Is your brand keeping up with your growth?

Growth is hard

When a business scales it also changes and adapts. While your purpose or mission may not have changed, it’s likely your vision, products, or culture have. New employees and fresh customers require that your business matures, along with your brand and marketing. Likely you’ve added new people, tweaked processes, adjusted products, or opened new offices. Growth can demand a lot from us. In response, you’ve been heads down growing your company. The good news is, it’s working.

Is everything keeping up?

The challenge when you’re heads down growing your company is – well – your head is down. You do what the next day requires. You’re always pushing forward, feeling the pull of what’s next. Growth, at times, can be all-consuming. Let’s be honest, this work is hard. You’re running a marathon. You accomplished some great things as an entrepreneur, but you likely know there is still much to do to grow your business.

Have you paused for a moment to be sure everything is keeping up with you? The unique thing about small businesses and startups is they contain so many moving parts. People, processes, and products are diverse. It’d be nice if they all moved at the same pace, but they don’t. There are many things that likely need your energy as you push forward. How about your brand? Have you checked to see if your brand is keeping up with your growth? It’s important to consider things like your logo, website, and messaging. Often, in high growth situations, you’ll look around and realize many of the new people don’t even know your brand. How will you communicate with them, let alone your customers? Do people know who you are and what you hope to be?

What is brand?

Your brand is everything you say and do as a company. It’s your messaging, advertising, t-shirts, signage, vehicles, packaging, website, and more. We call each of these pieces touchpoints. Some have an outsized effect, but all build what we call. That is the value people place in your brand. The great brands are consistent brands. They are the ones who can execute clearly at each of these touchpoints in a way that builds equity. The larger you are or the faster you grow, the more difficult this is to do well.

Brands essentially have 3 functions: direction, assurance, and engagement. Brands direct us by helping us make a choice from the chaos of messages we see every day. They assure us that we are making the right decision when they stand for quality, positive outcomes, or a great experience. Additionally, brands create engagement and build equity through distinctive visuals, smells, sounds, tastes, and feels. Every experience someone has with your company is an opportunity to reinforce the brand, from the business card you hand out to the sign on the side of your building. This isn’t simply a conversation about what you are posting on Facebook. This is about a consistent and compelling message across the company.

What Should you do next?

Take some time to consider the touchpoints of your brand. Specifically, the key places your customers and employees interact with you. We call this exercise building a brand touchpoint map. Asses how well each of these is communicating who you are, or who you’d like to be. Are you a fun and vibrant company with a lame and cheap business card? Are you a structured and trusted company with a chaotic look and feel? Ask your employees to pitch the company back to you. Are you happy with their answer or do they struggle to define what value you bring? These are misalignments. They happen all the time. But if you’re not careful, they’ll damage your brand.

Here’s How We Help

One way to assure your brand is keeping up is with Method Mark’s 2-day brand strategy workshop. In this interactive strategy session, we help our clients refine, refresh, and rework the strategy behind their brand. This includes critical areas like vision, purpose, attributes, and target audience. Armed with a clarified brand strategy, it’s far easier to push the brand forward at every touchpoint. In doing so, you can identify the areas in which your experience needs to catch up and build a plan to address them.

Growth is hard. You’re doing great. If you need a partner to assist you, our team is ready.

 

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DYNAMIC DESIGN FOR AMBITIOUS BRANDS

Brand and marketing for small business, startups, commercial real estate, and non-profits.

Copyright Method Mark 2019