How even small companies can employ the notion of brand to great effect in selling to schools.

Think of a brand and you might think of Coca Cola, Mercedes Benz, Real Madrid, Royal Mail, Tesco, M&S…

All huge operations.  But can we actually use the concept of the brand when thinking about much smaller enterprises?

My view is that we can – because within the concept of the “brand” there are some interesting concepts which are relevant to all companies.

Let’s take a practical example.

Brands aim to be immediately recognisable, and therefore the brand has to offer something that competitive brands don’t offer – and I’ll try to give one example.

Supposing you sold outdoor play equipment. You are up against lots of other firms doing the same. But imagine you renamed your equipment Orion Play, and published on your website in short episodes an ever-evolving story which suggests that equipment designs are based on the play equipment used by creatures from a planet circling a star in the Orion constellation – and how these creatures come to earth.

Some teachers and school managers wouldn’t be interested in your promotional antics, but I suspect that fairly quickly your equipment would become recognised in some quarters for the design on the side of the equipment and in others for the stories on your website.

If matters grew then you might put out an Orion children’s storybook and give it away to schools.

The point is that the play equipment might still be pretty much like other firm’s products, but you build around it an image which, although disconnected from the product, becomes the brand of the product.

And because your competitors would think this a very silly idea, you’d have the branding market to yourselves.

Such a process can work – not instantly, but over time. And that’s another benefit. Most people don’t do it because they not only don’t want to take a risk, but also because they also only focus on sales now.  Branding is about next month and next year, and sales which evolve over time.

You can still do your regular promotions – the promotions that focus on the brand just add to that approach.

If you would like to talk about this approach to selling and how it might be applied to you, we are always happy to discuss such things.  There’s no cost and no obligation.  Just call Stephen on 01604 880 927 or email

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