Brand Warning signs

Warning signs… Is your brand holding back your business?

There comes a time in the life cycle of most businesses or organisations where management needs to take a step back and re-evaluate the company’s basic identity. It’s not uncommon for businesses to start with a particular mission, vision, offering and ethos and evolve into something different to survive and grow based on an enhanced or modified product/service offering, changes in regulation, economic factors, public sentiment and environmental factors. A recent example of this is the Black Lives Matter movement, that has caused several companies globally to rethink their branding and positioning to reflect shifts in public perception, thought and sentiment. 

And one of the first areas companies need to assess or should we say reassess is branding. Your company or organisation’s branding is essentially the face of the company. It’s what people “see” at the first instance and whether we like to admit it or not, first impressions ARE the most important.

When your brand stops reflecting what your company does or stands for… it’s time for a change; it’s time to rebrand; it’s time for a new approach. So, how do you know you need to ‘stir the pot?’ We thought we’d share five warning signs that should set the alarm bells off.

1. Your branding doesn’t attract your company’s target market. For example, if you need a budget hotel to stay in, you are unlikely to call The Dorchester. Chances are that you will call The Premier Inn instead. If you hadn’t heard of either and you visited their websites, you are still unlikely to call The Dorchester, because its branding suggests high-end, sophistication and luxury. If potential customers contact you expecting fees/prices that are not in line with the image you want to portray, you know it’s time to rethink your branding.

2. Your business offering has changed. Your potential customers must know if you have altered the product/service you provide or how will they know to come to you if they need that product or service? For example, if your product offering has changed from providing accounting services to overall financial planning and compliance, your company name (part of branding) needs to reflect that. So instead of your company name being XYZ Accounting Services, you may have to change it to XYZ Financial Consulting.

3. One of the basic tell-tale signs of the need for change is the look and feel. If you haven’t updated your branding in the last 5-7 years, chances are that it looks outdated. The pace of technology innovations, people’s expectations and the ‘edginess’ of the presentation of a company has changed dramatically in the last 5 years. If you haven’t reconsidered your company’s branding, we suggest you do. We can almost guarantee it will need a refresh.

4. Your branding doesn’t resonate with your international customers. When entering new markets, particularly new countries, be mindful of cultural nuances and differences. What might work in the UK may not work in China or Germany even. For example, if the current imaging on your website or marketing material features primarily Caucasian people, this may be acceptable in Germany. However, if your market is more global and includes some of the African or Asian countries, you will need to rethink your branding to be more inclusive.

5. Your marketing efforts are not working to bring the customers in. Branding is part of the overall marketing strategy, so if for example, your email newsletters or pamphlets or social media are not doing what they are supposed to do, it might be a good time to sit down and assess where you are going wrong. It could be that the key messaging or design is unclear or that your competition is saying exactly the same things as you or that your customers are confused about what your company stands for. Whatever the reason, if your marketing ROI’s are not up to the mark, it’s definitely time to take a step back and reevaluate.

Lately, we have been working closely with leadership coaches and trainers globally. As a leadership coach, your USP is your ability to inspire change. Your branding must reflect an aspirational, feel-good approach; one that combines empathy with practicality to get your target audience to pick up the phone or fill in the contact form.

Not too long ago, we wrote an article on how you can put YOUR brand ahead of the competition.

Somer Design has, over the years, built the skills and capabilities to brand and rebrand companies through careful consultation, in-depth research and a detail-oriented approach.

If you believe we can help you take your brand to the next level, please do give us a call. Our contact details are

tel: 020 7112 9068, email: [email protected] or you can fill up the contact form on our website for us to call you.

Caroline Somer - Somer Design Founder & CEO

About Caroline Somer

Caroline Somer is a London based brand consultant, designer and digital marketer that helps businesses get more visibility and better results from their websites.

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