Your brand identity—the reputation, promise, and vision you project into the market—might need some sprucing up. Customers are fickle and can be distracted by the next shiny thing to come along. The market itself is always shift, and “shiny” new competitors might have crowded into your turf and snatched away customers.
Whatever is going on in your little slice of commerce, be thoughtful about fiddling with your brand. Don’t confuse who you are with what you do. Seasonal campaigns can breathe new life into your brand. Think pumpkin-spice coffee; a café on one corner offers it during the fall, but the one across the street doesn’t. Which brand will customers remember when it’s time to roll out the peppermint lattes next month?
If you’ve decided to overhaul your image, though, here are five things to think about before you flip that switch.
- Think about getting a pro: Branding agencies have insights into what successful businesses do differently from those whose brands are lagging. Most of the big names in the industry have well-equipped branding teams, made up of the best talent. That’s generally out of the financial and organizational reach of small to medium sized businesses—especially those just getting started. Contracting a branding agency is an alternative. New York is loaded with them, but they are expensive. In the agency of Zoom and Teams, though, what’s to stop you from finding a successful agency in a smaller market? In either case, do your due diligence: Do they have the team, expertise, technology, and resources to help you create a new image?
- Conduct appropriate research: The power of your business drilling down on your ideal customer lies in the market research you accomplish. If you’ve studied the market and consumer behavior well enough, you’ll be able to get a hang of your ideal customer profile easily. Also, it becomes much more convenient to create a branding profile that can help you sell more effectively by predicting trends.
- Separate your business from your competition: Even when businesses in your space crowd into your market, you still provide the same products and services as you did before the incursion. So, think of a brand update as re-positioning the benefits you provide and presenting them differently. Give them a different problem that needs solving or a different aspiration to fulfill and raise your brand as the obvious answer.
- Raise your brand profile: One of the best ways to improve your branding results is by increasing its visibility to enhance your reputation, promise, and vision. Activities and strategies that make your brand more recognizable in the market can help you double down with half the effort. It’s about sowing the seeds of your brand image and personality through various means and channels, be it extensive advertising, digital campaigns, or hosting public activities.
- Make small changes: What brings your customers back to buy from you over and over again are the factors important to branding. When you think of it from a business perspective, branding is the act of turning your business into an unforgettable name. A branding exercise might be something as simple as changing a tagline. Nike, for instance, has a ton of equity in its swoop logo but uses different mottos to appeal to different consumer segments, from Just Do It and Dream With Us to Rise, Run, Rest, Repeat and Gravity Will Never Be The Same.
In the long run, branding defines what your business means to customers, shareholders, investors, and employees. Taking the effort to continuously bring opportunities that can help you monetize your business better is a constant. We hope that the steps mentioned above can help you simplify the process.