This is an interview with Elizabeth McFadden, who brings to small and growing companies the experience, innovation, and award-winning approach of a large ad agency. Throughout her 25-year career, she has collaborated with over 200 brands and achieved remarkable results. Elizabeth created a method to assist companies of all sizes in finding a voice in a competitive industry.
The interview talked about “Why your brand strategy drives everything” and “How you can create a brand to scale your business.”
Elizabeth began her work after noticing a market demand for a small business ad firm, however a conventional ad firm couldn’t accommodate at the time. She merged her company with another, and they eventually rebranded to Novela Brand House, which she now owns.
Her company has worked with various businesses in different fields to help them scale their businesses but what she finds amusing is the fact that beyond all that, no matter what the size or category of the business you are in, it’s all about the basics of branding and marketing. It’s the need to have those processes in place.
Some businesses and entrepreneurs think their brand to be only the visual piece which we refer to as the visual brand. They are your brand’s logos, fonts, colors, style, and anything else that is visible to the human eye.
There are two other components, according to her: positioning and messaging.
Positioning is all about your product and service, and how they may help your customers with their problems. Others believe positioning is determined by price, which it is not. The essence revolves around your target audience and their pain points, as well as how you can help them by differentiating yourself above the rest.
She explained that the logo represents your experiences and service in terms of messaging. It’s also referred to as a brand promise. An objective in which when a buyer thinks about your brand, they think of all of those components. It’s essential to understand your brand and be aware of how you’re building it.
She added that knowing your audience is really important when positioning your brand. You should keep in mind who your people are because they will not only support you monetarily, but they will also help spread the word about you. She claims that your major audience is made up of 80% of the people who buy your goods or service. The close second group is the secondary audience.
Startup entrepreneurs may lack the data, but the alternative is to always go back to thinking about who you are creating your product or service for to determine your primary audience.
After identifying your target audience, you then look at competitors in your field. The top five you put them in a chart and do a SWOT analysis on them and compare it to your own. It can help you know where your strengths are and where to position yourself in the market.
She also takes into consideration where the audience gets their information. To be attentive about their social habits, buying habits, or to create an audience persona in order to narrow down your target demographic.
Messaging is significant because this is what’s going to make the customer pull the trigger, the reason to buy. It will tap their pain points and some things motivate them as well.
Elizabeth shared their company’s process for creating brand messaging for their clients which has three key areas.
The first one is the brand statement which she also calls an opening line. It is where you introduce briefly what your company does.
The second area is about your process. It is where you talk about your unique solve that makes you different from your competitors.
The third one is the supporting point. It helps support your key messages.
A tagline isn’t necessary, but it might be beneficial, especially if it is really descriptive of what you do. People can tell what category you belong to just by looking at your logo and name.
Social media is an excellent opportunity for people to see your expertise, interact with your brand to build trust, and nurture their engagement.
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Elizabeth delivers the expertise, creativity and award-winning strategy of a big-time ad agency to small and scaling businesses. During her 25-year career, she has worked with over 200 brands – helping clients increase sales by 20-30%, improve Facebook traffic by as much as 300%, and in one case, refreshing an e-commerce brand that led to 1,000s of inventory units selling out within minutes.
Over a decade ago, Elizabeth developed a process to help organizations of all sizes find their voice in a crowded market. Taking the brand strategy model used by Fortune 500 companies, she designed a method for smaller companies to develop their brand.
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