, Hayley McSporran creates considered pieces that draw influence from sculptural forms. Contemporary cuts, volume and an element of playfulness form the foundation of our collections.

Statkraft Wind Farm Development Public Consultation

Brand Satellite produces its first work for Statkraft

Brand Satellite creates the graphics for Statkraft’s wind farm development public consultation.

Statkraft NewsletterFollowing the acquisition of Element Power by Norwegian based Statkraft in October, Brand Satellite quickly got to work rebranding the public consultation materials for Slicky Wind Farm.

Working with public affairs specialists Smithy House Associates, Brand Satellite created exhibition panels, newsletters and public notice advertisements for the public consultations.

Venesky-Brown roller banners

Brand Satellite designs versatile roller banners for Venesky-Brown Recruitment

Brand Satellite has created a series of roller banners for Venesky-Brown, to use at upcoming recruitment fairs.

The three roller banners were designed so that the graphics flowed from one banner to the next, which meant they created a wall of graphics when placed next to each other.Venesky-Brown roller banners

Venesky-Brown roller banners at exhibitionThey also worked, as demonstrated here by the client, when placed separately.