Why Build an Honest Brand?

To keep the dogs and ponies out of the office


Yesterday’s pillars of consumer trust are falling all around us — trust in our ability to tell fact from fallacy, in our privacy, even in some of the world’s best-known brands. Remember the large scale data breaches in the not too distant past, anyone?

Sometimes it seems the only thing we do know is how much we don’t know. For small-business owners, that means one thing: Maintain an honest, transparent brand and your customers will reward you.


Here’s how we do that at Verve Concepts:


When we talk to new clients, we always begin with our story, that we launched Verve on a promise: We will provide the same or better service as larger agencies at a fraction of the cost. We tell them that’s the same promise that drives our work today.


“Same quality for less?” they ask. “How?”


The simple answer: No dogs, no ponies.


We explain that in the agency world there’s a saying, “Give ‘em the Dog and Pony show.” It means, wow the client with flash and dazzle. But we know flash and dazzle come at a cost.


Instead, we keep our fees low by cutting out all the waste we can. We don’t wine and dine our clients (okay, sometimes), we don’t have fancy offices, we don’t go on luxury “brainstorming retreats.” Why? Because all those expenses eventually get passed along to the client in the form of higher fees.


At Verve Concepts:


We brainstorm just as well on a whiteboard.

We like our offices simple.

We think ponies are wonderful on farms, but not in agencies.


We are able to keep our brand honest by showing our clients exactly where their savings come from.


As you work to ensure the honesty of your small-business brand, follow these two guidelines:


  • Don’t pretend to be something you’re not

We’re not a big, flashy agency and we’re proud of that because our small-business mindset allows us to deliver more for our clients.


  • Keep things simple and easy to understand

At Verve Concepts, we decided from the very start to keep the philosophy of simplicity at the heart of everything we do.


After all, no customer wants to work hard to work with your brand. Make it easy for them and they’ll thank you for it with their business.


How are you working to maintain an honest brand? We love to hear your ideas.