How long has it been since your brand had a checkup? When was the last time you put on your official-issue marketing lab coat and gave your brand a full-scale physical — from top to bottom?
If it’s been a while, you may be in for a surprise. Symptoms like low energy, loss of interest, and lack of focus may indicate a serious marketing malady. Forgive us for being the bearer of bad news, but your brand may have simply gone bland.
See if the following scenario sounds familiar: Your customers are no longer as excited about your company or its products. Your sales have gradually become sluggish. Your marketing efforts haven’t been as consistent or on-target as you’d like. If your brand fits this profile, it’s time for an injection of new ideas.
The bland brand cure
Look in the mirror. Appearances count. Many experts define the word “brand” as “the face your company presents to the world.” See if it’s time for a few nips and tucks — or perhaps even a major facelift. Though your brand is much more than your logo or visual system, your “look” is a vitally important asset. Putting your best face forward for customers means looking fresh and up-to-date.
Do a pulse check. Do you have your finger on the pulse of what’s valuable to potential buyers? Customers shouldn’t feel that your product or service is a commodity. Stress the unique value of what you provide — making it easy for customers to choose you over the competition.
Check your reflexes. Can customers automatically identify who you are? Your brand’s visual identity must be completely distinct and totally memorable. Likewise, customer benefits must be clearly articulated and uniquely your own. The simpler the message and visuals, the greater the chance you’ll be recognized and remembered.
Follow a regimen. Whatever you do, don’t be boring (that’s what made you “bland” in the first place!). Be creative, but make sure you are communicating simple, consistent messages about your brand and its value. Consistency reassures your customers, builds trust, and fosters loyalty.
Embarking on a re-branding strategy every two years can confuse your audience and show them your organization is constantly in a state of flux. If your company’s core values shift so often, how can customers establish a long-standing relationship with your brand?
Measure your mood. Make people feel good about your brand. Tap genuine emotions in advertising or promotions. Don’t just create an image that is sincere, friendly, and approachable — strive to embody these attributes. Connect emotionally, and you’ve earned a customer.
Let the healing begin
Your brand has significant and tangible commercial value. So it’s absolutely essential that you keep it healthy and thriving.
An ailing brand is a major roadblock to your company’s future success. Left untreated, a bland brand can potentially deprive you of greater market share, higher margins, and a stronger presence in the marketplace. It can also hinder your expansion into new markets and make your company less attractive to talented executives and employees.
Whether you sell products, services, ideas, or experiences, your brand drives revenue and determines growth.
Whether you work with customers, clients, users, students, members, or visitors, your brand determines your success.
So how healthy is your brand? Maybe it’s time to consult a specialist. And let the healing begin.