Your brand has changed – find out what you need to do to save it
Many business owners call their company their baby, yet they never buy it new shoes. Just as kids quickly grow out of their toys and clothes in the early years, businesses grow and change too and can benefit from remarketing, updated branding and a new direction. Here are 6 questions to ask yourself to find out how much your brand has change and what you need to do to save it from stagnating.
Does your business name match what you do?
The Carphone Warehouse has outlasted car phones by about 2 decades so far, but they’re the exception rather than the rule. If you started out as ‘Joe’s Plumbing Supplies’, but now sell a mix of plumbing, electrical and carpentry tools, a simple change to ‘Joe’s Plumbing and Building Supplies’ might bring in lots more customers.
When did you last update your business plan?
Many business owners only write a business plan when they need to prove to the bank that their ideas are financially sound. However, updating your business plan can help you reassess the state of your company and make sure you’re heading in the direction you want to go. As your client base grows and shifts, you may find that you’re dedicating effort and resources to channels that just aren’t providing enough benefit.
Has the market got more crowded?
Maybe when you started out you were one of just a handful of people selling spinning supplies in Hampshire or ski gear in Essex, but now competition has increased. A brand shift, updating your marketing strategy or remarketing can all help you stand out in a crowd. This can be particularly necessary if later adopters have copied your great ideas, blurring the distinctions between your brands.
Are your sales disappointing?
Perhaps they’re still increasing, but not as fast as you hoped, perhaps they’re actually flagging or you’re even losing money. Disappointing sales results can be a sign that your brand has – or needs to – shift to better capture the market you’re actually working in. This is particularly common for young businesses as it’s very normal to start a business with a particular plan or goal in mind and only later realise that the real opportunity lies in a different direction. If your branding hasn’t been adapted to match your new direction, it will eventually become a deadweight.
Has your market experienced a major disruption?
Modern technologies have caused seismic shifts in fields from taxi driving to architecture and entire industries have been replaced by computers. As an example, while many of us will have had parents or grandparents who worked as draughtsmen (replaced by CAD, computer aided design), typists (replaced by word processing software) and even human computers (replaced by mechanical adding machines and eventually spreadsheet software), they’re not jobs our kids will do. If your industry is in the middle of a major or minor disruption, then your branding and market positioning is essential. Remarketing at this critical time may save your business.
Are you tired of your branding materials?
Fed up with your logo and think your Twitter name is dumb? While it’s tempting to launch a refresh because you (or your marketing team) want a more on-trend, up-to-date logo and a fresh brand identity to match, it’s essential that you assess whether your existing marketing materials are actually holding you back before beginning remarketing. While it’s tempting to start from scratch, this can confuse existing customers who wind up shopping elsewhere, losing you sales. In many cases, where a logo or brand looks out of date, a simple tweak (such as updating the font) can update it without costing you customers.