How is your brand performing?

Most companies really have no idea.

They can tell you how their most recent campaign performed, share their web analytics, or tell you how they feel, personally, about the logo, the tagline, that one weird color in the corporate palette… but they typically do not know how, or whether, their brand presence impacts their success.

So, what actually is a brand?

It’s good to start by understanding all aspects that contribute to your brand presence. Your brand is so much more than your logo, tagline, and even the look and feel of your materials. Sure, the visual appearance of your brand is important, because it helps your audience recognize you in the marketplace. But your brand also includes your personality, behavior, and reputation: how your customers, competitors, and employees feel when they think about you, the expectations they have for interactions with you, and for the nature and quality of products and/or services they can get from you.

Is it time to optimize your brand?

You’ve probably put a lot of time and thought into your brand presence. You established all of the components — logo, tagline, color palette, font, and key messaging points — and have defined and applied your brand guidelines to all communications. Nonetheless, you are seeing a drop in traffic or campaigns that misfire. Why?

Many people believe that a brand is a settled, fixed thing. However, every brand evolves over time. Changes in company goals or direction, new product/service offerings, or even corporate acquisitions can impact brand perceptions and, in turn, the effectiveness of your communications.

Changes in your audience’s perspectives and desires, as well as internal/employee perspectives and desires, can affect how your brand is perceived. Changes in industry language, social behaviors, and communication trends, in general, can shift how you present your brand.

What’s a marketer to do?

It’s important to keep your brand within your strategic “sweet spot”. This requires an ongoing awareness of the shifting environment and your best position within it. You can perform your own informal brand “audit”, to see whether your brand is in need of optimization.

To begin with, ask yourself a few questions about your external audience/customers:

    • Who are our external audience members/customers? How are they similar? Different?
    • What are their main concerns and priorities? Have they changed?
    • How would they describe us? Is this how we would like them to describe us?
    • How do they interact with the brand? Has that changed?
    • How do they interact with each other? Has that changed?

And a few about your internal audience:

    • Who is our internal brand audience? How are they similar? Different?
    • How do they represent the brand in their internal and external interactions?
    • What are our core values? How do we live these values in our day-to-day operations?
    • How are these values expressed in the current brand, or made evident to the outside world?

And finally, think about where you would like to be; your future plans, goals and desires:

    • What are your company’s goals for the future? Growth? Acquisition?
    • Will your products or services expand or change?
    • Are any changes in customer relationships anticipated? Hoping to open new markets?
    • What outside forces might impact you?

Next, find your “sweet spot”. This is where your internal audience perceptions and capabilities, external audience perceptions and desires, and your own goals intersect. Acting upon these common characteristics can help you present yourself authentically in a way that resonates with the needs and desires of your customers, solicits support from internal staff, and builds toward your future goals.

How we can help.

Happy, Inc. provides in-depth brand audit and optimization services for our clients, frequently informed by data analytics, competitive analyses, usability audits, and/or audience research. Performing an in-depth brand audit allows you to set benchmarks, and helps identify areas of opportunity for creating greater brand differentiation, crafting a more memorable and meaningful brand identity, and ultimately, increasing synergy that can result in long-term loyalty among your current and future customer base.

The product of our work can vary from simple findings reports to strategic planning and recommendations for brand-based activities, to brand redevelopment, fully implemented campaigns, or web redevelopment. Our services are always scaled to suit the needs and budgets of our clients.

Get in touch if you'd like to talk...

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