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Does your brand need a makeover?

The world of business is changing faster than ever, and that means that your business’ brand image can become outdated just as quick. Whether you are a start-up or pre-internet era company, brand evaluation is an essential part of a healthy business model. Below are a few aspects to help you evaluate your brand, and see if you need to make a few adjustments.

Does your name, tagline, and logo represent your business and the services or products you provide? Just as individuals change and evolve overtime, so do businesses. Not all changes in these major brand identifiers have to be drastic though. A change in logo can be as simple as “freshening it up” to fit with modern times. But if your target audience, services, or long-term goals have changed, you may no longer be communicating your business properly.

Has your target market changed? Make your communications stronger, by first understanding who your target market is, and how to reach them. Sometimes your market is not who you think it is. Changes in service or location can effect your target market, as well as shifts in the economy. A market evaluation can save your business time and money, while generating growth for the long-term.

Do your marketing materials convey the advantages your company has over the competition? Evaluate your brand once a year, or whenever you add new products or services. The competition is fierce out there, and if you are not giving your audience a good enough reason to choose you over your competition, you may get overlooked. Remember, price isn’t the only advantage – dig deeper than that.

Are you communicating your brand clearly? When prospects compare you to the competition, do clear differences arise? Are you being asked again and again, “What exactly is it that you do?” You could be sending mixed-messages, over-complicating your message, or simplifying it too much. Outline your brand message, and be consistent with it throughout your marketing initiatives.

Do you and your employees feel good about your brand image? Your brand image is like the power suit you put on for an important business meeting, the restaurant you choose to bring a new client to for lunch, and the address you choose for your business. It’s important that your brand reflect who you are professionally, and communicate the culture of your business. You and your employees should feel confident about handing out your business card, referring people to your website, and giving your elevator pitch.

Do your customers tell the same story that you do about your brand? Don’t get caught “drinking your own kool-aid” – if you’re not telling the same story as your clients you might be overselling your products or services, or even underselling. Understand your strengths and weaknesses by asking for customer feedback – there are many cost-efficient and even free survey tools out there.

Are you utilizing any social media or interactive marketing? The marketing and advertising game changes as rapidly as technology. The way we interact is constantly changing, therefore how we reach our audiences needs to follow suit. Facebook, Twitter, Linked-in… love to hate them, but you should be doing some amount of social media marketing. Maybe consider short video commentaries on YouTube (it can be a simple as using your smartphone) to talk to your audience. Other interactive marketing to consider: mobile websites, online surveys, QR codes, e-commerce, and email marketing.

Is your website interactive? This is assuming that you have a website, if not, we really need to talk. Once upon a time, when building a brand, we advertisers typically created for our clients corporate brochures. For most companies, websites quickly replaced the need for a corporate brochure. And yes, a website with some company history and information about your products and services can suffice, but these days websites have become so much more. Link to your social media and professional organizations. Blog and ask for customer feedback. Post a video on your home page to excite visitors about your brand. Add a QR code with a special promotion. Maximize your SEO!

Are your marketing initiatives being shared? Do associates share your online articles, facebook posts, or website with others? We live in a communication era where information is shared freely and at the most unexpected times. Creating buzz around your brand can be a great way for a small business to make the most of their marketing dollars, and viral tools can accelerate the process. It’s not all about digital media though. Create a direct mail piece that can be used as a professional reference guide. Give out promotional products that are fashionable and functional. Host an event where your name and logo are displayed on marketing and event materials; giving you the opportunity to reach a whole new audience. Whichever media direction you choose, staying top-of-mind is key to gaining brand loyalty.

Would you invest in your brand? It’s this simple… take an objective look at your brand. Remember, image is perception. Would you buy your products or services?

If it looks as though your brand image could use some help, reach out to Amaniac Design. We’d love to discuss your brand image and how we can help.

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