When most people start a business they think they need to “brand” it first thing in order to be successful. But the definition of branding has been so clouded over the years that you might not really know what that means. Typically when those people are thinking of branding they are thinking about the visual component of a brand and forgetting a crucial part.
Instead of jumping straight to the look of your brand, you need to establish the strategy first. In fact, I usually tell people to wait a few months or years (depending on your business and situation) before investing in a custom brand or website design.
So then the question becomes: when is the best time to visually brand or rebrand your business?
This is for you if you:
- Aren’t sure if you need to DIY your brand or hire a designer
- Need help pinpointing if you’re ready to invest in a custom brand identity
The truth is that you want to brand your business early on but you need to develop your brand strategy first (either by yourself or with a strategist) while keeping the visual component simple until you’re ready to invest (with time and money) in a strategic designer to help support your business. Basically you want to DIY your brand design in the beginning so that you can focus on building a strong strategy that will support the growth of your brand.
There are tons of ways that you can get support in DIYing your brand like templates and courses, but the key is keeping it simple and focusing on the strategy and style of your brand more than designing a super detailed brand identity.
That will come with time though.
At some point, you will be ready to transition from your simple logo to a fully developed brand identity that fits your style and visually communicates your brand.
In order to help you pinpoint when that might be for your business, I put together a list of the top 5 reasons why you might need to visually brand (or rebrand) your business with a designer:
1 | You need to support your marketing efforts
If you’ve established a strong foundation and have moved into marketing your business, you might need to develop a stronger brand to support those marketing efforts. In fact, this might be the most important reason to brand or rebrand your business because your marketing and branding are so closely tied.
If you don’t know what you are marketing, you can’t market well and that is established in your brand strategy. But you can’t effectively communicate your brand strategy without marketing it. So if your marketing tactics aren’t doing the best, it might be time to brand your business and make sure those two are connected well.
2 | You need to clearly communicate with your target market
Whether you are just starting out or you’ve DIYed your brand for a couple of years to get you by, if you aren’t getting the best (or enough clients), or are hardly making any sales, then there might be some disconnect in your messaging that can be fixed with a stronger brand strategy and better brand design.
You first need to make sure you are communicating the right message (if you’re considering a rebrand, this might have shifted or changed from when you first developed it), and then you need to make sure it is clearly communicated through your brand visuals. Both of these things can be fixed with proper branding.
3 | Your business needs a boost
If you’ve been in business a while and things are hitting a plateau, it might be time for a rebrand to give it a boost. In some cases, shifting your marketing and trying some new techniques might be all you need, but in others, a rebrand could help to boost your business by giving it a fresh look.
This doesn’t mean you have to start over from scratch, but you could simply make some updates to bring it back to life and double-check that everything is still aligned the way it needs to be.
4 | You’re shifting or pivoting
If you have shifted or pivoted your business, you might need a rebrand. If you are making small changes it might not be necessary, but if you’ve made major changes you probably want to refine your brand strategy and refresh your brand design so that everything is still aligned with where you are in your business.
5 | You’ve outgrown your brand
Sometimes you just get to a point in your business where you’ve outgrown it and need a change. This one is typically more personal and might just be that you don’t personally connect with your brand anymore. In this case, a simple refresh can make a world of difference to feel like you’re ready to hit the ground running again. Think of it like putting on a new outfit – it always makes you feel good and more motivated to get to work.
Do you find yourself in any of these situations right now? If you’re feeling like something is off with your business, it might be one of these 5 things and you might be ready to take your branding more seriously.
If this is you, book a strategy call with me to get started.
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