816 New York announces two New York City startup brand launches, refuses to adopt the ‘fear narrative’
Crain’s New York says small business owners optimistic heading into a Trump presidency, but many are skeptical.
QUEENS, NY, 1/20/17 – Crain’s New York reported on December 28, 2016, in a survey taken shortly after the election, that “46% of the 600 questioned in a Wells Fargo survey believed that the operational environment for their companies would improve in 2017.” 816 New York’s most recent brand launches position two New York City startups to thrive—regardless of a Trump presidency.
Many small business owners—including founder of 816 New York Sarah M. Williams—question how someone with the president’s background and cabinet could understand their values and needs. Steven Pearlstein wrote for the Washington Post on January 19:
Like Trump, [his cabinet is] more practical than ideological or partisan. And like Trump, they come from a business culture that is brash, aggressive and amoral and see business through the prism of trading and dealmaking.
In short, they have little in common with small-business owners trying to create and protect a market niche from the predations of corporate giants, or the high-tech entrepreneurs desperate for engineering talent and second-stage funding or the community banker in Dubuque. In large part, the way they have gotten rich has been by diverting wealth from Main Street businesses and investors.
“This train-wreck election had one huge consequence—it made everyone shout louder. I don’t know if that’s democracy or chaos,” says Williams, a brand strategist specializing in working with small businesses and non-profits. “I won’t be goaded into becoming reactionary, and I refuse to buy into the fear narrative. It doesn’t serve me or my clients.”
816 New York operates around a commitment to the idea of global unity. The agency’s ideal client aims to positively impact society in some way.
“It’s nearly impossible to compete with the marketing machine that is a corporation with endless budget and reach. Strategy is critical,” she says.
By developing systems that work for limited resources—paired with business goals and objectives—Williams and her team prioritize efficiency and keep brand and marketing strategy tactics streamlined. The agency is thereby able to launch and promote smaller brands in a smarter way.
“We help clients to learn the language of a strong brand. Positioning your business in a consistent, bold way is the most effective means to remain viable.”
Their two latest brand launches are Lux Global Partners, a business and financial advisory firm, and Bump2Beyond, a holistic pregnancy and wellness coaching practice, both in New York City. To begin, Williams and her team create a brand brief, developed around core fundamentals like a vision statement, value proposition, brand attributes, and competitive analysis. When a client sees who they are on paper, it substantiates why the branding process matters. It’s as much a pivot point for the agency as it is for their clients.
The most eye-opening part of the process is developing target audience personas by which to understand customers’ stories. Bump2Beyond owner Raquel Nowak says, “Having my brand depicted via the brand brief gave such a great perspective. I especially loved the breakdown of the audience and the accurate descriptions, and putting a face to who I want to really help makes it very personal, which is important for me.”
“When you’re a business owner, uncertainty is familiar—it’s often what drives creativity,” Williams says. “Small business owners don’t have the luxury of waiting around to see how Trump will operate. We’ll do what we’ve always done: Survive in an environment often run contrary to our survival.”