How to Know Your Brand Needs an Upgrade?

 How to know your brand needs an upgradeBranding for a small business can be a fun and challenging task. We all want our businesses to be known, recognised and respected, but as the day-to-day happenings of a small company may keep us busy, we may sometimes ignore the branding basics, that are necessary for a business to grow.Below is the list of a few signs that may tell you that your brand needs an upgrade.

 1.   Your website was not designed by a professional

Yes. We may start a business on a tight budget and in the first stages of its life, we may get by with a meagerly designed website to get things going. However, as time goes by, an adequate presence online gets more and more important.

Ask yourself – what is the first thing you do before choosing a company to work with? That’s right. You check the website.

We all know first impressions are hard to shake.

So review your website and if you think it may need improvement – put it on the top of the list.

2. Your logo was designed using Microsoft Word, PowerPoint or Paint (you get the idea)

While the logo is not all your brand, it is a significant part of it and deserves to be treated with respect. Rather than settling for a cheapened look, defer use until you’re able to afford the type of design you can be proud of.

3. You don’t follow a brand guide (whether in your head or on paper), and have inconsistencies throughout your brand.

Repetition works. Especially when it comes to branding. Everything you do when promoting a brand (images, wording, colours) must have a consistent style and tone.

Following a brand guide creates uniformity and elevates your business.

Your own photo is not up-to-standard (vacation photo, selfie or a pic with your pet)

A professional needs a professional photo. It doesn’t have to be boring, Photoshopped or out of character for you. But it does have to be in line with the character of your business.

4. You are working for somebody else by not having your own domain

Having your own domain can be more important than having your own office. It can affect your company’s influence and also how you are perceived by potential clients. Not having your own domain can also hinder the development of your business and prove counter-productive, as you will spend time and effort marketing an internet space that is not truly yours.

5. You’ve been in business for quite some time but have not checked out the competition.

It’s not about jealousy. It’s about improvement. Make it a habit to watch what the competition is doing.  You do not have  to copy their ideas. Instead, use them to motivate yourself to improve in your own way.

Monitor any new developments in the industry and be open to change. After all, flexibility is one of the biggest advantages of a small business.

6. You do not have a social media strategy

Social media is a great way to have a voice, engage your customers and build relationships. We are sure you’ve heard about all the benefits before. So if you still do not have a social media strategy  – we suggest you get to it right away.

 7.   You have never worked with a branding professional

Of course, we often feel we know best where and how our company is going, but having professional help can not be underestimated. You may discover new selling points, advertising ideas or simply get a more structured plan for your brand development.

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