For each and every business, staying relevant and up to date is essential.
Customers can be fickle, and if they conclude that one of your competitors is more in touch with current trends than you are, they may switch their allegiances. Brand loyalty only exists for as long as the consumer benefits from the relationship, and if you find yourself behind the curve, that devotion can quickly be transferred elsewhere.
The ambition of nearly all businesses is to appeal to an audience, and encourage them to part with their money. However, in a digital world where fashions, styles and engagement methods are evolving on an almost daily basis, the task of crafting – and constantly renovating – a brand might feel like a perennial uphill struggle. Perhaps you think you would be better off putting your energies into something else. However, underestimating the power of an outstanding brand is folly.
A brand’s ability to influence and advertise should not be underestimated. A brand goes a long way to dictating how people perceive a business; the logo, colour scheme, written content and social media output all help consumers construct a picture of who you are, and what you stand for. It is, therefore, imperative your brand portrays a culture and vision that is both accurate and attractive.
The task of crafting – and constantly renovating – a brand might feel like a perennial uphill struggle
So, with that in mind, is it time to commit to a brand makeover?
The wood for the trees
When was the last time you took a step back and objectively assessed your brand? Have you taken the time to compare your identity to that of your competitors? Does your website scream fresh and modern, or is it a relic from a bygone era?
When you’re invested in a business, it can be easy to accept things as they are, simply because that’s the way they’ve always been. Or, if you’ve positioned yourself at the heart of the business from the outset, think about whether you’ve grown overly attached to an identity you helped to build.
This sort of complacency can be a barrier to success. While it’s essential to be invested in how the business is depicted, and to take pride in the identity and culture that has been developed, it’s also important to remain open-minded and to constantly be on the lookout for ways to revamp and rejuvenate. Remember, updates need not be mammoth: a minor tweak here or there could well be all that is required, but it could make a world of difference.
Appealing to the audience
The goal of your brand is, in essence, to give people an understanding of what it is you do, and why you are superior to your competitors. You can have the very best products and the most reasonable prices, but if consumers don’t know what you do, or don’t have faith in your capacity to come good on declarations and claims, you’ll always be fighting a losing battle. Do some research to find out what it is audiences relate to, and take a look at what the competition is doing. If rival companies are doing something well, adopt a similar approach. If they are doing something poorly, attempt to use their failings to your advantage.
Updates need not be mammoth
Growth, expansion and transformation
As your business develops and expands, so must your website, marketing materials, and overall image. All companies go through periods of transition and change, and you must ensure that everything associated with your business reflects modifications when they take place.
Consider when your website was last refreshed, and then make a list of the changes your business has gone through since then. Have you hired new staff? Have you adopted different practices? Have you moved offices, started working with different clients, or launched a new product range? Or perhaps your model has changed entirely.
Make sure your website and marketing strategy work in tandem with those alterations – whether major or minor – and be sure they truly echo the overarching goals and objectives you’re striving to achieve.
Have you moved offices, started working with different clients, or launched a new product range?
It’s all well and good talking about updates and changes, but what exactly needs to be analysed? What should you be looking out for, and what could adjustments accomplish?
Your logo should be at once memorable and unique. When people look at it, will they get a good impression of what it is you do and how you can support them? It may seem like an insignificant element of your overall brand, but a striking logo that offers insight can be an incredibly powerful tool.
Did you know that certain colours can evoke particular emotions? Red, for example, is said to encourage excitement, while yellow is associated with fun and energy. Think about how you want people to feel about your brand, and how you wish to portray yourself. Does your current colour scheme correlate with your desires?
Written content – blogs, product descriptions, marketing material – is one of the most effective ways of exhibiting your brand personality. Do you want to be regarded as formal, or chatty? Friendly, or authoritative? Subtle or brazen? Decide your stance, and then ensure it’s consistent across your brand.
Similar to your written content, you need to choose how you want to use social media to push out your message. How often will you post messages? Will they be predominantly funny, informative or titillating? If you’re going to use social media, remember that regularity and uniformity are crucial; post frequently while retaining the same tone and voice, and engage your audience whenever possible.
A name change is not something that should be undertaken lightly. If you’re thinking of engaging in a complete brand overhaul, thoroughly contemplate what a name change is likely to achieve. Will the new name better reflect your business? Will it stand out when compared to established industry names? Can you afford to modify all current materials/signage? Will it confuse current clients and customers? If, after pondering these questions, a name change still seems a compelling option, think carefully, and seek advice, before ultimately committing.
The bottom line
An enduring and alluring brand is essential for any business worth its salt. You want people to be able to recognise your brand, understand what you offer, and associate your name with quality. It goes without saying that you must provide a superior product or service, and deliver customer service above and beyond the call of duty, but without a brand that allows you to initially reel in those consumers or clients, you’ll never be afforded the opportunity to demonstrate the quality of your offering.
Gather your employees and get ready for change, because it’s time to get the brand back together.