Welcome to a series on 6 Signs You May Need to Re-Brand, but before we start...What is a Brand? Ask that question to everyone in your office. Go ahead, I’ll wait.
Back? Great, let’s move on. Almost certainly you just got a different answer from each person you asked as they fumbled around to explain what was so “obvious.” I’m sure most eventually gravitated to a “logo” or “company slogan/tagline/service line.” I’m here to tell you...they are wrong. And if your perception of a brand is the same as theirs, you are wrong as well.
But don’t click out of here just yet. Allow me to explain myself. Many people, normal citizens and small-business owners alike, believe that a company’s brand is a direct result of their logo, color scheme, slogan, and marketing collateral. I believe the reasoning for this stems back to many, many years ago with a process called, “Branding.” To explain the process, many cattle herders would “Brand” their animals by searing their “Logo” onto the animals skin. Ouch! But this allowed them to easily identify which animals were theirs if a mix-up were to occur with other cattle herders.
As a result, we naturally think about “Branding” as a company’s logo to this day, but if you’re finding it difficult to achieve the amount of success you desire with your business, then I’d like you to do a small exercise with me today.
Take any piece of marketing collateral you have. This could be a brochure, a recent ad you ran, or the homepage of your website. Got it? Okay, cover your company’s logo. Now, if you were a prospect looking at this piece of collateral, would you know who the company was?
To explain where I’m going with this further, let’s head back to the cattle example. If you could permanently cover the “Logo” on the animal’s skin, how would the cattle-herder tell which animal was theirs? They couldn’t, and the same goes for your marketing collateral. If you looked at what the competition in your industry was doing and modeled your marketing strategy around that, how will the consumer be able to distinguish between the two companies? By your logo alone?
At the beginning of this series, I challenge you to think about your brand as MORE than just a logo or company tagline. Think of your brand as an “Experience” to be enjoyed and passed along (or “referred”) to others. When a brand is firing on all cylinders, it lives in the mind of the consumer. Sure, the logo, taglines, and advertising campaigns all work together to help construct the mental image, but the actual brand exists behind the eyeballs reading this right now. A brand exists in the mind.
So as we continue forward with this series, I’m going to outline more common signs that you may need to re-brand your company. If any (or all) of these apply to you, don’t think of it as a bad thing necessarily, but an opportunity to grow toward the end game currently living inside of your mind as well.
About The Author
Brian Waraksa, founder of Raxa Design in Houston, Texas, has been in marketing and small business branding since 2002. He writes the Raxa Design blog to inform small businesses and corporations on effective branding.
Posted on Thu, September 12, 2013
by Brian Waraksa filed under