SCORE Tip of the Week: Is Your Business’s Brand Still Working for You?
SCORE's CEO, Kenneth R. Yancey, explains how to evaluate your current branding to assess whether it requires updating.
Is your business’s brand outdated? Once your business has been in operation for a while, it’s important to regularly assess how relevant your brand is to your company’s current product and service offerings and your target audience. Here are some signs that you might need to rebrand your business:
- Your target market has changed. Have your original customers gotten older, moved away or entered a new life stage? Maybe the Gen X customers you targeted with “extreme” athletic apparel when you started your business in the 1990s are now suburban parents who don’t respond to the same marketing messages anymore.
- Have you added new products or services? As your company’s product or service offerings expand, your original brand may no longer reflect all that you have to offer.
- Do you have different sales channels? If your wholesale company starts selling retail, or if you change from a business-to-business focus to business-to-consumer, for example, you may need a new brand image to accompany the change.
- Have your prices changed? Dramatically raising or lowering prices may leave you with a brand that doesn’t reflect your new upscale or bargain-basement image.
Do an unbiased assessment of your brand by polling your current customers or holding a focus group of people from your target market. You can also ask friends or colleagues to give you their honest assessments of your brand message.
If you determine that you do need to update your brand, spend the money necessary to get professional assistance to refresh your logo, signage, website, marketing collateral and any other marketing materials that need to be updated.
Make sure your employees are informed about the new brand and ready to communicate the brand message. Finally, let your customers and the public know about your new brand by announcing it in social media and press releases to relevant media outlets. Make a splash!