Tired brand holding you back?
Here's where to start.
The vast majority of successful entrepreneurs don’t start companies because they have a brilliant marketing strategy already in place. They start them because they have an area of expertise, see a need that they can fill, and want to do work they can feel passionate about. And that’s why the road to better marketing often begins in the middle of the journey.
As a result, marketing progress can sometimes be a little messy. The decision to invest in marketing may be driven by the fact that things are different now or aren't going as well as they should. It could be something as simple as the hiring of new salespeople now requiring more lead generation, or as significant as a major disruption in the marketplace requiring a shift in positioning or even a new brand.
Or it could be the opposite. Business is booming, yet a poorly developed marketing infrastructure that was built haphazardly is starting to buckle under the strain of rapid growth and expanding product and service lines.
Regardless of whether your situation is one extreme or the other – or anywhere in between – there’s a way forward. And while you certainly don’t have to start from scratch, you should at least consider using this as an opportunity to do more than just the same thing faster. Instead, slow down, take a breath, and make the most of a slight detour on that road ahead.
Before you jump into planning any marketing campaigns, take some time to focus on fundamentals. It all starts with your brand. It's important to understand that branding isn't the same as marketing. Marketing is made up of the things you do to get in front of and engage with the people you're trying to reach. Branding is all the ways you communicate the heart of who you are and what makes you different, which, in turn, creates the foundation for the marketing.Why you do what you do
- Who are you?
- What do you do?
- Why does what you do matter?
Then dig deeper. After each question, ask it again with the word “really” at the end. Keep asking until you feel you’ve gotten to the essence of each question.
Your brand identity is the “toolkit” that you use to create the consistency that makes your company's visual brand not just recognizable, but also memorable. And don’t take this lightly. It’s where a lot of brand equity accrues to create mindshare over the long term with your customers as they experience your brand in everything from your business card and social media pages to your website. That toolkit includes:
- Your logo, including an icon, if you have one, and a wordmark
- Your color palette
- Your fonts
- Various graphic elements
- Your brand guidelines
Your messaging is the communication – the ideas and words – that you want people to remember about you. This “messaging platform” is the structure that supports what’s most important to know about your company. It consists of an essential message, key supporting messages and a brand story. A messaging platform is where everything you communicate in your business is grounded, whether that’s an RFP response, your website, marketing collateral or a social media strategy.
Together, your purpose, identity and messaging serve as the critical brand foundation your marketing needs. But, unfortunately, developing them and applying them with discipline often takes a backseat to all of the other priorities of running your business.
Don’t sell your brand short. And if you think you may need some help, we're happy to talk it through with you. Just schedule a free, no-pressure consultation here.
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