A good brand is a labor of love that requires constant dedication and attention in order to thrive. Every strong brand needs to be repaired and re-styled from time to time to prevent it from becoming dated and falling behind the competition. Sometimes, a simple restyling is all you need, while other times, fresh new business models must be created to save the day.
While every brand is unique, there are many symptoms that can warn you that the time to refresh it has arrived. Failing to properly address them may be the reason why your business is not growing as you want. Here are six signs that it’s time to take a new look at your image and how your brand speaks about your company:
1. Your Homegrown Brand Has Become Outdated
Homegrown brands are great for creating feelings of nostalgia, and while mom and pop companies may provide a warm and cozy feeling, they’re not good for making money. Many family businesses who built their brands around concepts or solutions that were once popular, may find that those trends have since fallen out of fashion. In today’s world, what was once the hip, au-courant of the time, may now be outdated. Branding and marketing has changed a lot in the last decade, so it is important to make sure that your company is up to date with the latest market trends in your industry.
2. Your Brand Is Not Modern Enough
Has your brand been able to catch up with time? Other than its design, is your whole business model modern and fresh enough to entice your audience? For example, if you are a restaurateur, you may be operating in the same building that your family has owned for generations. This is not necessarily bad, but it may spell bad news if you’re not able to modernize and update it without losing that “je ne sais quoi” that made it unique in the first place. Following this example, you may be able to increase your customer base and refresh your brand by deploying a fleet of food trailers to market your wares in new unexplored locations, or buy a food truck to travel to customers in the slower months.
3. Your Brand’s Art is Poorly Executed
As desktop publishing tools become available to everyone, many small business logos are unfortunately drawn by unskilled people. At some point in your life you might have decided that having your nephew or neighbor design your logo was a great idea since he’s “good at art”. In truth, that was a terrible idea. Good branding requires more than just a steady hand and the ability to draw a picture. Good branding requires an understanding of the principles of design, and an ability to adapt ideas and concepts into attractive visual elements that will entice and attract customers.
4. Your Brand Is Unoriginal
Maybe it’s bad branding, maybe your business model is outdated, maybe because your products are lackluster or not so different from what the competition is selling. Your brand may simply be generic. If your brand doesn’t stand out among the competition, it will be dismissed as “run of the mill”.
5. Your Branding Fails at Properly Portraying You
If your business is not a startup anymore, chances are that it has probably evolved and grown over the years. How much has your identity changed since you designed your original brand? Maybe the products or services that you provide are not the same anymore. Does the brand still represent your image and values today? A brand that fails at properly portraying you may attract the wrong customers, and cause you to lose more lucrative opportunities.
6. Your Brand Generates No Trust
A good brand should project a positive image of your company before potential customers even walk in the door. It should provide an immediately positive impression of the business that generates trust and credibility. What kind of first impression does your brand actually give? What does it communicate to the viewer about your company values? If your branding incorporates cheap advertising slogans, and outdated methods it will never be able to communicate concepts such as trustworthiness, professionalism and reputability up front.
As the digital revolution and the age of instantaneous communication progresses, many business brands struggle to keep up with new trends and marketing methods. Branding often becomes nothing but an afterthought, an often underestimated aspect of your marketing strategies. However, it is much more than that: it projects an image through which you sell your company to your customers.
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