If you want your business to be taken seriously, you need to take a serious look at your brand. In the overcrowded world of the Internet, your business must uniquely stand out from others to attract your ideal client. It’s not good enough to just be a different color in a sea of sameness. You must strive to be different and memorable, offering something others don’t.
To stand out and be memorable requires having a strong brand identity that reflects the personality, promise and purpose of your business.
The value of a brand
Along with selecting the right name for your business, a quality brand communicates value and creates credibility for your business. Used consistently across all of your web properties and other marketing materials, a well designed brand:
- Makes a good first impression
- Entices people to find out more
- Creates a perception of quality, professionalism and trust
Businesses have a brand even if they do not have a logo or creative image. Your brand is created by your actions and triggers feelings about your company which has an emotional impact on your customer. This emotional impact will determine whether someone wants to do business with you.
To find out what your brand is, ask customers what comes to mind when your business is mentioned. If they consistently respond with an emotion or feeling that is in sync with your business purpose, then your brand has been developed. When responses are inconsistent, ambiguous or refer to non-image attributes such as cost, you have work to do.
Why you may need to update your brand
The message your brand image sends must align with what your ideal customer is looking for from your business. Does your brand project the experience that appeals to your ideal customer? If not, then you’re a good candidate for a brand update. Update your brand if it is:
- Associated with a negative feeling
- Weak, poor quality or non-existent
- Out of sync with your identity
- Showing signs of age or looks dated
- Not differentiating your business from the competition
Change or evolve your brand
Although your business may have an established brand, your brand needs to evolve with your business. As your business matures, so should your brand.
The best time to launch a new brand is if there is going to be a major change to your business. As an example, when I shifted my business model from consulting to coaching, I changed the brand from Vista Consulting to Masterful Marketing.
If you need to evolve your brand rather than change it completely, review the attributes and graphic elements of your brand to identify what appeals to your ideal customer. Keep those and work on enhancing all the others.
If you have had the same logo for several years, talk with a designer to see if you can update its look without changing the overall image it projects. If you don’t have a logo, consider having one developed.
Does your brand need to be refreshed?
Your brand is an important asset of your business and you need to spend time and money on creating a brand that can carry your business into the future. Doing it right from the beginning is the best option, but if your brand is not making the emotional connections with your customers, then it is time for a change. Giving it a subtle facelift can get people to notice that something is different which may energize their interest in what you have to offer.
Changing your brand is not a decision to make lightly and the majority of the time you should probably resist the urge to completely change your brand. Like all things in marketing, just because you’ve gotten bored with your look or message, doesn’t mean your customer or prospect has. However, if your brand is hurting your business, it just may be time to consider removing the elements that make it look dated or simplifying its look to keep your brand relevant to your customer.
Has your brand evolved with you business? Is your brand in need to be refreshed?