Six Signs Your Brand Needs A Makeover
November 9, 2015
Your consulting or advisory business is tooling along, but falls far short of the big platform performance you’ve always envisioned.
Or you have a big, bold idea and it’s just not catching fire with your audience—it feels like you’re on a too-small stage, talking only to yourself and the same handful of “believers”.
It might be time for a brand makeover—a re-think of your strategy and positioning, visuals and copy. Here are a few signs it’s time to take a fresh look.
You want to appeal to a niche market. Your brand strategy may need some tinkering to identify and connect with the right niche to power your offerings up a notch (or six). Say you’ve realized you love working with physicians—and you’d like to cast your net to reach more of them. Your brand—the images and the voice of your copy—needs to shift to focus more pointedly on the needs of your M.D. niche. And your marketing and pipeline building efforts may need to morph along with it.
You’ve created a thrilling new _______(service, program, book, product) and are in search of the right audience. This can be a time when you need a pivot: not quite a 180, but more than a tinker. Your new fill-in-the-blank might be designed not for clients, but for the people who can’t afford you yet. Or it might be a deeper dive into a narrow portion of your expertise. You’ll need to make sure your branding, your positioning and all of your collateral works for both audiences.
You’re busy talking about you. The days when marketing was all about advertising your talents are O-V-E-R. You want to “speak” to your client—on your website and in your social media and marketing pieces—as though you were having a conversation. How are their lives different after you’ve worked your magic? What concrete results can they expect? What will the experience feel like? Show them what’s possible instead of giving them a laundry list of your services and awards.
Your competition looks—and reads—better than you. When’s the last time you web-surfed your competition? Take a look: how do your message and visual touch-points compare to what’s out there? And be honest with yourself—how you pitch yourself to clients must match up with how you look and read. If you’re pitching the high end of the food chain then you darned well better look like you’re worth every penny. You deserve to occupy a unique space that speaks to your DNA and your sweet-spot clients.
You’re hard to find. This will be your on-line death knell. It happens when your name or point of view is forgettable—just another “me too” message that gets lost when your client is ready to belly up to the bar. Or maybe your name is too similar to someone who’s already staked their claim on your industry’s google real estate—in that case, only new brand positioning is going to get you a break-through. Invest in building and maintaining your presence so you own your niche.
Your brand is stuck in time. Your website, your images (and especially photos), look like they’re from 1997. Your clients will sense it even if they don’t (or can’t) articulate it. Overly formal copy, stiff head shots and multiple old-style fonts are the first signs that you’re out of touch. Images that scream bad stock photography or are interchangeable with your competitors do you no favors (if I see one more financial advisory site with happy senior citizens strolling the beach, I might gag). Review your site and marketing collateral at least annually and make modern updates at least every couple of years—more often if you’re making the kinds of changes in #1 and #2 above.
A brand makeover requires some grit and a dose of courage. Don’t commit until you’re ready to set your stake in the ground—to claim a piece of territory as your own and commit to building (and defending) it.
It’s not about a pretty website. It’s about a core message that sparks connections, ideas, influence and revenue.
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