New Year, Reviewing Your Books and Your Brand | HenkinSchultz

New Year, Reviewing Your Books and Your Brand

By January 6, 2020 Branding

Everyone is busy making resolutions this time of year. But smart business owners are doing more than that. They are looking back on the year that was and the year that will be. As companies reconcile their bookkeeping for the year, they are examining:

  • Sales and seasonal trends
  • Expenses and cost of goods sold
  • Competition and competitive advantages
  • Capital expenditures
  • Marketing evaluation and more…

So let’s talk more about marketing evaluation. Evaluating is something we do constantly for our clients. In many cases, we do quarterly and even monthly reporting on marketing analytics and key performance indicators.

Things like website traffic, search performance, social media followers and click-thru-rates are easy numbers to digest. Each can tell you quickly how you are performing on a particular platform. But how do you know how your brand is performing?

More Than a Logo

Your brand is so much more than your logo or set of color swatches. Those design elements are part of your brand, but they don’t tell the entire story.

Google any branding, rebranding or brand terms and you are likely to find as many different opinions as you are articles. Simply put, HenkinSchultz believes your brand is:

  • Who you believe you are
  • What people believe about you
  • And the daily demonstration of each in your work and appearance

Let that sink in for just a second.

You may pride yourself on being the hard-working, old-fashioned, “do whatever it takes” auto garage. But is that how your customers or prospects see you? One way to learn is to ask them?

Survey Monkey is a simple tool and there are countless others out there too. It’s very beneficial to hear from both customers and non-customers. They can reveal truths about your business that you are perhaps too close to see for yourself.

For instance, using the above garage example. It’s entirely possible you are hard working and reliable. Customers may agree, but could still hold the perception that you are dated or lacking innovation.

Finally, let’s assume your customers see you in the same way you see yourself. You must still enhance that perception every day, through every interaction.

  • Logo and advertising materials
  • Office appearance
  • Clean and maintained company vehicles
  • Friendly and professional customer interactions

You see, it really is a lot more than your logo or colors. It’s the entire way you present yourself. It’s about the reasons you give people to trust you and return to you.

So, with the new year ahead, and another year in the books, it’s a good time to look at your brand. What should you change? Not change? Or do more of?

Rebranding? Or a Brand Refresh?

A complete rebranding involves going back to the core of who you are and looking at everything. This is an intensive process that HS helps a lot of clients navigate. Generally, the road to rebranding looks like this:

  1. Discovery – Learn as much as possible about what motivates your targets.
  2. Challenges – Identify the obstacles keeping customers from using you.
  3. Insight – Create a strategy based on a unique insight into their behavior.
  4. The One Thing – Define our single most important idea.
  5. Communicate – Craft messaging and design, deliver through media and get internal buy-in
  6. Monitor – Analyze KPIs, track results, and adjust

This can be a very rewarding and valuable exercise. As HS helps lead clients through this process, we also aspire to remain neutral. In other words, we make a living in design and brands, but we don’t automatically assume that’s what you need.

Sometimes you just need to get your brand out there more. This may mean a larger media buy or better signage or materials.

Or maybe you’re in need of a brand refresh. A brand refresh is more cosmetic in nature. Think of it like a coat of paint or detailing on a car. Perhaps your font is a bit dated or hard to read. Or your business has evolved.

For example, you may have been Smith Seed for generations. You still have third or fourth generation Smiths involved in the business, but you’re now doing so much more than seed. You’re consulting, providing expertise, agronomy and analytics. You refresh your name to Smith Company or Smith Agribusiness to better reflect your evolution.

Take a look at how Microsoft’s logo has evolved throughout the years. It would be hard to argue that Microsoft ever stopped being an innovation company. But certainly, what looks like innovation in the ’70s is much different in the 2020s.

Mount Marty rebrand
HenkinSchutlz refresh logo

Questions in 2020? Let’s sit down.

Your refresh may be as simple as a logo update, font change or new color. But it still should be intentional. There should be a purpose as to why you are changing and a rationale that supports it.

If branding, rebranding or refreshing is something you’re considering in 2020, talk to HS. We can help navigate the year ahead and position you for continued success.

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