It’s 2022, how is your brand doing?
As our society returns to normalcy, we look around and see business as we know it has changed profoundly. In the past two years business owners did what was within reach to survive and keep their companies afloat. Some were forced to reduce inventory, services, or cut staff, while others adapted by adding new products, offering new services, or targeting new audiences.
Does your brand identity no longer accurately reflect who you are and what you do now?
If the reality does not match the promise, your business may be having a brand identity crisis.
There are clear indicators when a brand is not achieving its goals:
- No traction or results even though the business is spending money on marketing.
- Just not getting the sales or the sales pipeline is stalling.
- Unhappy customers and clients.
- Confusion in the marketplace: people don’t know what you do or there is inconsistency in your messaging, visuals or positioning.
Price, how you promote the brand, where you promote it, the types of partners you choose to align yourself with, all of these things say something about your brand; and they all should line up. What is the market seeing that you put out there? Your brand messaging should be uniform and consistent in tone, voice and visuals on every platform you use in order to be most effective.
Inconsistency leads directly to confusion in your value proposition; if potential customers think you do something else or stand for something else, you will never get their business.
Ask the right questions:
The objective of a brand is to communicate its purpose, identity and value in what it is offering. Consumers need to know what differentiates one brand from another. Look at your business and your your brand.
- What has changed in the last two years?
- What can the consumer expect from you in 2022?
- Does your brand’s messaging and visuals reflect this accurately?
Your customers and clients know when you’re being real. They can spot an authentic brand because they have a lifetime of choosing them. As a business you are promising something authentic to the market, both visually and verbally. So when consumers actually do business with you, is their experience different than what your brand promises?
What about positioning? Think about where your brand stands on industry issues. Are you sending mixed messages? Mixed messages are another sign of a brand identity crisis. Customers want to know what you stand for, so take a position and be consistent. This will resonate. People often choose to be loyal to a brand because they share the same values.
If we have learned anything from a deeply polarizing and emotional 2020 and 2021, it’s that there is no going back for brands or consumers anymore; brand choice and personal choice are one in the same. In 2022, if what we see on TV and in magazines is any indicator, everything from buying ordinary shampoo to an expensive luxury vehicle reflects a deeper meaning. Determine if your brand is in line with the values you are putting out into the marketplace. Remember, customer loyalty is the reward for consistent positioning, messaging, and visuals; the most important traits of a successful, authentic brand.
Get your brand up to speed.
Evaluate your brand’s current position in the marketplace:
- What are its strengths and weaknesses?
- How do consumers resonate with what your business values?
- What messages are you sending to them?
- How well does your brand differentiate from the competition?
The key here is reflection, so even a mini-brand audit is extremely effective. The goal is to see where your brand stands today with its messaging and visuals. Is anything missing? Is anything outdated or obsolete? Perhaps the business grew quickly, or changed significantly without the time or resources to put together a well-thought-out brand kit.
A brand kit is the solution to reposition your brand.
When you deliver a cohesive brand experience, people will recognize your business immediately. Visual brand identity is critical to the success of any business; having a brand kit promises that anyone creating content for your business will stay on-brand.
A brand kit is a very helpful way to provide a quick look at the different ways your logo can be used as well as the visual guidelines of your branding elements. A full brand kit with logo variations, corresponding color palette and typography options ensures that anyone within your company, with a design eye or not, can translate your logo and brand identity clearly and consistently. From social media imagery to business cards, the brand guidelines instruct how the brand is presented across all platforms. This consistency of high-quality content creates trust with your audience. They trust that what you deliver is consistent, thoughtful, and reliable and they come back as repeat customers and clients.
A good brand kit can:
- Infuse all your marketing efforts with relevance and vigor
- Separate you from others
- Enable you to reach new customers
- Attract top industry talent
- Allow you to charge more for your products or services
When you reposition your brand and capitalize on your unique value propositions, your brand becomes exponentially more visible to your customers searching for their unique solutions.
Rebrand. Redesign. Remarket.
The degree of change involved in these 3 strategic steps mainly depends on the catalyst driving the need for transformation in your business and what you are hoping to accomplish. This could be anything from a new logo, name, brand style to a new company slogan or redesigned website. This is where a brand strategist comes in. They can guide you through the maze of infinite possibilities, helping determine what will work best visually for your industry and clientele.
Step 1: Rebrand
A complete brand overhaul is not necessarily the best strategy to elevate your brand, but talking through these 3 steps with an experienced professional is. The brand, the business, the company, it’s all linked; and it can get complicated. You might have second thoughts about a lot of things. Having several strategy sessions with a brand strategist is a constructive and practical way to assess the current situation of your brand. Look at this as the opportunity to go deep. Figure out what the next version of your brand is going to be. Take assessment of:
- What you have now to get you where you want to go.
- What needs to change.
If there is work the business has done in the past that can give an advantage to this new brand, figure out what that is. Which assets will carry on and which ones need the upgrade? Focus on 2022, think about your brand values and the results of your competitive analysis. What is your Mission, Vision and Unique Selling Proposition?
The core of your brand identity is found in the answers to these questions. Work through these fundamental details with your brand strategist. They can observe your business and brand for what it is and offer solutions you may have never thought of as you strategize and create a brand kit together.
Step 2: Redesign
Now to get creative. How far do you want to go? Update and modernize your logo or create a brand new one? What about your website? Change the color palette, graphic design…fonts? Just some things to consider and have fun with.
A full brand kit will include:
- Style Guide/Brand Guidelines
- Branded One-sheet
- Social Media Launch Kit
- Social Media Profile Graphics
- Social Media Cover Graphics
- Brand Voice & Copywriting Examples
- Email Signature
- Email Template
- Business Card Design
- Letterhead & Envelope
As you are building your perfect brand identity it can be easy to get overwhelmed, so remember to sit back and listen to the people inside your business, this should be a team effort, hearing out partners, stakeholders and employees. Each contributes to the identity of the business as well your customers and clients. What do they have to say about what differentiates your business from your competitors? All of this goes into the new brand identity. Your rebrand from here on out will line up ideally with the brand values represented in your visual identity, messaging and positioning.
Step 3: Remarket
Your audience has been growing and evolving at the same time as your company, they are ready for you to step into your truth more fully, excited to witness and experience that transformation and growth. It is time to inform and excite your customers about your new and improved brand identity. Inevitably, there will be people who are not ready, so get the ones who are excited on board with the change and allow them to share in the journey with you and your evolution. Explain the upgrades clearly and take down anything from your website that is not useful.
Set an official go live date.
Everything from this day forward will be on-brand and consistent in its visuals, voice, and messaging. Everyone working for the company should have gotten the memo by now. This is an exciting time for the business, but there is still one more, final step in your rebranding journey…Letting the world know.
Don’t forget the last step.
Your brand strategy must include a legitimate SEO plan or it will fall flat in achieving the maximum benefit of the rebrand. To what extent you want to use SEO to further your marketing goals is something your brand strategist will help you figure out. There are many different ways to use SEO, even on a small budget. It is one of the easiest and most effective ways to get consumers to notice your exciting, new entrance into the marketplace; however big or small that may be. Do not doubt the power of a good SEO plan, it is the indispensable last step in the Rebrand > Redesign > Remarket process.
The bottom line.
Brand identity at its core represents the soul of the company. Brand values, where those values are positioned, and brand messaging is the heart of the business. Your identity must resonate with consumers because brand choice and personal choice are one in the same. In 2022, expectations are different, consumers are asking much more of companies. That means your company too.
If your business is floating in the marketplace, your brand identity no longer aligned with who you are and what you do, or there is not much differentiating you from the competition in the minds of customers; it might be time to take the leap. Rebrand > Redesign > Remarket your brand for exponential success. If you would like to talk it out with an experienced brand strategist, give us a call at Pryde Designs. We can get your brand reality to match your brand promise.
Be proud of what you do, be proud of your brand, and stand out in 2022.