by Re Perez
We don’t mean to be rude, but come on…
Look, the 80s were a great decade, we get that. We love neon lights, Spandex, and synth-driven pop music as much as the next branding agency.
What we don’t like seeing are amazing companies held back with bad branding.
You can have a lot of success with bad branding, but your business will never reach its full potential without a well-developed brand.
That’s why, like acid-washed jeans, it may be time to put your old brand out to pasture.
One of the most common questions we get asked is, “When should I rebrand my company?” and for good reason.
The short answer is that it depends. It depends on what business problem(s) you have. If branding can solve your business problem(s) you should invest in branding. If it can’t, don’t.
Branding is an investment in your business that can yield an incredible return on investment (ROI).
That’s the good news. The bad news is that branding can also be a poor investment if you expect it to alleviate business problems that it is not meant to solve.
Below are problems that branding can solve, followed by problems that branding can’t solve.
Like the poor soul who had to tell you to burn those jeans, we will also give you the uncomfortable truth. We hope that this will give you guidance as you decide whether or not branding is right for your business at this time.
Problems branding can solve
You aren’t charging what you are worth
Want to make more money? Of course you do. Who doesn’t? Great branding elevates your status in the marketplace, which allows you to raise your prices. If you have reached the point where your market will not accept higher prices, and it is affecting your profitability, it means you have reached a price ceiling. You need to breakthrough it. A great brand will help you become a market leader, justifying a higher price point. .
People aren’t clear about who you are, what you do, or how you can help them
When you become clear on your message, visual identity, verbal identity, and brand architecture, your customers will be able to better understand who you are, what you do, and how you can help them. This understanding is critical to the attraction of ideal customers and is a key component of the branding process.
Your conversions are too low
If you are at a place where you understand marketing, and understand how to get your brand and message in front of the right people, then a re-brand could exponentially increase your marketing performance and conversion rates. Simply put, if you know how to get seen, looking great and saying the right thing when you are will catapult your business to new heights. Putting marketing dollars behind a poorly developed brand is like running in quicksand, and actively works against your business development. You shouldn’t spend time, money, and effort to be seen and heard if you don’t look good and sound good when you are.
Problems branding can’t solve
Branding can dramatically increase sales, which is, of course, one of the best things about branding. However, if your business doesn’t have the infrastructure in place to handle the increase in business, then branding can have a detrimental effect. You must be able to scale in proportion to the increase in business, otherwise you will be doing more harm than good.
The selling of commodities
A great brand elevates the value of products and services, barring that the products and services are not commodities. What are commodities? Things like natural resources: sugar, iron, gasoline. Do you really care what brand your gas is, or do you just care about which station has the lower price? Exactly.
Branding in many ways “pre-sells” your products or services for you. It makes people want your product or service on their own, without a “hard sale.” However, there is no substitute for sales. If you are uncomfortable asking people for money, then branding isn’t going to solve your problems. It will get you more sales conversations, and make these conversations easier, but it won’t replace sales as a necessary business activity.
Before re-branding your business, consider why you want a re-brand and what business problems you hope branding will solve.
Branding is one of the most powerful avenues for business growth, but only if done for the right reasons.
If you are still wondering if developing a game-changing brand is worth it, don’t fret. We are the headline sponsor of ICON and will be speaking both from the main stage and at a more intimate breakout session about the importance of a having a great brand, as well as how to build one.
We can’t wait for ICON, and we look forward to seeing you there!
Re Perez is a Brand Strategist, Creative Visionary, Inspirational Speaker and founder of BRANDING FOR THE PEOPLE™. His background includes senior-level brand consulting positions at Interbrand, Siegel+Gale, Reputation Institute and TMP Worldwide and he has worked on many of the world's favorite Fortune 500 brands. By applying Fortune 500 Branding Best Practices to emerging and expanding businesses, Re has been instrumental in the success of some of the fastest growing companies in America, and has helped his clients double, triple and quadruple their revenues.