Most companies reach a point when they need to take a thorough look at their brand — especially if there are signs it might not be working as well as it could.
“Oftentimes that trigger point when we talk with companies is when they feel like the market doesn’t understand them, when there’s confusion among their clients and customers,” says Teri Hansen, founder of Priority Marketing in Fort Myers. “That says you need to step back and really evaluate your brand because there’s something there that’s not jibing.”
To do it well, you need to spend some time on the process. When Priority Marketing does a brand review for a client, it involves target audience research to understand how customers, employees, shareholders and other audiences perceive the company. It also involves a competitor analysis to see what other companies in the space are doing and how the current brand measures up.
Those were some of the steps Estero-based Richlin International took when it realized it needed to rebrand from an interior design firm to an exclusive distributor of contemporary European and American kitchen, bath and closet products. When the recession hit, the company saw how it impacted the interior design industry and realized it needed to make changes to survive.
“The first thing we did was we looked at the market,” says Kelly Hall, general manager at Richlin International. “We had to figure out what the market needed at that time. You have to be patient and understand what your market is lacking and how you can fill that need.”
Another key point is to understand a brand is more than just a logo. Establishing the key messaging and positioning of your company also involves carefully choosing the words you use and then being consistent about that message in everything you do. “A logo is a visual representation of the brand,” Hansen says. “The logo piece of it really comes after those other pieces are done. And then it’s accurate and conveys the real visual identity of the business.”
If your review shows your company’s branding isn’t measuring up, be open to making needed changes. “It’s not a failure,” Hall says. “Things are just constantly changing. You have to be open to understanding that and willing to tweak things to be successful.”
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