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Branding the Highlands and Islands a business success

Published: 02/11/2018

Highlands and Islands businesses will have the opportunity to develop their brand to help them stand out against the competition at a series of brand development workshops.

Organised by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), as part of its Entrepreneurial Academy, the brand development workshops will be delivered by experts in the field and will be free to attend. The first workshop takes place in Thurso on 29th November 2018 and will be followed by workshops in Lerwick, Forres, Stornoway, Inverness, Portree, Oban and Kirkwall throughout 2019.

At the workshops, delegates will learn how to communicate the vision, mission and values of their business or social enterprise, while gaining knowledge of how to build a brand that reflects the company’s operations and the experiences of its customers. Delegates will leave with a better knowledge of their brand and why it should inform decision making within their business, as well as a toolkit to implement the learning.

Keith Muir, head of business growth for Caithness and Sutherland at HIE, said: “To stand out in often crowded marketplaces, local businesses need to create a brand that reflects who they are, what they do and their values. The Thurso brand development workshop is the perfect opportunity for businesses and social enterprises to hone their business proposition and how they present themselves. If you want to learn how to stand out against your competitors and grab the attention of potential customers, the brand development workshop is for you!”

The workshops will be delivered by Lesley Thomson, managing director of communications consultancy Spreng Thomson, and Janice Kirkpatrick, creative director of design agency Graven.

Speaking ahead of the Thurso workshop, Lesley Thomson said: “A strong brand can add scale and substance to a business and growing yours is a powerful way to add real value to it – and that’s what most business owners want.

“Building company brands has been a core part of how we engage with businesses for around 10 years. During the workshop we provide delegates with a tried and tested 10-step process that is practical and works effectively with businesses at all scales.”

Janice Kirkpatrick added: “Delegates at the workshop will learn how brands communicate, operate and accrue value. They will also learn how to shape their brand and systematically apply brand know-how to everyday business operations and outputs. From a brand perspective they will also learn how to engage with other specialists, including designers.

The brand development workshop is collaborative, engaging and relevant to all businesses irrespective of size or sector. Everyone will have the opportunity to work with other businesses to explore the importance of brands and how they can use this knowledge to add value to their own businesses.”

The Entrepreneurial Academy programme of workshops are available to entrepreneurs or senior staff of companies or social enterprises with growth potential or the ambition to scale.

The brand development workshops are part of a suite of free workshops organised by HIE, including Entrepreneurial Sales, Pitching Skills and Delivering a Digital Strategy. The first Brand Development workshop takes place at Caithness Horizons in Thurso on 29th November 2018. Full details of all Entrepreneurial Academy workshops and links to sign up can be found at:

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