Your brand is YOUR business. A brand needs to stand apart from your competition. When you stand apart, consumers notice you. But a brand is more than a logo and a company name. A brand needs to remind consumers of a promise, a method, a specific reason to choose only it. But crafting your company's image in the form of a brand can be difficult. Utilizing various brand strategies can help ensure that your messaging is complete and serves your own company's interest and serves your customer's needs and expectations.
It is critical to remember that although the market determines your position, you alone have the power over your ability to provide and stand by your product. This promise toward your product: is it a real differentiator between you and your competitors? If so, this is where your branding will make a difference in the position you hold in the marketplace. A unique and compelling brand only stands out if you can make yourself different and actually prove to consumers that you are indeed different.
So, how do you create a brand the marketplace wants and one that rises to the top? It is all about reflection, reflection on the past, present and future of your company. Everything is connected; so it makes sense that after this reflection, you might have to start fresh, or make major adjustments.
1. Check Your Crystal Ball
If your crystal ball is in the shop, or your eight ball says, "Results hazy, try again later," you'll have to reflect upon what you want your company to be in the next few years. You probably want to be around in the next few years, but your needs today cannot be expected to be your needs two years from now. What will a future customer want from you? Consider how you can begin to transform your company now to make those changes years from now.
2. I Love My Company's Brand, It's Perfect, Now, I Need to Change it
Right now, you are content with your brand. But why are you only content? And why should you settle for only being content? Consider why your current branding is making you question your position in the marketplace? Don't change it just because. But also, don't leave your branding as is because it is a lot of work to re-brand.
3. What Do I Include in My "New" Brand?
Your "new" brand needs its ins and outs properly laid out, its strategy defined, its powerful solution developed, and ultimately, all of these parts, deployed in a strong solution. Your new message should continue your company promise (or should have one created if a strong one did not previously exist before). Remember that your entire platform should be consistent in all parts. This also means that your collateral should include: refreshed website, crisp copy, and content, and an overall shiny new look.
Related Post: 5 Steps For Building a Brand
4. Don't Hold Back
Re-branding or first branding, should not be done halfheartedly. Make your brand shout out to consumers. When you make your transition, let the past go. Anything from your old branding and messaging needs to be removed. Of course, remember to link old content with your new content, so your current and new customers will have no trouble finding you. Also, keep it real. Authenticity is key in your brand. If you present a fake image, you'll get fake customers (read: pretend, invisible, non-existent ones, who will spend invisible money).
5. Is the Market Ready for Your Change?
Don't go it alone. Changing your branding and image can be daunting if done alone. If you don't take the following into account during your transition: considering your audience, defining or continuing your company promise, marketing/search avenues and more, it will all be for naught. Consider an outside source for assistance in making your brand transition.