“A Brand is not a product or a promise or a feeling. It’s the sum of all the experiences you have with a company.” -Arim Kassaei
During our Defining Brand series, we uncovered what it looks like to have strong personal, corporate, and authentic business brands. So today I want to dive a little deeper on what happens when your branding is inconsistent.
Let’s review with the basics. Your brand is every touch point of your business.
- Your company name (Does it tell potential clients anything about what your business does?)
- Your logo (Does it speak to what you do or who you are?)
- Your colors (what do they say about you? Do you even like your colors?)
- Your packaging (Does it feel like Wal-Mart, Nordstrom, boutique?)
- Your marketing strategy (are you flyering cars, offering discounts, creating meaningful content online for people to connect with?)
- How you answer your phone (do you have a plan for how you handle phone inquiries?)
- How you answer your email (Does is take you a week to respond to an email or an hour?)
- Your products & services (are they luxury items or necessities? Do you want a high-end feel, all american, boutique?)
- Here’s a big one: your website! (Is your site user friendly? Does it showcase your business at its best? Can your clients get a feel for who you are and what you are about simply by clicking around your site? If not, this is a problem & you are inevitably loosing business)
- Similarly, what about your font choices? Are they consistent across all of your media (social, print, website)?
- SEO (your clients are looking for you! Can they find you online by what you do & not just your company name?)
- How you dress is another important one! Do your clothes align with your brand or work against it?
- Social Media (does your genuine voice shine through? Or, are you a self-promotion machine?)
- What is your brand promise? Do you deliver on your promise?
OK! So, your brand is the whole package. Its what sets you apart from every other photographer, every other designer, every other coach, every other business. Then, what happens when one or several of these elements are out of alignment with your brand? Well, these are what I call “breaches” in your brand.
When people encounter a breach in your brand, they will get confused, pause for a moment, and one of two things is going to happen.
- If they already like you and/or if your branding is mostly in place and this is a small breach, they will keep going.
- They will simply walk away to find someone else who they can more easily understand and relate to.
Obviously, this is NOT what you want to happen. So, how do you avoid this? How do you rest assured knowing that the people who click away are leaving for the right reasons (they are simply not your clients) rather than the wrong ones?
Well, I would start with a quick DIY brand audit by going over the above list of brand touch points & evaluating your brand performance. If you just have a few minor brand elements that you can tweak, great! Get to it! If on the other hand, your answers are all over the board, then it might be time to consider getting some help and objectivity. Or perhaps, rebranding all together might be the right choice.
I know this can all seem kind of daunting, but the honestly, branding is a really fun and creative process! It gives you a chance to start over and steak a claim for your mission and your market! To move forward with purpose, intention, and best of all, a plan!
Stop loosing customers, time, and money! Instead, invest in yourself and your company by building a brand your customers can trust!