business, Design, Marketing, Personal Brand

Is It Time To Change Lanes?

merging-800x398Have you looked at your website lately?  How about that Logo?

Is it Time To Rebrand Yourself?

Ok, so things are going well for you and your business.  Well maybe they could be better, right?  A few more sales, a few more people enrolling in your program?  Am I right?  Isn’t it time you stopped blaming the economy for the dip?  The economy is fine, face it—it’s your brand, and the 2000’s want it back.

So let’s get down the bottom line:

#1 “People Don’t’ Buy What You Do, They Buy Why You Do It” (Simon Sinek)

Stop rolling your eyes.  This is actually a thing.  It is called values.  People want to buy products and services from customers and people that share their values.  I know you value something, or you wouldn’t be in business.  Take some time and think about this one, because you need to get this right.  It is the foundation for your  future.

  • What is your mission statement?
  • What are you passionate about?
  • Who are you trying to help?
  • What problems are you solving?
  • Are your customers happy? What makes them happy?  What makes you happy?

This is what defines businesses now.  Think Apple vs. Microsoft.  One makes computer things, and the other makes us feel happy.  Apple knows its passion. It knows its mission.  It knows that people are buying “why they do what they do,” and not “what they do.”

#2 Design Matters

We live in a very sophisticated marketplace.  A world where design highjacked an entire cell phone market from a strong marketplace leader and now dictates what we buy.  People know what “fonts” are, what colors mean, how visuals evoke our emotions.  We live in a world where design matters.

So why is your website still full of text?  Your business card in times new roman and doesn’t have your LinkedIn profile URL?

Take a look at the message you are giving us when we see your “brand” represented.  Is your logo readable and legible?  Can we find your contact button easily?  Can we read your information from our smartphones?  Have you even looked at your website lately?

And in regards to design, does this image you are using, does it portray the core values that you have grown into since you started?  A few simple design corrections can change everything, and I mean everything!

#3 Which Lane Are You Driving in?

What I mean by this, is that when you started out, last year, ten years ago, whenever that was, did you and your business change?  Are you stronger in one area, and not even doing another?  Are your strengths and skills capturing a completely different demographic now than when you started?

Well, you are driving in a new lane, so own it.  Turn off your blinker and get in the lane, it’s yours for the taking. Let go of the things that are not part of your identity anymore, and embrace the ones that empower your mission and values of today.  Keep the old stuff on paragraph three of the “About Us” page and tell us how far you have come.

This lane is your vision for the future.  It is the intention for the growth of your business in the years ahead, and it fortifies the direction of your brand.  So own it.  Show it.  Get a new haircut, new style, new colors, and fix your outdated graphics to reflect this new, empowered you.

#4 Figure Out Who Is Listening To You

Few businesses can survive exactly the same year after year.  Customers grow up and move on, people change, music changes, fashion changes: so why isn’t your business changing?

Even accountants have to rebrand themselves.  Why?  Because clients die off, grow up and move on, and the ones coming up from behind are younger, smarter, savvier.  And guess what?  They also use mobile –can we read your the stuff on your website from our mobile phones?  Have you checked?

You need to figure out who needs you and then discover who is really listening to you.  You might be surprised that your business is coming from a completely different demographic than you originally started with.  Get to know them.  What do they like? What do they read?  How do they get their information?  Then figure out how to give them what they want—not what you want, what you use to do, what is easier for you.

When your sales are so-so, enrollments way off, or phones not ringing, it is time to look at the brand image you are presenting to the world. If you are outdated, then it is probably outdated.  Get a refresh.  Go on, pamper yourself.  Put a little money into a new look and feel for what you know is an awesome product or service.  It is no different than going out and getting a new haircut, new suit, or even hitting the gym to lose a few extra pounds.  Your brand is a living, breathing thing.

And for those of you who think that spending money on social media is just crazy?  Well, you are probably the ones that need the new branding most because people are not using the yellow pages anymore, and that word of mouth thingy you keep telling everyone?  Well, that is what Twitter is for……

Maria Bereket is a Social Media Stress Reliever! She loves marketing strategy, and social media, especially LinkedIn; and she helps business owners and professionals feel stress-free when setting up their social media profiles and marketing programs. Design Bear Marketing is her Social Media & Design Company. @mbear88 http://www.DesignBearMarketing.com .

originally posted on http://www.linkedin.com/in/mariabereket

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