In the Spotlight: Shark Branding Can Make Your Business Into a Pretty Big Fish

Spotlight: SharkBranding Marketing and Branding Company Makes Small Business Clients Famous

You need a marketing expert by your side when starting a business. They make your company stand out from the competition. Shark Branding Solutions provides this exact service.

The company earned its name from its founders. Colleagues call them sharks in the industry. It keeps growing bigger than either ever imagined. Read more below in this week’s Small Business Spotlight.

What the Business Does

Offers marketing and branding services.

President Michelle Frome says her company functions as a full-service marketing agency. Shark Branding Solutions provides marketing strategy. They also offer advertising and brand strategy.

Business Niche

Making small businesses famous.

The company works differently from a typical agency.

“We specialize in working with small businesses to help them build a big brand presence within their markets within a short amount of time.”

The company uses a network and creative resources to offer a full suite of marketing and advertising services. Those services cost a fraction of what other agencies charge.

“We work fast. We don’t charge for every phone call or every revision.” Frome says the company looks out for clients’ best interest. They treat clients like partners and friends. Frome says the company thinks of itself as an “anti-agency.”

How the Business Got Started

After working together for another company.

Frome and business partner, Tamara O’Dea met two years ago. They worked together on the marketing team at an advertising agency. Frome says “We hit it off immediately.”

Earlier this year, the friends spoke about going to go back to marketing consulting. Both knew each other’s skills. Neither wanted to compete with the other. Today both specialize in a specific part of the business.

“I love the sales aspect of the business and working closely with clients. She loves being on the operational side,” Frome says.

Biggest Win

Scoring their first partner.

The new company wanted to offer one of Shark Branding Solutions’ services to the majority of their clients. So another sales team sold Shark Branding Solutions’ products to the world.

Biggest Risk

Putting clients on retainer.

The change gave the company a steady stream of income each month. It also ended the need for constant proposals for each individual service provided.  The company soon discovered the downside, however.

“We made a huge mistake by not specifying how many hours of work we would provide for that retainer fee,” Frome explained. “It took about a month of things getting out of control for us to realize what had happened.”

They finally figured out the problem with not specifying how many hours they’d work for each client. The founders realized they were making only $11 an hour for over 60 hours of work. As it stood they made less than their hourly employees. The situation demanded a fix.

Lesson Learned

Don’t cut prices too much.

“At first, we just needed clients so we discounted our prices constantly,” Frome said. The company already charged a third less than their competitors.  It hurt the company even more when company added deep discounts. Frome now believes businesses must stay strong on prices. Avoid discounting just to make a sale.

How They’d Spend an Extra $100,000

Marketing and advertising.

Frome says she would spend the money on marketing. The company continues to work to get it’s name out. She admits being cautious whether to spend on marketing or operations.

What They’re Known For

Industry insiders call Frome and O’Dea sharks.  Both come in quickly and disrupt the markets for our clients. The pair get called in to deliver a big presence in a short amount of time. The name ‘Shark Branding Solutions’ came from this reputation. Though, Frome says many people think the founders are obsessed with sharks.

“Now, people send us shark memes, articles about sharks, and every present I get these days seems to be shark related!” Frome says all the gifts she’s received over the last six months involve sharks in some way. She says she now researches sharks because of all the questions she gets.

“We think it’s really funny,” she says.

Favorite Quote

“If you build it … you may still need Google Adwords.” I believe Jennifer Mesenbrink with EditorThink said it.

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Find out more about the Small Biz Spotlight program

Image: SharkBranding

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Annie Pilon Annie Pilon is a Senior Staff Writer for Small Business Trends and has been a member of the team for 12 years. Annie covers feature stories, community news and in-depth, expert-based guides. She has a bachelor’s degree from Columbia College Chicago in Journalism and Marketing Communications.