Providing top-notch services or products is only one part of business success. Even if you’re the best in your field, inferior branding can stop you from reaching your full potential by cutting into your profits and preventing your customer base from growing.
People oftentimes think of branding as slogans, logos, and packaging, the components that potential customers see and recognize. However, branding is much broader than that. Your branding is, potentially, everything and everyone in your business that the public can see, from yourself to your social media accounts. If these components present unclear or inconsistent messaging, your branding may be suffering.
It can be challenging to notice brand design problems, but the following signs are good indicators that you should reach out to a brand consultant like Seedling Digital to reassess.
1. You Can’t Describe Your Purpose Succinctly
In many respects, your brand is a lot like a biography. Your branding should communicate clearly what your values and purpose are. This is as true for you as an individual as it is for small business branding.
In the digital age, a customer’s attention can be very short and pulled in countless directions. Approach communicating your message as though you only have a few moments to do so. If you can’t distill your core values in a few sentences, consider refining it further.
2. Your Message is Confusing or Unclear
Earlier, we mentioned that the public might see everything you offer as part of your brand. Even if you consider just the elements you intend to use for marketing (like web presence, logo design, packaging, and advertising), there are many different avenues to convey your brand’s message.
A common mistake is to treat each of these elements differently, allowing them to portray different or conflicting messages instead of reinforcing the core values that your brand represents. Consistency is key to building the familiarity that creates recognition. Try to focus all of your messaging on crucial points rather than treating each component differently.
3. You Aren’t Reaching Your Intended Audience
When customers reach out to you, are they part of the demographics you’re trying to target? If the majority aren’t, where are you going wrong with your targeting?
In website design and marketing, the value of using the right SEO (search engine optimization) keywords to connect with customers gets emphasized. However, that’s only one piece of a larger puzzle. SEO alone won’t land you the customers you want if they look at your web presence and don’t understand what value you offer them. Similarly, people outside of your intended demographic may be misunderstanding your messaging.
SEO only works if what you communicate is clear and easily understood. Remove as much ambiguity as you can from your branding, and you’ll have an easier time reaching the customers you want.
4. Your Customers Aren’t Building A Community
Communicating with your audience is vital to maintaining a place in the market. Newsletters, even if they’re just brief updates, are an excellent way to keep them informed. However, if your branding cultivates a relationship with your customers instead of just selling them a product, they may feel motivated to spread your brand.
Modern customers make purchases with higher emotional investment than customers of the past. Some see what they purchase as an extension of themselves and choose to spend their money only on what reflects their values. When their choice of brand becomes a reflection of what they hold important, they’ll promote it to friends, neighbors, and co-workers.
For this to happen, your branding doesn’t need to include a call to action, but it should create a sense of “oneness” and community focusing on shared ideals and goals. This sense of community is seen in every sector and goes a long way in not only finding the right customers but keeping them engaged.
5. Your Branding Has No Impact
Knowing what to communicate and who to communicate it to are essential aspects of getting a brand across. However, if it doesn’t leave a lasting impression, it will fail to get a hold in the marketplace.
The memorable aspects of branding are often creative endeavors. It’s tempting to take on everything by yourself, especially with modern platforms making things like website design and graphic design seem easy. Still, the reality is a lot of thought and skill goes into creating something memorable, even with seemingly inconsequential things like copy or packaging. If you aren’t an expert, outsource to someone with the experience needed to combine powerful creativity with your meaningful messaging.
Seedling Digital Can Help
Having a powerful brand does not automatically happen with powerful marketing. It happens after you’ve fully researched and engaged with your target audience.
Marketing merely helps you align your brand with your audience’s needs and desires. Ultimately, though, branding happens when you successfully connect with the people you want to reach — and give them a meaningful, valuable experience.
The good news is that this isn’t something you have to manage all on your own.
If you own a small business and you are looking to expand your brand and make it more recognizable, desirable, and prestigious, Seedling Digital is ready to help. Our process is designed to dig into the heart of your offering and develop a brand suite that lands with your target market, builds trust with your dream clients, and represents your business in the best light. To get started, contact us today!