Unlike a bad yearbook photo tucked away on a shelf, your brand is on display every day. It's out there talking to your customers about your business before you even get a chance - so, have you stopped to think about what it's saying to them lately?
A good brand should communicate your business values to your customers in a way that makes them want to engage with you. It will set you apart from the pack and secure your identity in the market. A bad brand, however, can discourage your target customers from approaching your business or even worse can make you disappear completely.
So how do you know if your brand needs a new hairstyle, *ahem - refresh? There are a few obvious clues we'd like to share with you.
1. It's been a looooooong time since you changed anything.
Are you still using the original business cards that were printed in 1995, because you're waiting to use them up before you order more? Or, maybe you've lately been discouraging folks from visiting your embarrassingly out of date website?
If you find yourself apologizing to people for the state of your website or business cards that's a clue that your visual branding needs work. It's understandable, especially for small business owners who wear many hats, that your marketing efforts may go ignored in favour of more pressing day to day issues of running your business. But it's worth taking time out at regular intervals to examine your branding and determine if changes need to be made. Just realizing that it's been a long time is a good enough reason to stop and take a look.
2. Your competition has recently upped their game.
Your neighbour next door painted his house and paved his driveway and all of sudden your house is looking like a ram-shackle shed. Funny how you didn't notice it before...
When your competition takes the step to improve their visual branding, rather than getting left behind or feeling jealous - it is a great time to get proactive about your own brand. Look at the changes they made and see if any of their ideas would work for you. You can even take a look around at businesses outside your industry who have recently updated their branding for inspiration.
3. Your customers have evolved or your target customers have changed
Did you know that 60% of people aged 65+ describe themselves as internet users? That's a profound increase from even 5 years ago - and if seniors are your target customer, you'd better have an accessible website in your marketing toolbox.
Customer tastes and preferences are shaped by many factors and can evolve and change over time. It stands to reason that your visual brand should be responding to your customers preferences the same way you do. You may have also recently shifted your products or services and your brand no longer accurately reflects your new position in the market. If you take the time to focus in on who you are serving and observe their preferences, you can make targeted changes to your branding to stay current.
4. You have either multiple personalities, or zero personality.
Does your marketing collateral look like it could belong to several different businesses? Or worse, does it look like it doesn't belong to anyone?
It's very common to see visual branding that doesn't have a cohesive style and ends up looking like a giant mish-mash of promotional cards, signs, email newsletters and so on. Or you could also have the opposite problem where your brand doesn't really say anything - there's no indication of the values that represent your unique business (we see this a lot with businesses using free templates found online). In either case it's a good enough reason to step back and develop a clear and cohesive plan for your visual brand.
5. Sales are flat
Just like a new haircut can make you feel like a new person, updating your branding can inject a renewed sense of enthusiasm in your business as well.
If you find that your business goals are falling short, making a change to your logo or other visual brand elements is a perfect reason to reach out to your customers and re-engage with them. You can use the opportunity to create measurable marketing goals or create campaigns to drive sales. Are you sharing your branding message everyday? Your brand can't convert into sales if you're not showing up for the people you want to help, consistently.
If any of these scenarios sound familiar to you, then refreshing your brand could be an important next step. Very often with established businesses, a brand refresh doesn't automatically include changing your logo - it could be simply creating additional brand elements to support your logo and help you create a cohesive look and feel moving forward. Whatever your branding needs might be, Sproing has a full service team to help you, including:
- Business coaching to help you define your values and marketing goals,
- Writers to help you create an editorial personality that speaks to your customers
- Designers to help you define an amazing visual identity that stands out
- Developers to make your online business cutting edge
- Video and photography services that will take your marketing to the next level
Let's talk about your project, contact us today!