Does Your Brand Reflect Your Business?
Don’t let your brand fall behind.
Businesses evolve over time. The marketplace changes and your products and services change to meet those needs. Is your branding keeping up with your business strategy?
With every new piece of collateral and customer interaction, your brand evolves too. But sometimes you need a complete reboot to take your brand to the next level. Ask yourself these questions about your brand to see if you are still in alignment.
Do you have new products or services since you developed your brand?
If you are offering significantly different or additional services and your name doesn’t include them, you might need a name change to indicate your breadth. If you’ve developed a new product or products you might need a system of sub-brands that will serve you into the future. Or maybe you have a new method of delivery of your product. In any of these instances your logo, visual system, or messaging might need to be updated to reflect new offerings. Do an audit of your current materials, compare them to what you actually do for customers, and determine if you need an upgrade.
Has your marketplace changed?
Is your customer base older or younger or from a different market segment than they were when you started your business? Are they dealing with different life events or work challenges? Some brands will have a large following from a certain generation. As they get older, your brand needs to adjust for their differing needs. Other brands attract the same age range no matter what. In that case you need to adjust for generational preferences. What worked with GenX may not work with Millennials.
Or maybe your customers are different than you thought they’d be. When the PT Cruiser was developed, Chrysler thought it would be a hit with young drivers. The new VW Beetle had just come out and they were trying to capitalize on a retro trend. Turns out, Baby Boomers loved the car because it reminded them of their youth. They had found an avid, if unexpected, audience.
The marketplace isn’t just made up of your customers. Have your competitors changed their offerings or have new competitors moved into your market? If your customers have more choices than they did when you established your brand, you may need to look at what you can do to stand apart. What can you do better? Reflect that in your branding.
Is one of your value propositions more important than it used to be?
As your customers and the marketplace changes some of what sets you apart may become more important than it once was. For example, we’ve seen great changes in the expectations of customers for delivery speed. Delivering overnight or same day is vastly more important than it was even 10 years ago. Look at your value propositions. Has the worth of any of them changed in the eyes of your customers? A shift in marketing to highlight that value may be in order.
Is your brand more trendy than timeless?
Some brands are, by necessity, of the moment. Capitalizing on trends is great but you have to realize that they change and they change quickly. If your brand is more trendy than timeless, you may need a reboot more often than other brands to stay current in your customers’ minds. Many fashion brands fit into this category. Your logo and name may not change, but your visual look can change seasonally.
To make sure your brand is at the level you want it to be, you need to continually ask yourself these questions. And act on them as necessary. As you shift your business strategy make sure your customer knows exactly who the “new you” is.