We’ve all been there, our revenue is not as high as we might expect and yet we have that nagging feeling that if we change some words on our site, our colours or logo, we might improve our on-site conversion.
But here’s something.
Just like you don’t automatically qualify as a “successful business owner” just because you’re able to rent out your house on Airbnb for the weekend, a strong brand isn’t just about new colours or a younger-looking logo.
Read on and get clear about what is branding and how it can help you boost your sales, and drill into your niche for even more profitability.
We are all Branded
Surprise! We all have a brand, that’s not the magic question. The question is: is it the brand that you want, or is it the brand that your customers want?
Branding is the process of creating an association between your business activities or your company with emotions, ideas or concepts.
Your branding or rebranding exercise is complete only when your specific target market associates your business activities with a specific set of emotions.
Brands are Multifaceted
A brand is very much like the reputation of a person – it can work for or against a person. It exists in the minds of others and it’s not that easy to change once it’s set in.
Let’s say you were originally a really serious company selling spectacles. You were all about clarity and the technology behind your lenses. Everything was prim and proper.
Then all of a sudden you rebranded into this cheeky brand that’s all about fun, just because you wanted to target the Gen Z crowd.
Your customers are going to be confused, to say the least.
You see, a brand exists to assist in the decision-making process of our target customers. Think of it as a short-circuiting device.
In engineering speak, where is this circuit sending the current?
In branding speak, what are you trying to help customers feel or think about when they come in contact with your brand?
You cannot simply change your shirt and expect everyone to think that you are now a successful business person, nor can you simply take a picture in front of a big house and proclaim to the world that you are on team hustle247.
Doesn’t really work that way, right?
Similarly, a logo change or even a website revamp can be… well, useless… if you are not clear about your intent for your brand.
Because there isn’t really one thing to do when rebranding, there are many things to do at specific times and over time.
Branding and Rebranding are possible
Are you prepared to be consistent with the content you put out, the tone of your communications, the quality of your customer support and even with your free gifts?
If you’re willing to take on this challenge, congratulations, branding and rebranding are possible for your business.
The truth is that we are all consistent and so are our brands.
Our customers look at our lowest points (think about mistakes your brand makes) and conclude those points as your brand.
For example, if you ship products which are faulty, well, your brand is one that is of low quality. But if you have exceptional customer recovery that goes way beyond their expectations, now you have a chance.
Decide that you are willing to be consistent according to a standard before you see out rebranding strategies.
Intention before Strategy
Understand that your brand can stand for sustainability or luxury, quality of life or living in the moment.
Different emotions, ideas or concepts can support your business objectives in very specific ways.
But it’s not a sales tactic to implement that can suddenly result in a spike in sales. A strong brand is one that garners a following and community of people who share a belief in a lifestyle.
Think about Nike’s Just Do It. It’s about starting, not so much about performance.
Adidas’s Impossible Is Nothing. It’s about breaking barriers. This is about performance.
They sell similar products, but the emotion transferred is not.
What you stand for attracts different typse of customers with different mindsets. It’s important because it influences all your marketing down the road.
It all boils down to your business objectives and your intention.
When developing strategies, I have found that Purpose informs Objectives. Objectives inform Strategies.
Strategies are constrained by Resources.
Strategy and Resources influence the Plan, and
Plans are realised by tactics and effort.
To simply follow a strategy without a clear objective or understanding one’s resources really lead one to a rude awakening. Here are some intentions for your rebranding.
- Elevation of Value
- Alignment or Association with other Brands
- Positioning for Resonsence with Specific Target Markets
So when exactly do I need to start thinking about Rebranding?
In the grand scheme of things, branding is a strategy for you to achieve your business goals and objectives.
Start with your objective.
Once you have achieved specific milestones or goals, it’s a good time to rethink your business strategies in light of the new resources available to you.
Perhaps the “young designer” association worked when it came to selling your table lamps, but now that you are introducing a higher-end complete table set up, that association might not serve you as well.
You might be better off rebranding your company to associate itself with established practitioners of various crafts that would require a table and the products you offer.
In short, when you have additional resources, achieved your initial goals or when are changing your business objectives, a review of your company’s brand is in good order.
A rebranding will equip your company with a tool that helps your target market better relate and connect with your products.
When your potential customers sees that when they purchase your hiking boots, they are actually saving the actual forests they will be hiking in later that weekend…
Or when they are purchasing that backpack that actually makes the world a better place by sending orphans to school with the proceeds, the brand association can really go a long way to create buying or purchasing action.
Once your brand has a clear messaging about what it stands for, and you get your marketing done right, your brand will attract its tribe.
And with that comes the community and a ready market that will continue to repurchase what they imagine as self-expression tools from your business.
Their lives will be improved by the simple creature comforts or pleasure your product offers, but more importantly, it helps your target market retell a different story about themselves to themselves and others with your products.
So, if you are thinking about differentiating your business, or associating it with new ideas that would help your target market better understand how they can express themselves better by purchasing your product, it’s time to look at your brand that little bit closer.
Rebranding ≠ More Sales.
But a strong brand = easier sales.