When to refresh your brand. That is the question.
Ideally, you want customers to come to you with a clear understanding of what you do. Taking on work that is not in your specialty area can be time-consuming, distracting or simply not possible. On the other hand, losing out on potential customers that are an ideal fit for your work and expertise can be frustrating.
There are many steps along the road from brand development to brand promotion. They include brainstorming, considering your value proposition and examining competitors. As brand marketing begins, there are many areas of execution where your message can be either enhanced or distorted as it is translated into brochures, graphics, copy, designs, etc.
By simply reviewing each of these materials and seeing if they comply with a checklist of brand promotion goals, inconsistencies may pop out. If it’s still unclear why your brand might have gone stale, bring in a third party. Use a brief survey or questionnaire through SurveyMonkey.com or SurveyPool.com.
Ask respondents previously unfamiliar with your brand what they think your organization does. Tell them about your recent brand marketing and ask them their initial gut reactions. Love it? Hate it? Confused or indifferent?
Consider each piece of brand marketing collateral the opportunity to establish a first impression, but determine where the first impression will be. Is it an image? Is it the title or, for an email, the subject line?
What makes for a compelling first impression? It could be a special offer or unique insight. This should be a real special offer and not the same as that of an obvious competitor or the same offer you made last month. Something your audience doesn’t know but should. Or perhaps it’s some other shocking or obscure, yet relevant, statistic that will make them appreciate your counsel.
Remember, people will often see only the beginning and end of your message so make both count. In sum: Grab the reader’s attention from the beginning and remind them of your call to action at the end.
How clear and strong is your brand? What works for you?