Do You Need Branding? Is Now The Best Time To Brand Your Business?
As a small business owner, you wear many hats. You work tirelessly to build a strong customer base, supervise a workforce, and ensure that your finances are in check. Every day you’re making decisions on how your business operates, but with a lack of direction, your brand may get lost along the way. Is not the best time to brand your business to get you back on track? Many business owners don’t realize their brand is falling by the wayside. In recent studies, 95% of businesses say they have a brand already. But, only 25% of these businesses are executing their brand. In fact only 60% of content produced by businesses are consistent with their brand strategy. That means 40% of content produced by businesses doesn’t align with a brand voice … it’s aimless and cheap. When operating your business, keeping your brand’s vision and values in mind will help you execute the brand strategy you need to stay focused and grow.
Why The Brand Strategy Helps You Do Better Business
Say a new bakery, Sweet Fare Bakery, opens up in a perfect Midtown location with plenty of walk-in traffic. While the bakery initially gets a lot of business because of the great location, after a while that steady stream of customers reduces to a slow trickle. The problem? Their brand is inconsistent. On social media they post stock photos of generic bakeries but no photos of their actual shop. Every day their phone greeting is different. Their website uses the company name Sweet Fare Baked Goods but their store sign says Sweet Fare Bakery. Their menu has too many options that change almost daily, and they don’t have a signature product. This bakery needs a branding strategy that highlights their unique qualities. Your brand is the face, the heart and the direction of your company. It’s what your audience resonates with, so if you’ve been neglecting your brand (or haven’t invested in branding at all) you will see the consequences in your bottom line. So the question is not whether you should brand your company, but when.
When Is the Best Time to Brand Your Business?
Your brand strategy should be developed with a clear understanding of your business operations, product road-map, and target audience. So, when is the best time to brand your business? Before you have a product? Before you launch your business? During your first year of business? The truth is, the longer you wait to invest in branding, the more likely you will be looking at a rebrand built from the scraps of your non-brand. If you can brand your business before you launch, then choose that route. It will be the guiding light for the chaos that’s about to ensue
Branding Before You Launch
If you have an industry-disrupting, spectacular business concept but zero idea how to communicate it, then your idea is worthless. Without a clear way to communicate your business, reaching your target audience (i.e. your gold mine) is impossible. Your target audience must understand your product/service and how it improves their lives and solves their problems. You can achieve this by building your brand before you launch. At Bareknuckle, we start branding work with brand messaging. We’ll sit one-on-one and figure out what’s most compelling about your business. Then we’ll give it life: personality, story, integrity, and a rock-solid foundation. This is YOUR brand. Defining your brand is a journey of business self-discovery. It can be difficult, time-consuming and uncomfortable. Taking care of this heavy lifting before you launch builds the rails with which your business will chug forward on. In some cases a company realizes they need a brand a week before they launch, and in this case, it’s STILL worth getting the brand legwork done before you press go.
Branding During Operation (Rebranding)
Ever pass by a mirror and not recognize yourself? Brands are no different. Whether it’s grown too big for its britches, has become tragically unhip, or suffered an earth-shattering publicity incident, every brand will have to redefine itself and find the best time to reband the business. If you don’t address the blows to your brand, it will evolve out of your control, and your business operation will potentially grow apart from its brand. That leads to lack of direction and inauthenticity. But even in the clearest signs of a derailed brand, it can be hard to know for sure whether a rebrand should be prioritized.
Are You Ready To Rebrand? Look For These Clues
Too often red flags get lost in the hustle and bustle of workday madness. So, how do you know when it’s time to rebrand your business?
You’re Targeting a New Audience
Today it’s millennials. Tomorrow it’ll be post millennials. There’s always another generation hot on the heels of those who are spending money in the current marketplace. A rebrand allows you to redefine yourself with the goal of reaching these new and untapped audiences. Don’t get your knickers in a twist. Bareknuckle will create a branding plan that will blow your socks off. We’ll figure out what channels work best for your company, whether it’s a simple website, an aesthetically pleasing logo, or a current Google business listing. We’ll make sure that your business connects with the right audience for your brand.
You’ve Outgrown Your Brand
If you’ve outgrown your current brand or need to account for sudden and unexpected gains, you should definitely consider a rebrand. To compete at a higher level with higher-tier brands, it’s often necessary to leave your old brand behind. Bareknuckle will extend a hand and recommend:
- How to trim the fat and refocus
- Where to invest your time and energy first (content strategy, brand strategy, visuals, product positioning, etc.)
- How to transition to a rebrand seamlessly
You’re Embarrassed to Hand Out Your Business Card
Do you cringe a little when you reach for your card, or do you feel like your website should come with a disclaimer about needing an update? It’s definitely time for a rebrand. Bareknuckle will help you think BIG show you the power of brand messaging and visual communication in revamping your brand voice. We’ll help you generate and communicate your brand across any platform that suits you.
Your Brand Is Hard to Explain
Has your business become a hodgepodge of offerings with no unifying brand narrative? If your messaging is making your audience glaze over, it may be time to take a step back to simplify and focus. A complicated brand message includes:
- Too much industry jargon
- Competing brand voices
- Unclear messaging
- Too many stock photos
- Inconsistent promises
Increased complexity means decreased cohesiveness. Bareknuckle will audit your current marketing and make recommendations on how to create a brand language that is right for you.
Customer Always Confuse You With Your Competitors
If you feel like your brand is lost in a sea of marketplace alikeness, why not rock the boat a little? Repositioning and capitalizing on your unique value propositions can make your brand exponentially more visible to consumers searching for unique solutions. Bareknuckle will help you crack that code! We’ll dig deep into your business and figure out what makes you … you.
The Grand Ol’ Takeaway
In an ideal world, a startup will brand their company before they launch. Branding is an essential step in the launch process, and knowing who your business is and what it plans to add to your community will guide its business operations. But an ideal world is hardly the world an entrepreneur operates in. We have worked with many companies who have launched before they’ve branded. It’s possible to brand during operations, since a brand is an organic part of the business and evolves with the business. Technically, your brand builds itself once you open your doors … it just won’t have the polish or purpose when it’s developing on autopilot. That’s where we come in. With the help of a branding specialist team, you can easily streamline your business with your brand. Whether you’re branding before you launch or mid-stride, we offer our outside perspective and expertise to align your business with a brand that represents your best brand-self. Is your business having an identity crisis? Buy us a beer and find out where you stand.