How your business looks in five years will greatly depend on your branding and marketing efforts today.
As markets continue to evolve, brand managers need to keep themselves informed to avoid surprises. Users are becoming more sophisticated than ever. Google algorithms are constantly changing. Market moods can shift with the flip of a media switch. New competition can catch you off-guard. Some things you control; others, you don’t. But, if you don’t stay on top of it all, things can get a way from you pretty quickly. There’s no excuse for not being prepared.
If your brand cannot adapt to change, whether anticipated or not, 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.”
Flexibility is Vital to Maintaining Brand Equity.
A great way to insulate your business from sudden shifts in market dynamics is to maintain a 30,000-foot view of who you are and what your Brand Promise is. Remember, you’re solving a problem or satisfying a need that transcends your product or service. It’s often an emotional benefit that your audience gains. Your Brand Promise should always be the foundation of your marketing and promotions. If executed well, it will provide an “umbrella” that allows you the room to build on your message and nurture the customer experience. And you’ll gain the flexibility to quickly react to change − or implement some of your own − without compromising the groundwork you’ve laid.
Never lose sight of why you do things differently and why it matters to your audience. Take ownership of what distinguishes your brand and never take it for granted and become complacent. Set aside some time to revisit, reinforce, refresh and reaffirm your branding and marketing efforts on a regular basis. Continue to maintain and uphold your promise. If you keep delivering on it, loyalty will flourish.
As a business owner or marketing professional, you need to regularly step outside the bubble to see how others are viewing you. There’s a lot of noise out there. So, it’s important to find creative ways to give people a reason to pay attention to you. When was the last time you changed your logo? What about your website? Is it mobile-friendly yet? Have you been following your competitors’ marketing efforts to find ways to answer them? How has your own narrative evolved? Remember, your brand is a story that’s never completely told. How about sharing an addendum?
We’re in the Process of Doing Just That.
Step2 Branding & Design has set some big goals for 2017 and beyond. We’re building new relationships and partnerships. And we’re reaffirming our long-term ones. We launched a new website with a retooled message and more samples of our work. And we tweaked our brand identity to encompass more of what we do. Beyond our branding work, we do a lot of graphic design, advertising and web design. So, we decided to make it very clear that we have more to offer beyond our branding services. (First impressions, ya know.)
So, What Are Your Goals for 2022?
Just like accumulating one’s personal wealth, successful brand building requires a long-term commitment and the willingness to prepare for and react to change. It would be a shame to lose it all because you boxed yourself in so tightly that something unforeseen cripples your business.
So, what are your plans to reinforce your brand and all you’ve worked for? Are you looking to freshen up your message and graphics? Is your website working its hardest for you? Do you plan to share more subject matter expertise blogging? Are there more industry events and advertising in your future?
If you ever want to talk, drop us a line. It never hurts to get an objective opinion and costs you nothing but a little bit of your time. We’ll even pay for the coffee.
Never Make Assumptions about Your Audience. That seems like an obvious rule, right? But, we all do it to some degree. It’s human nature. We follow our gut instincts. We proceed without having the data to back up our actions. Remember New Coke?
You cannot do it all and do it all well. Nobody can. I certainly can’t. Instead, I’m spending my time doing what I do best to make money and hire seasoned professionals to help with the rest.
Why aren’t you?
It’s always a good idea to take a step back and be more introspective about your unique qualities and strengths. By looking beyond short-term distractions, we often discover that we still have a place to fit in.
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.
The tagline is not about who you are or what you sell. It’s about them: your target audience. So, you better make sure it’s concise, direct and memorable, so they recall it the each time they hear your name.
Here is our second installment of tips addressing ways you could be missing business opportunities without even realizing it.
Instead of offering tips to get more clients, we’re putting a bit of a twist on things by highlighting ways you could be losing them without even realizing it.
The bankruptcy courts are full of great ideas that were undermined by ineffective branding and promotion. Build it and they will come? No, they won’t. Not unless you make them really want to. Or, better yet, need to.
You seem to be great at what you do. You have a terrific product. Your media coverage has been impressive. You’ve been serving the industry for decades. But, what does it mean to your customers? What’s in it for me?