Have you ever been with an organization as they released their new branding? It’s an exciting,3 Signs of Brand Complacency almost magical time. The staff beam with freshly minted mission statements, customers gush with approval and strangers marvel over the aesthetics of your logo and web presence. Oh, those happy, heady days when a brand is fresh and dominant. Now let’s fast-forward several years. How much attention is being paid to the brand and its positioning? Sure, the guidelines have been dutifully followed so the logo has remained consistent in tis appearance and use. And the messaging has always been on target with the tagline and mission statement at every opportunity. But in today’s fast-paced and changing business environment your organization’s brand demands more than a “steady as she goes” approach.
Even though consistency may be an important aspect in branding, complacency can kill a brand. Here are three indicators that you are ignoring your brand and diluting its potential.
1. Limited Internal Support
When did you stop caring? Oh sure, you go through the motions (like following the Corporate Logo Usage Guide), but when did you last feel passionately about your brand? Has staff started feeling ho-hum about what the organization stands for and why they are working there? Like a rudderless ship with its sails at full mast, your company can be quickly heading adrift.
Management and marketing need to remind the organization why it does things the way it does; and even change branding and mission when things are no longer coherent. Even if there have been no change in the how or why business is conducted, staff still deserve to be motivated to the importance of your mission. Re-ignite the passion that was shared when you launched the brand.
2. Lack of New Direction
Even if you’ve maintained a fervour for the corporate brand, you need to make sure your parade is marching in the right direction. It’s not unusual these days for companies to change focus. Technological shifts, changes in customers or suppliers… new opportunities can arise that change the focus or flavour of what you are offering. Even if your organization remains the same, market trends and your customers may have changed. Businesses are living organisms that evolve and flux in response to their environment and influences. It’s only logical that how you present your organization should also adapt to successfully reflect the current corporate raison d’être and value proposition.
3. Dismissal of New Competition
Companies can get too comfortable and assume that those new upstarts are a flash in the pan, a fad that won’t weather the storm. They may not have the same experience or grasp on how to properly service your customers — but they may be much better at communicating with the market. An important aspect of branding is to help your market understand and identify with you. Building a strong relationship with customers is the goal of most marketing efforts. (Which is why Inbound Marketing tactics have seen such a dramatic rise over the past few years.) Whoever wins the relationship battle has an upper-hand in the competitive struggle.
Having a strategic brand that works for your organization is essential to achieving success, but you can’t leave it to fend for itself. Be aware of your corporation’s direction, and how well your brand is reflecting and promoting that It is critical to review and revise branding eforts to stay aligned with your corporate objectives and market forces, and to use your brand as a means to promte externally and internally.
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