Finding your business at a crossroads, with little or no direction for the future? This might be the first sign of your brand’s identity crisis. Representing contradictory values and trying to find one’s “own personal style” might sound like a typical adolescent struggle but it’s also a very real one when it comes to business. Here’s how to avoid identity crisis and find your brand’s real self:
Research Your Market
Do your homework and research your market, including consumer demographics, trends and competitors. Remember that your findings will have a seasonal life span as both market and trends change in a heartbeat, so keep yourself constantly informed to stay up to date and in tune with your consumers.
Analyse your Brand's Current Situation
Your strengths, weaknesses, your mission or vision for the future. Ask yourself the classic “Where do I want to be in 5 years’ time?” question and be as specific as possible – having a precise goal in mind will help you establish your action plan and better communicate with your team.
Communicate your Brand Consistently
Be consistent in communicating your brand identity and choose your language according to your research findings. Make sure the tone of voice remains the same throughout all your touchpoints – be it your website, social media accounts or interior design - and don’t be tempted to appear something that you’re not!
Being true to yourself, cliché as it may sound, is really the foundation of clear and consistent communication. If you decide to refresh your website to reflect the “fun” side of your business but your logo, office or Twitter account still hit on the serious note, your customers will be left confused or suspicious of your authenticity and honesty, so don’t take half measures!
Have a Creative Approach
Be brave and creative in your approach – brainstorm with your team and get to know their perspective. Listen to others’ suggestions and don’t think that you need to take ownership of every idea that comes to life – many successful brands (including personal brands!) are the outcomes of different brains. As long as it sounds true to you, take advantage of others’ creativity and goodwill to help. Don’t be afraid of radical decisions, taking risk is the basic foundation of creative mindset.
Differentiate Your Brand’s Offering
Offer something new – just like a blog or Instagram account with a mediocre, incoherent content won’t get many followers, no brand will perform well without specifying their unique selling point. Don’t get this mistaken with a ground-breaking product or service, which can be a great addition to your prospects and customers. It’s rather the unique “feel” of the brand that wins the hearts of customers and makes the company stand out from the crowd. Your values, look and even sense of humour can all determine how your “personality” is perceived by consumers – and that’s what makes a real difference.
Always Be Prepared for Change
You might find it easier to redefine your brand and start anew, rather than trying to pick up the pieces. Once you’re ready for a rebrand, don’t miss the opportunity to maximise your exposure. A rebrand provides a springboard to communicate and re-establish a dialogue and engagement leads to business growth.