Albanese Branding is a full service integrated marketing firm based in Hamilton, Ontario. Since 1999, they have been focused on developing an intimate knowledge of the Ontario market and are proud to have made a meaningful difference in the well-being and growth of their clients’ businesses.

As a champion of businesses in Hamilton, Albanese is a natural fit for LiON’S LAIR. We spoke with Deborah Konig, Vice president, Client Development, about her favourite client projects and tips for choosing the right marketing services.

Our partners make LiON’S LAIR possible. Because of their support, local entrepreneurs are able to reach their goals faster. We are proud to feature invaluable tips, advice, and information from our partners for startups and small businesses in Hamilton!  

What have been some of your favourite client projects from the past year?

We loved working with last year’s LiON’S LAIR second place winner Nuts for Cheese. Founder Margaret Coons has such a cheery disposition and is so passionate and knowledgeable about her products. Everyone loved working with her. She has a fabulous product, a great business model and the right attitude. Nuts for Cheese is poised to be a great success! We helped shape her brand with new marketing collateral, point-of-sale material, website updates and new product photography. Photo shoot days were always a hit at the office – we got to sample all of her cheeses!

If an early stage startup or small business could only afford a few marketing services, what would be the key ones they need?

A consistent marketing brand across all platforms is paramount. Spend time on developing your personality and voice. Think about your communication tone and manner – how do you want to speak to your audience? What do you want your clients to think, believe or feel? Work on your marketing strategy. The most important elements are the ones that will be immediately noticed – your logo, website, social media and marketing collateral. Make sure that they are unified with the same creative design platform, and truly reflect your company.

How does a client know which services they need, or which are right for them?

It’s important to get an outside view. Yes, it’s cliché, but ask the experts. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, and don’t be afraid to ask the tough questions – what are your pain points, what is the root problem? We see a lot of companies that try to stretch their marketing too thin. You can’t do everything, or be everything to everyone. Know your audience and narrow down your marketing efforts to specifically address them. There are so many different approaches to marketing. Time spent working on a brand strategy to figure out how you will best reach your audience, and where your voice will be the loudest, will make the right avenue more apparent.

Why is it important for Albanese to be located in Hamilton, serving Hamilton businesses?

#HamiltonIsHome. We are all locals and that’s vital. Our clients are our neighbours. We see them at networking events; we run into them at grocery stores. We genuinely want to see their business thrive, as it strengthens the community as a whole. The business landscape in Hamilton is unique, and you need to be a part of it to truly succeed in it.

What does it mean to Albanese to support LiON’S LAIR and the work that Innovation Factory does?

We love seeing the energy that LiON’S LAIR creates. The Hamilton start-up community is small, but mighty, and we’re thrilled when we can help other businesses grow. So many local businesses have supported us throughout the years on our path to growth, and it’s nice to be able to give back. We were all start-ups once.

This post is sponsored by our generous LiON’S LAIR partner, Albanese Branding. Learn more about them here.