Future 50: The vital importance of branding

THE deadline for entering the EADT’s Future 50 initiative to identify Suffolk’s top up-and-coming entrepreneurs is now less than two weeks away. Mark Noble, executive director at the Norwich office of Coutts, which is among the sponsors of the Future 50, offers some tips on branding and brand identity.

EVERY entrepreneur has their own idea as to what their brand should look like. But what is the secret ingredient in branding that can determine whether a business succeeds or fails?

In a challenging climate, providing good products and doing good work alone may only get you so far - but personifying your brand and utilising key technologies could act as a key differentiator.

Entrepreneurs are increasingly feeling the need to crystallise their best attributes and values, so much so, that entrepreneurs are often becoming the emblems and hallmarks of their businesses themselves. Well known examples of this include: Sir Richard Branson (Virgin); Levi Roots (Levi Roots’ Reggae Reggae Sauce); and Duncan Bannatyne (Bannatyne Leisure and Spa centres).

But it is not just celebrity business leaders whose brand and reputation is pivotal to business. For those who may be less well known, their reputation among specific stakeholders is no less important in their own business environments.

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The East of England has become one of the UK’s entrepreneurial hotspots. Mark Noble, Executive Director at Coutts Norwich office and his team look after many high-net-worth clients, including a significant proportion of entrepreneurs.

He said: “We learn about our clients and their businesses so we can offer them the best tailored service. In meeting a diverse range of individuals, we understand entrepreneurs are becoming younger and we’ve seen the rise of serial entrepreneurs. Along with this, a number are increasingly using their own personalities to build their brands.

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“The entrepreneurs we work with form the majority of our clients. These innovative people capitalise on their often strong personalities to bolster their brand and deliver their business objectives everyday,” he added.

Secondly, when building a brand, entrepreneurs must learn how to utilise the internet effectively. Entrepreneurs now have the chance to generate more wealth than ever before because the internet provides a cheap, easy and fast way to connect with a global audience. A vast team of marketers is now, for many, unnecessary.

The internet is also a great way of building initial business and brand recognition, ahead of bringing in investors to help grow the business. If this isn’t easily understood, intrepid entrepreneurs will not only be at a disadvantage when faced with more agile and tech-savvy competitors, but may also find it difficult to convince investors that your figures add up.

At Coutts in Norwich, our Private Bankers and Wealth Managers have built up extensive experience in dealing with clients – individuals and families - from a range of backgrounds. For eligible entrepreneurs, Coutts offer a suite of expertise to suit their ambitions. Clients can also take advantage of the Knowledge Exchange - a secure online networking and information facility, which features insights across a range of specialist subjects, commentary on financial markets and economic events, and a forum for clients to connect with each other.

For more information about becoming a Coutts clients in Norwich, contact mark.noble@coutts.com, call 01603 603004 or visit www.coutts.com/norwich .

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