Everyone’s torn this way and that. It’s easy to lose concentration or to find yourselves prioritizing the wrong things. If your brand feels like it’s drifting, here’s 6 sure signs that you’re not focusing on the right things.
- You’re diversifying to try and bring in revenue. When a brand is not single-minded about what it’s doing and its competitive approach, that indecisiveness often manifests in a rush to pry open the top of the sales funnel with an ever-widening set of offers that increasingly bear little resemblance to what the brand is known for. The race to become a generalist, in the hope that it will magically lift top-line, never ends well.
To solve this: Think in terms of market adjacency, rather than market diversity.
- Your products are out of date. Products that lack currency indicate a brand asleep at the wheel. They signal a brand that either doesn’t understand changing customer needs or one that refuses to change what it does to meet those needs.
To solve this: Think of your products as solutions rather than things. Your brand is not defined by what you offer. It’s valued by what it answers.
- Your market share and/or your margins are slipping. It’s easy to be frantic and not profitable because, sadly, there’s no correlation between amount of activity and degree of success. If your brand is sales-obsessed, it’s easy to praise and celebrate the wrong KPIs and to see setbacks in core performance factors as little more than setbacks.
To solve this: Start and end with margin. How much you make is far more important than how much you sell.
- You’ve got lots of different messages in the market. You’ve got a lot to say for yourselves as a brand, but little or none of it is coordinated or consistent. Instead your communications are a series of campaigns that focus on specific products or particular offers without reinforcing and reiterating what the brand stands for.
To solve this: Look for ways to integrate your marketing so that it feels and looks like you in every instance. Stop thinking in campaigns but rather make everything an expression of your “global” strategy.
- You’re always holding promotions or sales. This is the worst combination of 3) and 4). Your brand suffers from short-termism and a tendency to see success in cash flow only. Nothing wrong with cash, of course, but giving away so much all the time means you stand for little more than a bargain opportunity to consumers.
To solve this: Change your value equation. Focus on ways to change why and how people are interested in your brand. If you can’t do that under your current brand, either rebrand or look to introduce a new “premium” brand into the market.
- Your investors are holding you hostage. The need to provide your investors with returns is hampering the ability to invest in the brand and/or resource other key elements of the company. Brand is a long term game.
To solve this: Report clearly on why you see your brands are assets, how they help build overall value, the investment that it takes and when and how investors can expect to see returns.
A key challenge for every brand today is balancing being current with legacy: doing enough to remind customers why the brand is what it is and why they can depend on it, and at the same time introducing new ideas that keep the brand interesting and give it vitality.
The process of “branding” isn’t done just once; it’s on-going. Is your brand sticking to a well thought-out and understood formal template? Do you have a formal brand template?
Original by Mark Di Somma Branding Insider
Repurposed by Dave Morawski, Research Director Legacy Branding, Owner Strategic Partners