I guess I should be used to it by now, but it’s always sort of surprising to me when a company is reluctant to modify – or at least freshen up – their stale, dated brand. Just because the CEO’s nephew designed it while working as a summer intern 10 years ago, when the company started, doesn’t mean it does a good job of representing the business today.
No Second Chances
Like dating, branding begins with a first impression. Think of your ideal prospect – that one person or company that you would love to land as a client. If you had the opportunity to hand that person a business card or send them a link to your website, what would their very first impression of your company be? Would they see it as smart, forward-thinking, and capable? Or would it give them the feeling your company is amateurish, tired, or antiquated?
As the saying goes, you only have one chance to make a first impression. If you can, try to distance yourself from your branding and take an objective look at it with fresh eyes. Better yet, ask a few people unrelated to your business to take a look and give you feedback about what sorts of impressions or feelings it elicits. Assure them you want honest input and encourage them not to hold back, for fear of hurting your feelings. Oftentimes, this sort of feedback is invaluable! But you have to have thick enough skin to be willing to listen. Really listen.
Your Logo ≠ Your Branding
Many business owners believe their logo is their branding. Not true. While your logo is certainly a part of it, your brand is actually comprised of much more. Take a look at your business card. Yes, you have a logo – but what else do you see? What colors are being used for the logo and the type on the card? What font is used and what does it communicate (modern, old-fashioned, etc.)? Do you see a tagline or positioning line (such as Coca-Cola’s “It’s the Real Thing®”)? Is your card printed on just one side, or is it two-sided? Does it fold? Is it unique? Every single one of these elements is related to your branding, and each one plays an important role in shaping a first impression.
Go through the same exercise with your website. Look at each individual component and ask yourself, what does this color, design, phrasing, font, etc. communicate to my ideal prospect?
Realistically, completely revamping a brand can be a time-consuming and expensive process, but it’s one that will often pay off in dividends by boosting business significantly. If your business is not in a position to undertake a full re-branding – or simply doesn’t need one – consider a brand re-fresh. This approach is typically less costly and less involved, and can bring noticeable results.
Want to chat about a re-branding or brand re-fresh? Contact me!