You Have to Know Your Brand's Blind Spots

April 6, 2018

It is a consistent uphill climb to keep your brand relevant and top of mind.

With today’s marketing machine whirring and spinning 24/7, a steady stream of challenges awaits small businesses and entrepreneurs (the big brands too, although the bigger the brand, the faster the rush from the proverbial fire hose).

As people spend more and more time online, assembling the pieces and parts that make up a robust and relevant branding effort has become somewhat of an Olympic sport; by that I mean, rarely taking a day off from the constant task of evaluating and fine-tuning what is and isn’t working.

We all know when we open up our own shop that the relationship between our brand and our customers is susceptible to change. Loyalty is difficult to maintain and consumers are more easily distracted than ever before. Unless you keep up with your audience’s ever-changing needs and habits, something better will (not if but when) come along and your brand will, inevitably, get dumped.

It requires a stalwart commitment to generate and maintain a brand that inspires raving fans and genuinely thrills its customers.  Brand fatigue, well, that evokes the opposite and once that is happening it is really hard to keep that from unraveling.  Of course, that doesn’t happen overnight, but if left unchecked it can damage your business beyond repair.

As a branding gal, I have been hired by clients who are in damage control mode and it isn’t pretty.  I advise that doing things well shouldn’t just be the focus at the get-go/launch of a biz but needs to be an all-in mindset to taking a brand’s temperature often, making tweaks as necessary. Some tweaks are going to be larger than others but need to be addressed, but updating in general needs to be an ongoing investment in both money and effort that can help you largely avoid brand fatigue.

I am a huge advocate of the occasional brand refresh, whether that be in up-leveling a logo, revitalizing messaging or redesigning a website. Those who know me, know that I do this at least once a year with my own brand.

The cost of doing so to keep your demographic engaged with your brand is indeed undervalued.  Many of my clients balk initially when they ask for my insight and I share with them where things are going wrong with their brand (even though they came to me in the first place knowing something wasn’t right).  They hesitate to fix it because the price tag sometimes stings BUT as I also share, the more things go on in a downward spiral, the more costly it will be to repair, so don’t wait.

It can be a delicate balancing act to continually keep all the branding bits moving forward in your favor so I suggest that the #1 thing you can do is to pay attention to your competitors and what they are doing (or aren’t doing): on their website, via their social media and through word of mouth. Once you’ve armed yourself with this knowledge you can strengthen your brand’s weak spots, leverage its strong points and reverse any brand fatigue that may be creeping in at the edges.

At the end of the day, it’s about being willing to find your brand’s blind spots, because not knowing them is simply not good for your business.