Here’s the scenario — you’ve worked really hard on your products or services and you know you can help people. You’ve got value to give and just need the right clients to find you. Yet… no one seems interested and you’re having trouble making a sale at all.
So, it seems like your brand isn’t working. Why not? And how can you fix it?
Okay, here are 5 potential brand-related problem areas you can look at.
1. Your brand is borrowing too heavily from other brands
To stand out, you need to be different. While it’s only natural to check out the competition and perhaps be a little inspired by the way they do things (especially if they’re doing well), you have to make sure that you’re not turning your business into a carbon copy of something that already exists. Your brand won’t work for your business if it’s not actually your brand.
Now, it can be really hard to intentionally step away from the direction everyone else is going in. If other businesses are all doing something a certain way, it’s probably because it works. But if you follow the herd, you’ll never be able to create unique value.
Finding ways to stand out is not without its risks, which is why it can be so scary. You might not succeed with every attempt to break the mould. But when you do, you might just strike gold.
2. Your logo/brand identity was created without a strategy
Just because you have a nice logo, doesn’t mean you have a strong brand. At the end of the day, your logo is just a mark. On its own, it’s not adding a whole lot of value.
Your logo, along with the rest of your brand identity, should instead be created to support your overall brand strategy. And what is brand strategy and what does it involve? Some of the main points are covered by the next few points! They include knowing your brand goal and who your ideal customers are, as well as the foundational building blocks of your brand, like your purpose and values.
Without a message and meaning behind them, it won’t matter how beautiful your brand identity looks — it’ll just be decoration. What you want is an identity that helps you tell the story of your brand and communicate to the people who matter. It’s only by having a strategy in place that you can be sure your logo, colours and font selections are helping or hindering your cause.
3. You don’t have a brand goal
What are you trying to achieve with your brand?
It’s important to have a brand goal so that you know what you’re ultimately working towards. Having a goal gives you a way to narrow your branding efforts. It provides direction and clarity about what your next tactic should be.
As a business owner, even if there’s no client work to do there’s still going to be 101 tasks on your list. A brand goal helps you filter out the things that are most important. It makes it easier to see which tasks will actually bring you closer to that ideal end game.
So, define what your brand goal is and then work out what steps you can take to bring that goal closer.
4. You haven’t worked out your purpose and values
Why does your business exist, and what does it stand for?
To gain interest and build a community, you’ve got to have something worthwhile to say. Build a message or story around what you do and the reasons you do it.
Consumers make purchases based on emotion, more than on logic. They buy things to make statements about themselves, rather than because of the product or service alone. If you want people to buy something from you, you first have to make it clear what kind of statement your brand would make.
5. Your brand isn’t client-centric
Without clients, you won’t even have a business, so put them at the centre of everything you do. Niche down on a specific audience and learn everything you can about them. What are their pain points? How do they make decisions? What is most important to them?
Ensure that the tactics and strategies you implement in your business are based on what you know is right for them, instead of being based on personal preferences or assumptions. Ask questions and collect feedback. Don’t just connect with your people — have a conversation.
Related post: 5 steps to creating a client-centric brand
The quality of your offerings are important, but don’t underestimate the power of good branding. Building your brand is an on-going process that should always be at the forefront of your business strategy. I hope the 5 areas mentioned above gave you a good starting point if your brand isn’t working, and gave you some ideas of how you can make it stronger.
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