Branding is one of the most important aspects of a business, and often is one of the first large investments a business makes. Here are four distinct signs to watch out for when navigating if it’s the right time to get serious about your branding.
There comes a time when your business starts working. Clients come in, revenue seems to be steady-ish or increasing (yay!) and that version of success you’ve been dreaming about doesn’t seem like it’s a distant, never-achievable goal, but rather something that’s within grasp.
You may even finally feel like you can take a little breath and step back to gather your bearings.
It’s usually around this time that you realize, yes, things are working but not necessarily in the direction that you want. Something feels a little ‘off’ but you can’t quite put your finger on what it is.
Now, I’m a little biased and I do believe most times, when something feels off, it can be directed back to brand. Whether that’s brand strategy, messaging or visuals, there is usually some problem related to the overarching brand – how people think, feel and act in relation to your business.
But how do you know if it really is a brand problem and you need to invest (time, money, resources) in brand support, or something else?
After spending nearly five years in the branding space, I’ve come to realize there are four distinct signs that a business owner can watch out for to help them understand when it’s their right time to invest in branding.
In This Article
>> Why invest in branding at all?
>> When you’re attracting the wrong clients
>> When you’re pivoting your ideal client profile
>> When you’ve outgrown your brand
>> When you don’t have supporting brand documents
>> Rather watch than read?
>> Additional brand resources.
Why invest in branding at all?
As a business owner, there are no shortage of places to invest your time, energy and money. So, why should branding even make the list at all?
In short, when your brand has a clear plan for communication and provides a consistent experience, it will without a doubt support you in reaching your next level of business.
On the flip side, when your brand lacks clarity, you’re making it even harder for your audience to buy from you. Whether that means they aren’t sure of your brand’s personality because your communication style is all over the board or they don’t know what you offer or who it’s for – any confusion puts a barrier up between you and that potential customer.
When you’re attracting the wrong clients
We’ve all had those moments (and if not yet, it’s probably going to happen at some point) when we’re getting consistent clients/work/customers (yay!) but they’re not necessarily the right-for-us clients. We get to a place where of course we’re grateful for the work, however we also want to support the people that we get the best results for.
How brand helps.
Your brand’s strategy is the foundation for communicating with your right people. Usually when the not-great-fits are consistently coming in, there’s a problem with your communication plan. I.e., you’re not clearly communicating who you’re the best fit for.
Brand visuals also play a big role in attracting those right-for-you people. Concepts like color psychology and seasonal brand theory can help enhance your overall brand experience and appeal to a specific type of person.
When you’re pivoting your ideal client profile
Perhaps you’re changing your business model and want to serve an entirely new group of people. Or, you’re experiencing the above (getting not-great-fit clients) and realize that you need to update our ideal client profile. Regardless of the reason, you’re making a big change to your business.
How brand helps.
Because your brand’s strategy is the foundation for how people experience your business, when you make a big update to a foundational element (who you serve) it makes sense to invest time, energy, money, in your overall brand. When you pivot, you want to do so with intention.
The same logic applies to your visuals; because you’re updating a foundational element of your strategy, it will no doubt affect the way your visual brand appears. By utilizing color psychology and seasonal brand theory, you can intentionally craft a brand identity and supporting collateral that attract your new ideal client profile.
When you’ve outgrown your brand
Usually, when we get started with our business, we’re bootstrapping it and there are a lot of uncertainties in terms of what we want our brand to stand for. Well, as you may know, we believe brand clarity comes from action. Given this, there may come a time when you realize you’ve outgrown your brand.
You now have more clarity and realize that your brand strategy and identity don’t align with the business goals you’re working towards.
How brand helps.
When your brand just ‘isn’t feeling right’ it’s unbelievably beneficial to go back to your brand strategy – your foundation for communicating your brand. And, once you align on your brand’s communication plan, you can then create visuals that embody and enhance your desired brand experience.
When you don’t have supporting brand documents
As business owners, there are a lot of things floating around in our brain at any given moment. New marketing ideas, growth plans, course offerings, services – the list goes and on. I also find that a business’s brand tends to be among the ideas, rather than something tangible and on paper.
How brand helps.
This isn’t anything new – when you actually write something down, it becomes real. The same is true for your brand. If you have all the ideas, plans, etc. for your brand floating around in your head rather than in a tangible document, it makes consistent, cohesive communication extra challenging.
And, if you’re planning on bringing on team any time soon, it’s also extra important to document your brand so you can maintain a consistent experience, regardless of who is communicating on your brand’s behalf.
This can look like a brand strategy guide and/or a visual brand style guide. Any document that you (and your team) can use as a reference for consistent and cohesive communication.
The overarching theme here is: if you’re feeling like your brand is holding you back from reaching your next level, it is probably time to invest either your time, energy or money in brand. The benefit is that you’ll have clarity which will support you in showing up consistently and cohesively – two very important pieces that drive our business forward.
Happy branding 🙂
All my best,
Rather watch than read?
Need additional branding resources?
What makes a good brand? This post has everything you need.
Here’s how to simplify the process of your brand strategy and start attracting your ideal clients.
Perform a brand assessment today so you can clarify what’s working for your brand experience.
Seasonal Brand Theory is an easy way to help you identify your brand personality. This post walks you through the process.
Pin for later!