The keystones to building a business that can stand the test of time is creating a brand that people love and have a great buying relationship with. The strength of a brand can be found in its ability to create truly great products and seamlessly connect and communicate with its audience. Brands can start to struggle when they fail to evolve with industry trends and customer needs, or they react too quickly and make hasty decisions individually. Addressing those gaps early on is important to ensure business continuity. Below are four red flags that might signify that your brand is struggling to be relevant.
1. Brand Essence is Confusing
If you can’t quickly and efficiently state what your brand stands for then you have a problem. For example, Amazon is focused on convenience, Walmart on affordable products, Whole Foods on organic food and Starbucks on exceptional coffee. If you don’t know what your brand essence is (i.e. single intangible attribute), or senior management can’t agree on it, then it’s next to impossible to communicate your competitive differentiator to potential customers.
2. Mixed Messages
Are all your marketing and brand platforms communicating the same thing? Do they have the same look and feel? If going to your organization’s website is a different experience than going to your Instagram account that is a clear sign that your brand needs to be realigned. Each platform is used for a different purpose, but they all need to communicate the same brand messages and support the same type of design and imagery.
3. Your Colors Don’t Represent Your Identity
I once had a client that wanted to use cotton candy pink as the main color for a law firm’s brand because it was her favorite color. There isn’t anything wrong with cotton candy pink, however, it is not a color that typically instills confidence in people looking for some legal help to settle some serious issues. Colors greatly affect people’s emotional reaction to a brand and its products or services. It’s been proven that color influences 60 to 80 percent of purchasing decisions. What does your brand color palette say about you?
4. You DIYed EVERYTHING
Let’s be real here. You are probably really good at creating the product or service that your brand was created to sell. But are you good at building a website, designing a logo, writing marketing content or coordinating print jobs? Probably not! Maybe you might save a few dollars by trying to do it all but in the end your brand is going to be more organized, clearer and targeted if you work with professionals that have the expertise and the time to do it right.
Brand misalignment happens to every business at some point. It isn’t a permanent state of being and can be corrected. The important thing is to be aware of it and take the proper steps to correct it.