Saturday, March 2, 2024

Indy entrepreneur brands business

By Manon Bullock

When Indianapolis- based entrepreneur Karlisha Russell created The Good Hustle Project under the umbrella of her business, Bridges to Freedom LLC, she wanted to establish a unique, memorable brand that captured the attention of the youth.

With a big idea and a small budget, she was able to build an effective marketing plan with a few simple tools. First, she began with the right name. “I wanted a name that clearly conveys the work we were doing and was also easy for customers to remember,” she said.

The Good Hustle Project was the right choice for her urban youth entrepreneurship education program, which teaches inner city youth to rely on their talents and hard work as a bridge out of poverty.

Next, she chose a logo that was cool, urban and youthful. To help get the word out about her project, she utilized free services provided by Constant Contact, an online resource that helps small businesses grow by providing free marketing campaigns using emails, surveys and newsletters.

She hired local design firm, Design Crate to build her website and also used social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter to build an online audience. Next, Russell received a grant from SmallBox, an Indianapolis-based full service creative agency that offers marketing, branding and culture consulting to a variety of industries. “Cultured power marketing” is the phrase that defines the agency’s method of operation. “It is marketing from the inside out,” explains Chief Culture officer Sara McGuyer.

For Smallbox, brand building is about creating a people centered culture where employees are part of a team who feel connected with the company’s core values. Those who work within an organization are respected as being the best ambassadors for the organization’s brand.

Not surprisingly, when a business organization consults with Smallbox, they receive consultation that involves foundational layering that first fleshes out the organization’s mission and values. Once the key message is established, Smallbox helps to project that message through visual branding like logo and website design. Because Smallbox is enthusiastic about their culture-centered revolutionary way of marketing, they are willing to lend a hand to organizations large and small.

“We love small businesses and entrepreneurs,” McGuyer stated. Russell can attest to the need for small businesses like hers to have a memorable brand. She praises social media for its ability to take your product or service right where people are, but also recognizes the importance of having traditional marketing to assist interested customers.

This is where tools like a clean and quality built website, a logo, and a branded email address become priceless. Russell further explains that a website, where viewers go to view all of the information about your business, is similar to a storefront. “Most consumers will come in contact through your brand before they come in contact with you, so your brand must be memorable,” she said.

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