1. CHANGE IN BUSINESS MODEL/SERVICE OFFERINGS
One of my clients came to me having been in business successfully for years. Known previously as, The Art of Entertaining, she offered cooking classes, catering, and culinary experiences. It was now time for a shift – nixing the cooking classes (except for her summertime Kids in the Kitchen) and directing focus on customized, interactive culinary experiences for team-building events, business meetings, social events, non-profit events, etc. So, we set out as a team to design a new brand that highlights this shift and reflects the high energy and fun at the heart of these experiences; and Around the Table Cincy was born.
2. YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE CAN’T RELATE
Your content goal is to inform while helping your target audience feel like you’re speaking directly to them; that you understand their struggles and provide solutions. It should also help them decide if you would work well together and their timing is right.
For example, my client, 3 Sees, LLC, addresses her audience’s needs on her home page by listing challenges and pain points she regularly hears from clients and throughout her industry.
When I rebranded, I wrote content that addressed questions and challenges from my clients and some additional market research on my target audience. But I also want to help my audience understand if we’re a good fit right now (timing and current mindset may not be a good fit now, but can change in the future) by adding a section to each of my services, guiding them through this thought process. Here is an example from my Brand Design & Strategy page.
3. YOUR NICHE HAS SHIFTED
It happens. You think you know your niche, but over time your business evolves and you find yourself improving and focusing on particular skills more than others. That’s a good indication it’s time to realign your branding to address the right audience and set yourself apart from competitors. As part of my rebranding, I used my website, especially, to highlight my niche:
+ Small businesses and individuals + Not quite ready for the big agency budget + Looking for a very personalized experience (willing and ready to open up during the process) + The owner or job seeker, whose hard work and passion are fully invested in their endeavor, is ready to work one-on-one I highlighted these points throughout my site and designed my “About” page to demonstrate my willingness to get personal.
4. YOUR BRAND IDENTITY ISN’T REALLY IDENTIFYING
If you have to explain to people what you do or who you are even after they’ve seen your site or materials, that’s a red flag. A few of my Professional Spotlight© clients were surprised to discover that their messaging, both on paper and in person, communicated a different message than intended. It began to make sense to them why they couldn’t get in the door of the positions they were applying for. So, we worked together to identify and develop a new message that clearly communicated their intentions and goals for their next career adventure.
5. YOUR VISUAL BRAND ISN’T A MATCH
When your visuals (logo, colors, images, fonts, etc.) don’t flow with the rest of your brand identity, it can send the message that you don’t know what you’re doing or that you don’t care. Yikes! So, think about this: Are you a vibrant, energetic company with a black and grey palette? Are your pictures outdated or a mix of overused stock photos? Does your font choice look like it’s from the 80s? Does your logo have irrelevant imagery or icons? Does it look too generic?
Here are two examples of Professional Spotlights© (left, consultant; right, job seeker) with visuals to match their personal brand.
Annette has an incredibly vibrant personality, wears her signature red lipstick to match, and wants to work with companies open to that energy while also looking professional.
On the other hand, Chuck went with more subdued colors and design to match his “practical leadership approach” to his work.
6. YOU’RE EMBARRASSED TO SHOW OFF YOUR BRAND
If you’re not proud to bring people to your site, give out your business card, or send marketing materials, you’re missing out on valuable opportunities! You work too hard not to feel proud to present yourself in a way that feels natural, looks and sounds professional, and displays consistency.
Side note: If your brand is already clearly established, but your materials haven’t caught up, that doesn’t necessarily call for a branding overhaul. It may just require updating your materials to make them cohesive.
7. YOU’RE STRUGGLING TO RAISE YOUR PRICES
Ugh…the struggle is real. Why do so many of us small business owners (consultants, especially) have such trouble with this? We’re worth it, yet many I talk to struggle (or struggled early on) with pricing to match the value they provide to clients. Determining the appropriate investment for your services and a strong brand identity that supports it is essential.
Sweaty palms and heart palpitations, anyone?
Ok, some of you may be experiencing one or both of those at the thought of rebranding. It can feel like a massive undertaking, especially when you aren’t sure where to begin. But don’t let it scare you. When you work with the right professional, they will make the process as smooth as possible and guide you the entire way. If you choose to go it alone, begin with some research. I suggest talking with a branding expert who can offer suggestions or ask a recently rebranded business owner about their experience, what they learned in the process, and any tips they might share.
If you’re wondering whether your brand is working for you, let’s chat. I’ll soon be offering a new Brand Audit service that combs through all the elements of your brand to uncover what’s working for you and/or against you – and how to fix it.