Red Flags

There are several signs or situations you may find yourself that call for a rebrand or investing in hiring a branding professional. My clients have confessed to me things like, “They pronounce my company’s name wrong.” Or “It takes me at least 15 minutes or so to explain what my company is all about and to clear up misconceptions.” Sometimes the CEO is detached from the frontline of sales, if that’s the case ask the sales personnel if there are communication hurdles they must overcome before they can start selling. Those on the front lines of customer interaction, like the sales staff, those that go to the trade shows or conferences, and those that make the cold calls, will be able to provide valuable information on how well your company is doing at presenting itself. Your company may have just merged with another company or your finding yourself in a very different place offering something very different from the time the company was first started. Here are a few telltale signs that branding is needed:

  • Customers have communicated they have a hard time understanding what your company does or does’t realize all that it offers
  • The market you are in is crowded, confusing and you’re not standing out
  • Your company is clearly different but you look and sound like everyone else
  • The benefits of using your company are intangible to the average person
  • The market has changed
  • When you have many products or services that need organized and grouped into one unified family
  • When you lay all your communication pieces out on a table (and your website open on a laptop) and it looks schizophrenic—no consistent overarching visual or verbal message
  • The strategic direction of the business has changed
  • You are heading into a new market or rolling out a new product
  • The name of your company does not relate to the products, services or what benefit you provide to the market

In contrast

I know when I’ve done my job when I client says, “This is sooo us.” I liken it to having a trusted fashion designer create a new set of clothes for you. These are clothes that you would have never picked for yourself or seen at a store. Once you try them on (sometimes timidly and reluctantly at first), they fit and feel good. You noticed they have been tailored to your exact dimensions. You love the way they make you feel. When one of your friends sees you for the first time they say something like, “You look amazing!”, “Those clothes look great on you.” And “Those clothes fit you well.”

Brand Congruency

I call that phenomenon Brand Congruency. You know you need to rename or rebrand when you don't have it. How to get from where you are to where you want to be is the trick. To achieve Brand Congruency, there needs to be a fair amount of brand research, analysis, soul-searching and time invested to find the right fit for the product or business. Go to my resources page to help you get started. Or go here to buy my Brand Formation Workbook.