Kristin Pruis • May 21, 2015
Feeling overwhelmed or like something’s amiss with your business, but just can’t put your finger on it? Between all your day-to-day responsibilities, creating and running a business can be tough.
Sometimes, it can be difficult to take a step back and look at things from an objective point of view. However, if you’re noticing that you just are seeing the results you want or are having trouble connecting to your customers, you might just be sabotaging your brand. Read on to discover the 3 hidden ways you could be sabotaging your brand.
1. Your Brand is… Non-Existent.
As often seen on one of my favorite shows, Shark Tank, many entrepreneurs and small business owners believe that just because they have a business or a product to sell, that they automatically also have a brand. Brands take time and devotion to craft and are not simply born as a result of you selling your product or service.
All successful brands should develop from a mission and a unique point of view. From there, other brand components are developed to visually articulate what these things mean and how it benefits your customers. If you don’t have an established brand, you are most definitely sabotaging your business.
Ask yourself these questions to determine if you brand is non-existent:
- Do I have something truly unique to say and offer my customers?
- Do I know where my business is headed and what I want to achieve?
- Do I represent my business professionally and consistently?
If you answered ‘no’ to any of these questions, or even ‘I’m not sure’, your brand might not be thoroughly developed enough yet, which can be a sabotage in itself.
2. Your Brand is… Half-Baked.
Half-baked might be a delicious strategy for achieving ooey gooey cookies during your next baking venture, but when it comes to your brand, you’re headed down a road for disaster. Another way to phrase this might be that your brand is sending mixed messages.
Let’s say you’ve taken the time to hire a graphic designer and let them work their magic on your next big campaign and it looks awesome! The problem is the rest of your brand still looks like a DIY project gone horribly wrong. Not only does this create confusion about what your brand stands for, it can be hard for your audience to recognize it from application to application.
If your audience doesn’t know who you are or what you stand for, then are you really creating a business you’re proud to stand behind? If you recognize the value and benefits of hiring a designer to help you with your brand, make sure you take the time to invest and get it right. Sometimes it can be tempting to put a bandaid on a broken leg, so to speak, but does this mean the problem is really solved?
Ask yourself these questions to determine if you brand is half-baked:
- Do all my marketing communications and visuals look cohesive?
- Is there a clear, relevant message I am sending?
- Does my audience recognize and value my brand?
If you answered ‘no’ to any of these questions, or even ‘I’m not sure’, you might have a half-baked brand.
3. Your Brand is… All About You.
It can be hard for small business owners to remove themselves from their business brand, especially if your business only consists of you or a few employees. The key thing to remember is that your business was not created to serve you, it was created to serve your customers. If you are looking for an interest to serve your own needs, you might be looking for a hobby instead of a business.
When you are emotionally invested in your business, it can be tricky to identify whether your business is self-centered. No doubt, you have the best of intentions and want to see your business thrive, but you might just be the very thing holding it back. So, what’s the big deal? If your brand is all about you, it can be hard to reach your customers and create the relationships needed to sustain brand loyalty.
Ask yourself these questions to determine if you brand is all about you:
- Do I make brand decisions based on relevant audience research (or my own personal preferences)?
- Do I communicate to my audience starting with the benefits of what they’ll receive (or the features of what I provide)?
- Is my audience engaged in my brand and the content that I publish?
If you answered ‘no’ to any of these questions, or even ‘I’m not sure’, your brand might be all about you.
A great first step to fixing your brand in all of the above scenarios is to seek some outside perspective. Sometimes we become so tied to our own ideas, it’s difficult to see how things could be improved. Your brand may benefit from a fresh start or a total makeover. A brand professional can help you develop or refine everything from your mission, to your messaging, to your brand colors and logo. Taking advice from someone else about your business can be a hard pill to swallow, but when you trust the expertise of the professional you’re working with, great things (and great businesses) can happen!
Does your business brand need a refresh or a total makeover? Talk to K Design Co. today about getting your brand on the right track to success.