When was the last time you reviewed your brand? Last year? Five years ago? Maybe you’ve never done it. The truth is that brands are often built by accident. Running a small business is a lot of work and often the branding of your company takes a back seat to daily operations. As a result, your brand is created naturally because of the things you say, the things your customers say, and the things that potential customers can see. Maybe this is the year to take control of your brand. To help you, here is a quick guide to building a new brand for a new year.
Review Your Audience
Your audience is the group that will build your brand more than anything. In the process of brand building, a common myth is that you build your brand completely on your own. The truth is that you lay the foundations and your customers, along with their perceptions and how they communicate them, will build the final brand. More than your logo, your website, or your content, your audience will determine your true brand.
This gets even trickier when you consider that different people want different things. You can’t communicate the same way with a lawyer as you would with a teenager. These are two very different people with different interests, concerns, and needs to be served. Knowing how you will communicate with both of them is critical for branding at any level, whether building a new one or refreshing an old one.
When looking at your brand this year, take a moment to review your audience. Who are you looking to work with? What do they want? What are the problems they solve? Where are they? Build a solid profile for each of your ideal customers. Those profiles are who you need to keep front of mind as you work on communicating and building your new brand.
What’s Your Mission?
What is your business trying to accomplish? What’s your mission statement? How do you save the world? No matter how you say it, understanding your business’ greater goals, vision, and purpose are important for your brand. As you work to create a brand, a personality for your business, you need to know its purpose so you can communicate it to your audience. Take some time to review this and make sure it’s still the mission you’re pursuing. If not, revise it. If you’ve never taken the time to think about it, now’s the time.
What Makes You Different?
What do you offer people that other businesses don’t? What makes you truly different? Maybe you have a special service, qualification, or set of tools. Maybe it’s that your business has a long legacy in the local
What’s Your Message?
At the end of the day, what do you want to say to your customers? Are you trying to raise questions for them to answer? Are you looking to establish yourself as a thought leader through the consistent creation of value for both customers and potential customers? Everyone has a different message and businesses are no different. The problem is that we often don’t take the time to consider and craft our message, instead of throwing out whatever comes to mind and seeing what sticks. Taking a moment to think about what you want to say and how you want to say it can be one of the very best things you can do for your brand.
Review Your Elements
Now that you’ve looked at all of these pieces, take a moment to look at your current marketing materials. Are these elements reflecting what you want them to? Be critical and honestly ask yourself if this is what you want to communicate and if you truly think it will be effective with your target audience. Your logo, your website, your content, tri-folds, anything that you use to communicate with customers should be reviewed this way.
This isn’t something you should do alone. Take a tip from creatives everywhere and seek outside feedback. Not from your loved ones or your friends, but from someone who will honestly tell you if it doesn’t work. Consider consulting with a marketing professional to have that expert eye look at your marketing and honestly tell you whether it does what you want it to or not. The honesty of this review will determine whether you have a new brand or the same one that hasn’t been working.
Clarify Your Brand
With all of the reviews done, the time has come to make the changes you need. This is the time when you reveal your new marketing materials and work to build this new, or revitalized, brand. But it doesn’t end just because you took these steps. Moving forward it’s important that you maintain active communication with your customers, understanding their needs and concerns, addressing their wants, and communicating effectively with them. Make sure you remain flexible moving forward and understand you can always make small changes.
Remember, your brand is largely a reflection of your customers’ impression of you. Now that you’ve adjusted your brand, never forget that and always work to create value for them. You won’t regret it.
Stingray Branding, Your Marketing Partner
Building a brand is important for your business, but it can also be stressful. As a business owner, a lot of things are on your plate. But you don’t have to do everything alone. Our team of experts is passionate about working with people just like you, helping to demystify the complexities of marketing, and putting a talented team to work for you. If you have questions about your marketing, or it’s time to take it to the next level, contact us today!