September 18, 2020

Better branding can bolster N.B. at home and beyond

During the recent provincial election campaign, the economy was a major focal point. Although New Brunswick has fared well during the Covid-19 pandemic, there is undoubtedly the need to create more jobs, stimulate growth and attract businesses and people to our small province. We’ve become accustomed to discussions about economic growth, however little is said about a contributing issue; our brand identity.

Perhaps it’s surprising to relate branding to something as serious as the provincial economy; after all, marketing is often viewed as an unnecessary expense during tough times. But New Brunswick and its businesses have a brand problem and serious investment should be made in proper marketing and design initiatives when we fund and export goods and services. 

Good branding is one of the most impactful ways to grow business and can be used to fuel the path to success. It’s a way for us to own our image at home and beyond our borders. It is essential to strategic communications and a vital component of the story we tell to ourselves and, more importantly, to others. 

New Brunswick companies need well-executed branding, marketing and design to effectively find their place not only in local markets, but also to be competitive in export markets. Bringing design thinking into the business equation early will add value in more ways than just aesthetics. It will solve problems, push products to be better and create improved user experiences. During a time when businesses urgently need to shift online, this role cannot be underestimated.

Without thoughtful branding and design, our best products, services and companies are at risk of being overlooked or dismissed. Good branding isn’t flashy or egotistical. It’s expedient, an instant cue to customers and audiences about quality and values. In New Brunswick, as we grow our private sector we need to seriously consider how we spread our message to the world.

Branding should be considered a strategic investment because it can offer robust and diverse returns. Companies with consistent branding earn 23% more annual revenue than those that are inconsistent.* Other research shows that companies that focused on the importance of their brand over the past five years saw its value grow 2.4 times higher than those who didn’t.

An example of this can be found with the Fredericton-based startup, HotSpot. They had a great reputation locally for their parking app, which saves users time and money, but the company’s branding was not consistent and didn’t convey or explain what HotSpot did, never mind who it was for or how it worked.  

Our design team created a new brand approach, website and app design that conveys, in a glance, what HotSpot is all about. We simplified their messaging, gave it a consistent tone and helped them tell the world about their products. This work, paired with smart sales and business strategy has helped the company to better communicate with potential clients and grow substantially. 

New Brunswick-based companies have a role to play in contributing to the greater good of our province, providing jobs, exporting products and growing the economy. Great branding can be an accelerator, helping propel New Brunswick and its businesses to greater success, at home and beyond. 

Let’s invest in our brand and shine a light on what we already know is great about our province.