So you want to grow your brand? That’s not such a difficult leap. Maybe you’ve been struggling lately and are unsure of what’s wrong. It seems like some organizations do everything right while others flounder.
Aside from the business-typical answers — make smart financial decisions, nurture the right talent, plan ahead, hire effective leadership — success comes from a healthy brand. Healthy inside and out.
Here at dRC we specialize in making new brands healthy and existing brands healthier. Here are a few tips about how to grow your brand in just a couple leaps and maybe a bound or two.
Objectively look at your brand. If you’re dissatisfied with your logo, invest in fixing it
By invest, we don’t mean a $59 stock logo you get online, because a thousand other companies will have the same one (not to mention they’re usually terrible). Your logo is the visual representation of your company. As proven through many years of research, your logo is an extremely valuable brand asset. Usually it’s your most valuable asset. In our experience, it is often a disregarded and poorly treated asset, because many companies cut corners with their logo and brand identity in general.
It’s like if the accountants can’t see an almost immediate ROI, it’s not a good investment. Except it’s always good.
Ask yourself a few important questions: At small sizes, can I read every word in my logo? Does my logo represent something meaningful about my organization? Is my logo memorable? Do my customers and future customers recognize it right away? Does the staff feel anything when they see our logo? Do they think anything? Does my logo reflect the level of business/service my organization provides? Do I love my logo?
If you answered no to any of these questions, your identity needs help. Maybe it’s a logo refresh (a face-lift for logos), or maybe you need a complete redesign. Whatever it means, invest the second time around and don’t cut corners.
Get with the times: Part I
It’s 2016. I know many of you STILL think that social media is a waste of time. Well, you’re wrong, and it’s affecting your business. So many buying decisions start with research. Where does that research happen? On the internet, a great place to grow your brand.
Word of mouth is believed, even online. And the most effective way to get a conversation happening with and about your brand is to enable people to do it easily. This means being on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. Every day new social sites pop up or gain popularity (Snapchat, Vine, Perisocpe), while others become irrelevant (think MySpace). This is because people love to consume content, they like talking to brands, and they like having a voice. These new social platforms make it easier.
• Get with the times: Part II
Now take out your smart phone. Go to your browser, type your URL, and take a nice, long look. The first thing you should ask yourself is, “Is my site mobile responsive?” If not, immediately look into a site redesign.
If it is, ask yourself, “Can I easily navigate my site on mobile? Can I easily find the information I think people will want? Is this a clear, understandable view of my organization?”
More people surf the web on mobile devices and tablets than they do on desktop computers. If your site isn’t responsive and functional you are light years behind your competitors. If information is hard to find on your site, people will just give up and look for it on a site that is easier to navigate. Your website and your social media together form your digital presence. Neglect it at your peril.
Take some time to self-evaluate. Think about your company and ask yourself what you stand for to your customers. Look three, five, ten, even twenty years into the future and ask yourself what you see for your organization. Ask yourself what your organization’s mission is, and if it’s immediately relevant to what your customers want, now and in a few years.
Then ask your employees the same things. Their answers might surprise you. Doing these exercises often brings clarity to a brand and reminds us why we do what we do, and who we do it for.
Set realistic goals
So maybe you’ve admitted to yourself that you are breaking some brand commandments. What are you going to do?
Tackle your issues one at a time; delegate responsibility; and come up with a strategic plan for the future. Ever try to put Ikea furniture together without the directions? It’s not going to happen. If you don’t know what you need to do to fix a problem you know you have, seek help from experts that can provide you with some directions. Strategic directions.
Ask for professional help. Because a healthy brand will set you apart from your competitors who don’t have one. Investing in a healthy brand will provide a long-term return on a relatively small investment, and it will become evident over time.