Working with a brand consultant
In your research on building a brand for your small business, you may have come across the term brand consultant. And you may wonder what, exactly, that is.
You may also have a negative picture in your head of anything having to do with consultants. For example, that they find solutions to problems that don’t exist and then bill you for it.
But, really, a brand consultant is just a branding agency without the execution. In other words, a good brand consultant looks closely at your brand to understand your business, discusses your business goals with you and aims to clarify and streamline them, nurtures your best ideas and tries to talk you out of your worst, then lays out a strategy for building your brand. It’s up to you, then, to execute and implement the strategy, either with or without the consultant’s further participation.
The best brand consultants for small businesses and startups, however, are those that stay with you and coach and guide you through every step of the process. You can set up regular meetings to get feedback and advice and bounce ideas off of. When necessary, you can expand the consultant’s role, for example to work with you directly on building specific parts of your brand and strategy.
The process will take longer than it would if you hired an agency, but your direct involvement will mean you’ll learn everything you need to know about strategic branding.
So, consider this route for building your small business brand. It's like having a coach, mentor, teacher and guide hold your hand along the way so that by the time you finish, you'll be able to manage everything yourself.