No brand is perfect. Even the most tailored, targeted and well-thought-out brand has hurdles once in a while – especially as the industry and marketplace change.
But the key to being a successful brand? It’s overcoming these challenges with poise and grace – fighting through them, coming up with a creative solution and rising to the top once again.
Has your brand had some hurdles to jump lately? If so, you’re not alone. Here are some of the most common branding issues we’ve seen with our clients, as well as how to solve them.
No accountability or metrics.
This is a big one. How are you supposed to know your strategies are working if you’re not measuring them? Better yet, how are you supposed to improve those strategies (and your results) if you don’t know what’s working and what’s not?
Metrics are crucial to a well-tuned brand, and if you’re not monitoring them at every turn, you’re losing out. Work with your sales team, web developers and managers in each department to determine appropriate KPIs for each area of your business. Then, create a schedule for gathering these metrics, analyzing them and responding to them. This not only holds your team accountable for your organization’s success, it inspires them to constantly improve and keep getting better.
Being reactive over proactive.
It’s not enough to simple react to situations in the marketplace. If you want your brand to see success, being proactive is a must. That means planning ahead, knowing what’s coming down the pipeline and studying up on industry changes and trends you’ll need to be prepared for. Just reacting to changing circumstances won’t win you any clout; in fact, it may make you look outdated and behind the times.
Create an infrastructure around planning, researching and analyzing your space, and schedule regular meetings with playmakers in your organization. Make sure you’re ahead of the game, not constantly lagging behind it.
No unique niche or subcategory.
In order to truly be a success, a brand needs to have its own unique niche or subcategory within its industry. This doesn’t necessarily have to be a new product or service, but just something that makes it stand out from other competitors in the space. Let’s take a bike manufacturer, for example. Rather than simply “selling bikes,” as every other bike manufacturer does, an organization could pivot their brand and tailor their products, services and marketing strategies toward a specific niche – like commuters looking to cut down on their environmental impact.
By carving out this unique subcategory, they could narrow down their audience, better tailor their products and strategies and, subsequently, cut down on their competition. That’s success in every sense of the word!
A lack of consistency within the organization.
Having a consistent brand, logo and color scheme on your website isn’t what I’m talking about here. What I’m referring to is consistency within your organization – particularly your organization’s employees. In order for a brand to be truly consistent, each and every staff member needs to intimately understand the company’s values, mission and goals. Then they need to translate those into their own work, whether that may be sales, marketing, production, design or even just customer service. All the moving parts must be working toward the same goal, and this requires deep understanding of the brand companywide.
Marketplace apathy or irrelevance.
If customers aren’t excited about your brand, then you’ve got a problem. I’m not saying the whole world has to think you’re great, but if even your existing customers could take or leave you, or worse, and they could get the same services/products somewhere else, then you’re in trouble.
Apathy is a real brand killer, and if you’re experiencing it, you need to find a way to make your organization relevant again. Take a step back and analyze your audience. What do they need and want? What problems do they face? What holes exist in your industry that competitors don’t provide? What current trends or news items are important to them? Use this data to make small internal changes until you see results.
Just a name and logo.
Branding isn’t just your organization’s name, motto and logo, and if you think it is, you’re definitely doing it wrong. True branding is a set of values – an organization’s personality, voice and, as intangible as it is, its “feel.” These things need to show through in your name and logo, of course, but they also need to come through in everything else you do. That means your social media posts, your blogs, your ads, your customer service emails and every touchpoint you have with your customers.
Your brand personality needs to permeate all that you do, and it’s only through this consistency that you’ll build up loyal, repeat customers who are willing to refer you and promote your brand.
We’ve seen these branding challenges time and time again. If you think your brand may be facing one of them, contact the Haley Brand Intelligence team today. We can help get your brand back on track in no time.