Benchmark Business Group

Business Brand Checkup

May 3, 2010

“The greatest brand compliment you can receive is to meet someone for the first time and have them tell you that you "feel" just like your website or collateral materials. That means you are being consistent - you are speaking in the same voice, regardless of the medium.”
- Drew McLellan, McLellan Marketing Group

Due to the changing economic climate, many companies have experienced either no growth, or worse, a decline in revenues from previous years.  There is nothing quite like a loss in revenues to prompt a company to take a hard look at their branding.  Branding is the process of creating an identity in the marketplace, one that is a reflection of your company, not just what you want your company to be.  Once your brand is identified and you build the marketing messages and sensory package that supports your brand - you need to ensure your company can live up to it.  The experience you provide your customers must equal or surpass the expectations your brand creates. 

Rebranding to position your business to new markets or to reposition your business in the same market can be a risky strategy.   A dramatic rebranding may result in some loss of current customers.  For example, if you currently attract upscale professionals approaching retirement and you change your brand to appeal to young value minded families, you may lose the appeal you have to your current customers.

Before you react to a decline in business by rebranding engage in a thorough checkup of your business in relationship to your current brand.  It may make more sense to refresh your brand instead of engaging in a comprehensive rebranding.  Take some time to focus on key questions about your current brand before you leap to the conclusion that you need to create a new brand.

  •   Is your business living up to the promise of your brand? 
  •   Does your brand adequately and accurately differentiate you from your competition?
  •   Do you have less customers coming to you, or are your customers buying less?
  •   Is your brand still a solid representation of your products and services?
  •   Are your colors outdated?  Are they attractive to the customers you want to attract?
  •   Does your business reflect your brand? (colors, graphics, furnishings)
  •   Are your brand images outdated? (logo, website, letterhead, marketing materials)
  •   Is your website relevant to your brand?
  •   Do your sales and marketing tools and materials align with your brand?
  •   Are your print materials in alignment with your brand?
  •   Does your brand reflect the current trends of your industry/
  •   Is your brand in alignment with the technology of your industry?
  •   Have the needs of your customers dramatically changed?
  •   Is your brand strategy a good fit for the customers you are trying to attract?
  •   Is your brand attracting the customers you desire?

While adapting to the changing marketplace and the needs of your customers is imperative, frequently changing your brand can be disastrous.   If you decide a rebranding is needed, be thorough in your research and be aware of the investment that will be needed.  If your brand changes substantially your logo, marketing materials, sales tools, website, letterhead, business cards and signage may all need to be changed.  Whether you need to refresh your current brand or engage in a comprehensive rebranding, be proactive and design a branding strategy that creates the impressions you want your customers to have about your business, products and services.  If you don’t - your competition will probably do it for you!

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