Lynne Heaton’s message to businesses in Golden is clear: everything you do says something about you.
“Take a restaurant, for example,” said Heaton. “If you walk in and the music is too loud, or if the server is wearing a dirty apron — what do you automatically think?”
Heaton is the owner of the Home Lodge bed and breakfast in Golden, a marketing consultant and facilitator at the next Let’s Do Lunch—a series of workshops sponsored by the Kicking Horse Country Chamber of Commerce — event this Wednesday, March 30th.
The workshop will help both business owners and employees explore important questions about the branding of their business, such as: Do I know what impressions are being formed in my customers’ minds? Do I know what my brand stands for? What steps do I have to take to represent my brand effectively?
Heaton grew up in rural Scotland and studies marketing and law at university. After graduating, she got a marketing position with Seagram— one of the world’s largest alcohol distilleries— in London. There, she worked on the branding of Chivas Regal and The Glenlivet, looking at everything from where the scotch is best shelved at a liquor store to what people first think of when they hear these brands.
After her stint at Seagram, Heaton became the marketing manager for a well-known Swiss chocolate brand at Kraft — Toblerone.
Heaton explained that Kraft had noticed that the public conception of Toblerone was that it was a chocolate for special occasions only, an impression that was costing the company potential dollars. Heaton’s job, then, was to re-brand Toblerone into a chocolate bar one might pick up at the grocery store checkout.
‘Whether you’re Kraft or a small business in Golden, it’s really important to think of your objectives,” said Heaton. “Maybe it’s growth and money, maybe it’s too employ people in the community, or maybe it’s just for the love of it.”
Once you know your objective, she continued, it makes understanding and projecting your brand that much easier.
Heaton also emphasized the importance of highlighting the unique qualities of your business. She explained that if you don’t have anything that makes you different from your competition, then the only selling point you have to work with the price of your products.
“That’s not a good position to be in.”
Heaton finished by saying that branding your business effectively is all about making choices.
“People often say they don’t have the time,” said Heaton, referring to putting in effort to investigate if and how your business’ brand is working. “But really, you don’t have the time not to.”
Heaton’s Let’s Do Lunch workshop will take place at the College of the Rockies on Wednesday, March 30th from 12 pm to 1 pm. For more information contact Ruth Kowalski at 250-344-7125.