Branding: The Bad and The Good
Creating a strong brand for your company is so important. It tells your customers and prospects what you stand for and who you are. It gives you a chance to differentiate yourself from your competition. So many companies fall into some common traps with their branding.
First, fix any issues…
Look at your website, your pamphlets, and at what your salespeople are saying to prospects. Is it a consistent message? Does your website contradict what you are telling people over the phone? Be wary of these hypocrisies, even if they seem small, because someone new to your business views these discrepancies as inconsistent, confused and it looks like you don’t know what you are doing!
Too Much Information:
On the flip side, in an effort to seem competent, many companies flood people with information. Long paragraphs, unnecessary details, technical specifics and more can cloud your prospects mind and get in the way of your main message. Keep your branding short and simple and leave the details for your sales staff to explain.
Another common pitfall is not staying on top of your marketing efforts. Did you make a big push in 2016 but nothing since? Does your website reference statistics from 5 years ago or an award you won a decade ago? These accolades are real, but customers may be left wondering, what is going on with them now? Designate a specific person to go through your material and update outdated information.
Then, refresh your brand…
Once you’ve cleaned up these pitfalls it’s time to refresh your look. It’s important to look around at other companies you feel drawn to and really dive into what it is about their look, their content and their marketing that you like. From there, you can build a base of what you need to create for your own business.
Here are some important definitions to remember when you are looking at other companies and their brands:
Emulate means "to try to be as good or successful as."
Imitate means "to copy or fashion oneself after."
When searching for inspiration for your branding, be sure to EMULATE. Take a feature about a brand you like and think - how can I do this in my own way? What can I highlight to get a similar effect? Branding must be simple and to the point - and also a true reflection of your company and what you value.
Consider trying out different methods and presenting them to your employees. Ask, which of these reflects who we are? You’ll quickly get a good feel of whether the culture you are trying to create is coming through or not!
Take a few minutes this month to look at your branding and be sure you are coming across the way you want to - a good first impression can go a long way.