The competitive small business world is a dark forest full of grabbing branches and clinging vines. Branding is what helps your customers find your business in the forest. Just think of how easy it is to spot those recognizable corporate logos. Having an effective brand — a logo and massaging that match your business — ensures that:

  • Your customers can spot you
  • Your business is recognizable in the forest of promotion
  • People understand at a glance what your business is all about

So to reach all your potential clients, you need to make sure your brand reflects your business properly. If your business has evolved, your brand may no longer reflect what you do, and you may need a branding refresh. If you’re unsure if your branding is in line with your strategy, you may be marking the wrong territory or barking up the wrong tree.

Evolving Goods and Services

Since you first created your brand, your company or its products or services may have changed. For example, if you started out making computer software for businesses, you may have added a smart phone app recently. If that’s the case, your original branding may not completely hit your new market. While you shouldn’t throw out your entire company identity, you do need to tweak your brand.

As your products and services evolve, consider updating your logo and messaging to reflect your new, improved offerings and market position. Start the process by comparing your current messages with what you actually do for your customers. Do they align? If not, you may need a branding refresh.

Changing Marketplace

Even if your products or services haven’t changed, the market certainly has. The business world today is much different than it was even five years ago. Your primary customer base may have evolved while you weren’t paying attention. Are you still targeting the most profitable clientele? All these concerns can prompt a branding refresh.

There are many ways market changes may force a branding refresh:

  • Customers may be younger or older than your original target marketing strategy.
  • Where your brand once suited a younger audience, you may have to adjust to attract your newest consumers. What worked with the GenX demographic may be outdated for Millennials.
  • New products or upgrades in the marketplace render your brand obsolete.

For example, print advertising has been waning for the last decade. If you’re advertising in papers or on the radio, but not on social media, you’re losing a large share of your potential market. Ask yourself: where are your customers and how can you reach them? Is your brand still effective in that space? Then look for ways to make those changes.

Focus on Your Value Proposition

As your market and customers change, what sets you apart may also change. To stay viable and competitive, keep your eye squarely on what differentiates you from your competition. Make sure your branding reflects the value proposition of your goods and services. If not, it’s time for a branding refresh. Barking Dog Social Media <> can help you rebuild your brand.

Some brands, for example, are based on changing trends, such as fashion and technology. If you have a trendy brand, you need a continuous branding refresh to keep your messaging current. But even timeless brands may need tweaking. You may not need a full refresh, but creating a sub-brand to appeal to a new customer base or to announce a new product or service can keep you in the public’s eye.

Timeless should never mean obsolete; just because you’ve got a strong brand, doesn’t mean you can’t use a little facelift once in a while. To be the alpha dog in your marketplace, make sure you continuously and honestly assess your brand. Ask yourself these tough questions and then act on your answers. Sometimes a branding refresh ensures you’re barking up the right tree.

Remember, if you are not the lead dog, the scenery never changes!


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