It’s very difficult for a small business owner to be subjective about their own brand, particularly if it has never been thought out properly in the first place. Many brands have evolved from something that was only meant to last until ‘I can afford to get it done’.
Maybe you’ve made it through your first couple of difficult start-up years, you’ve established your target markets and secured some clients and now you’re thinking is my brand really working for me? Does it say who I am, what values I have and what I do?
An easy way for you to decide is ask yourself a few simple questions.
1. Has my company evolved and is my brand relevant to where I am now?
When you start a new venture, unless you plan well and have a clear picture in your mind of where you want to be, you can easily stray from the path you should take. Ask yourself: am I where I wanted to be when I started the business, has my company evolved in a different way and do I need to change my brand to reflect this?
2. Do my competitors have better ‘brand quality’ than me?
Now you understand a little more about your marketplace, does your brand make you stand out against your competitors or do you merge into a muddle of similar, nondescript services, each vying for attention but not one saying ‘I’m the one you need. Pick me!’.
Or maybe there is already a comparable rival with a better brand than you who stands head-and-shoulders above the rest purely because they have kept their brand in line with their business?
3. Does my logo work on my business cards and website?
Does your logo look out of place on your smart new website? When you are networking, do you feel a little embarrassed when you hand over your business card to someone (especially in comparison to your competitors)?
4. Will my brand stand the test of time?
Whatever you do, don’t make your brand topical or current for that moment, or clutter it up with lots of unnecessary detail. When you rebrand, look for an image that will last and that can be tweaked along the way but keeps an integrity and evolutionary path that threads itself through your business.
Look at all of the major brands out there and you’ll see most – for example – Apple, Coca-Cola, Boots, Ford etc.– have changed very little over many years, and their brand concept is relatively simple.
They have a recognisable, prestigious look that has evolved with their company. Think this is only for big businesses? Think again. Big businesses grow from small businesses; they haven’t become huge overnight but all have a consistent branding strategy that has carried them through.
Do my bigger competitors have a better brand than me?
Compare your brand against bigger companies than you and ask yourself do I need a refresh to compete with them? They may have more resources, but by carefully picking a good designer, you can give the impression to your potential clients that your company is just as serious and professional as they are.
Who to choose for your rebrand
If you answer ‘Yes’ to any of the questions, it’s time to rebrand. This is not as expensive as you may think, but be careful of the larger agencies who have correspondingly large overheads which they have to pass on to you, the customer.
They sometimes view smaller businesses as a bit of an irritation and often pass your work onto a junior designer. In effect, you’re paying handsomely for the privilege of helping to train someone!
Therefore, for the best value for money, choose a smaller, experienced designer/agency who has been recommended to you personally and that you can trust to recreate your vision in an effective and stylish way.
Think of the potential loss of revenue this is costing you and having a profession brand refresh looks like great value for money.
For more information regarding my rebranding services, contact me today:
Phone: Carl Waine on 07870 566890