Is it time to freshen up your brand?
Good branding––the overall voice, tone and visual identity of your company––helps your business establish a reputation of consistency and reliability, which is key to building a following of loyal customers. Unfortunately, brands get stale. When your look gets dusty or your tone goes flat—it’s probably time for a rebrand.
We’ve outlined common areas of branding that can deteriorate with age, so ask yourself these seven questions to see if your brand has lost its luster.
1. Who is your target audience?
First things first, who are you trying to reach? You should be able to get into the mindset of your ideal customer, getting specific about who they are and what they do. Is your target male or female? How old are they? Where do they live?
From there, think about their psychographics. What are your customers’ goals and aspirations? What are their likes and dislikes? How do they consume media? Are they more carefree or Type A? Understanding what makes your ideal customer tick gives you an advantage as you market your services to them.
2. Do you know how to talk about your business?
A boilerplate is a short paragraph that clearly and concisely describes who you are, what you do and why readers should care. A boilerplate is the thesis of your brand—it should state all relevant information such as your start date, company size, target audience and more. It should also define your key messaging––like how you refer to your products or audience members––and be used to help guide further content creation.
Your boilerplate should describe your brand’s big picture and future—answering the who, what and why of your brand in a language that’s appropriate for your internal and external audiences. Are you comfortable with a journalist using your boilerplate in an article about your company? Does it still describe your brand as well as it did the day it was written?
3. Do you like how your brand feels?
Your brand’s unique voice and tone will separate you from the competition and make your brand more personal and less detached. The difference between the two is that voice relates to word choice and tone describes your brand’s attitude, but the two are closely intertwined. Take your email greeting for example. Are you the type of brand that says, “Hey there!” or, “Dear Valued Customer”?
Describe your brand in three to five adjectives. Are those the adjectives you want to represent your brand? For example, we at Yakkety Yak are down-to-earth thought leaders who are approachable experts. Our content and messaging are tailored to fit into our voice and tone to serve those adjectives.
4. Do you have a consistent look?
Logos are one of the most crucial pieces of your brand identity, so it plays a large role in your brand’s success. Your audience should be able to immediately recognize your brand from your logo alone. Memorable logos are typically simple, clean and strike a balance between innovative and classic design elements. Logos should scale to fit anywhere and make sense for your audience. Does your logo look just as good on your website as it does on a sign, T-shirt or sticker?
To keep it uniform, you should develop brand guidelines. Your brand guidelines are a set of rules that define the consistent language and visuals your brand relies on. Are your guidelines specific, easy-to-understand and followed? The guidelines should include how and when to use your brand visuals, addressing elements like colors, imagery, typography, styles and more. Every aspect of your brand should be carefully thought out and included in your brand guidelines.
5. Are you satisfied with your online presence?
There are two facets of branding on social media. The first is consistency, which helps your audience build trust in your brand. Every post’s caption and image should be aligned with your brand. The voice, tone and aesthetic should be consistent so that your audience knows what to expect.
Secondly, your presence should be authentic and feel like a natural fit with your brand. It would be disingenuous of every brand to have the same playful and sarcastic tone as Wendy’s Twitter account. The way you talk to your audience has to align with who you are as a company. Genuine conversation is the name of the social game.
6. How often do you optimize your brand?
Tracking your KPIs (key performance indicators) will show how different pieces of communication are working. When you pull data, you should be thinking about your short-term and long-term goals. For example, if you’re just starting out, you may want to keep an eye on site traffic and social media engagement.
How often do you check your performance? Weekly, biweekly, daily? You should have access to graphics that clearly display your data so you can easily track progress over time. When you identify trends, you need to be optimizing your brand to fit your audience’s needs. Run the numbers to see where there’s room for improvement in your branding.
If you’re ready for a rebrand and don’t know where to start, drop us a line and we’ll help you get started!