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The risks with safety: developing the brand of the small business for a real return.

Progress depends on effectiveness of a brand: Does it represent the business? Does it build hype? Brand development centres on creativity. Creativity is art and design, and in the ‘real’ ie. the world outside that of the design industry, these factors are seen in the simple terms of safety and risk.


Developing a business – indeed, an entire industry -  involves the sinking of capital into a new project, or revamping an existing one. Generating this capital in the first place is something of a frustration for small businesses. To get out there and noticed is the only way to ensure big players know your name and what you do. Building the client base from the ground up means that delivering consistently to the briefs and keeping in favour is key, but when pitching your designs, presenting ‘a safe option’ could be your shortfall. You know your client will like it, they know their target market will like it…but in essence, is it just a little bit boring? So maybe keep that particular design out of the boardroom, and take the risk of presenting only those ideas that are exciting for the business’s prospects: both theirs and yours. And after all, putting your name behind something sub-standard and dull would make your brand synonymous with that style of design.


Andrew Marr’s recent article explores how instrumental art, design and innovation is in driving economies forward. They may be unquantifiable in terms of spreadsheets, but the value of creative input into the bigger picture of society makes the need for exciting branding in the place of ‘playing it safe’ all the more important. Sinking public money into the art and design world and focusing on creative development in schemes and big business would promote growth of the wider economy.


Thinking of the bigger picture as well as in terms of personal business advantages, risking it is – well, really a lot less risky than you might first think.


Posted on December 21st, 2012

About Dave Hayhurst

Dave is head strategist and account manager at Marriage. He has extensive experience in consumer marketing, from executing campaigns in the national press, direct mail with Sky TV and digital marketing in the mobile app space.

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Marriage is a leading creative agency in London and Bristol, specialising in brand, digital, direct respose and experience design. Our blog provides a commentary on the UK’s leading marketing campaigns, creative executions and industry-wide thought leadership.


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