Do you have an outstanding business with an identity that doesn’t stand out?
Are you in an exciting start-up struggling to excite others?
Does your great track record still not help you gain traction?
Perhaps there’s a disconnect between your brand image and your brand identity.
This is how Investopedia defines “Brand Identity”:
Brand identity is different than brand image, which is what consumers actually think. It is constructed by the business itself. A negative gap between brand identity and brand image means a company is out of touch with market sentiment, which will make selling its products more difficult. The brand image held by consumers can reach a point at which a business or product has to rebrand itself or risk not bringing in sales.
Perception really is everything. And you need to show your audience that you have your act together. If you offer a cool product, you better have a cool web site. If you’re offering services to a unique audience, make sure you’re presenting your business in a way that demonstrates its own uniqueness.
The way you package your business is vital. Ultimately, delivering the goods is what it’s all about. But, you’ll get no chance to deliver without first connecting with your prospects in a way that identifies with them, demonstrates your relevance and communicates why they need what you have to offer.
While you certainly need to look like you belong, it’s also important to distinguish your business without looking like a market outlier. There’s a fine balance to be struck.
If you’re running an up-and-coming start-up, you might get away with a look of untamed youth for a while. But, just like those leaving college for the real world, there comes a time to get serious. And looking serious goes a long way toward establishing credibility and communicating your sense of purpose to investors, advocates and recruits.
The good news is that this is 100% within your own control.
If there’s any doubt about how you stack up or how to connect, contact us for a free design audit. We’ll take a look at what you’re currently doing, drop you a line and set up some time to talk, which is something we love to do. No hassles.
As the year closes, ask yourself how your current challenges and objectives align with your overall vision. Have you lost your way, or are you sticking to your Brand Promise? Is it still meaningful to your customers and prospects? Have you allowed yourself the room to evolve with their needs, or have you boxed yourself in?
In many ways, your website is the face of our business. It’s usually your first and best opportunity to distinguish yourself, connect with your prospects and tell your story. If it’s not engaging, well-designed, easy to navigate and informative, it could undermine your marketing efforts.
If your business is like ours, you don’t have a bottomless marketing budget to build awareness of a name that lacks clarity. We have to be more calculated and deliberate.
Marketing communications is not a democracy. It’s purely strategic. It’s based on research, data and even philosophy. It relies on experience, best practices and, oh yeah, talent. It is not something to be trivialized.
Business naming is the hardest part of what we do. Aside from the creative challenges, there are three major hurdles we have to leap. For every name we present, there are, literally, dozens of candidates that never make the cut. The client never sees any of those.
If your brand cannot adapt to change, you could end up burning cycles recovering what you lost instead of spending your time building on what you have. As Ben Franklin once put it, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
Even if you’re selling widgets, there’s something more that you offer that distinguishes your business in a positive way. It’s what your customers truly gain from you that they can’t get from anyone else. It’s this frame of mind that defines your business more than anything.
Greatness cannot be achieved within a vacuum. It takes vision, perseverance and a team of experts to make it happen. It requires an understanding of what your audience wants, even if it’s something that doesn’t quite exist. You aim high, learn from your failures and never say, “It can’t be done.”
Building a great brand is never once-and-done. It’s more than a name, logo and graphics. It’s a frame of mind — an experience — with a narrative that stays relevant and makes its audience part of the story.
It’s important to look like you belong in your market. But, it’s more important to promote your own uniqueness. Remember, your brand and identity is about differentiation. It’s not about being like the others.