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Is It Time to Brush up Your Brand? 10 Clues to Look For.

December 26, 2018

Brand position and brand value are always topics that draw a lot of interest. From the CEO on down, the brand is important, and most organizations get that. Marketing professionals need to pay attention to how the brand is perceived in the marketplace. Has it lost some of its glow or have things changed in the organization? Has the industry you serve changed? If you answered “Yes” to any of these questions, read on, maybe it’s time to brush up your brand. We will address this topic and point out 10 unmistakable clues that could point towards your need for brand development.

Have you lost market position?

If you were number one 10 years ago and number three now, there may be a number of things to fix. Tinkering around the edges won’t get you back to the top spot. Start with your brand.

Are your marketing investments delivering diminishing returns?

You’ve done media advertising, direct mail, and SEO. You’ve invested in CRM and new collateral. But no matter how much you spend, you get just about the same results. Sure, the world of media is changing. But could the big problem be your message? New executions and new media won’t fix it. Time to pay attention to your brand.

Are you dissatisfied with your logo?

Everyone gets tired of their logo at some point, just like we get tired of the same old clothes. In most cases, you’re probably best advised to leave it alone (the logo, not the wardrobe). But if your logo doesn’t seem to fit who you are, and you don’t quite know why it’s time to ask yourselves what your brand’s all about. And you’d best figure it out before you redesign the logo.

Are you dissatisfied with your name?

Your name is kind of like your logo; if it doesn’t fit, you need to know why. Funny thing, in the course of brand development you may decide it makes sense to retain your name, but you’ll find yourselves becoming a company it fits better.

Has there been a change in your business strategy?

Your brand strategy is the “face” of your business strategy. So it almost goes without saying that a significant change in business strategy should provoke a long hard look at your brand.

Have you acquired new companies or shed divisions?

When your company acquires new ones or divides, it may mean a shift in business strategy or it may not.
Regardless, it may mean you’ve left your brand behind.

Has your revenue growth stalled?

If your category is dying, you can’t necessarily blame poor performance on your brand. But if your sales growth doesn’t match your category’s growth – and it hasn’t in a while – it could be time to overhaul your brand.

Has your market changed around you?

Lots of new players, new developments and new customers in your market? Your brand may be well-positioned to take advantage. Or it may not. Time to figure it out.

Has your senior management restructured?

Brands belong to the people, but brand development begins at the top of the food chain. When there’s a lot of change at the top, there’s bound to be some confusion below. A strong brand development process is a great way to get everyone on the same page.

Has your company turned 20 years old?

Okay, this one belongs to my friend Jim Hughes, of the Brand Establishment, who’s been doing this a long time. Jim swears a high percentage of established companies that come to him for his brand development expertise are about 20 years old. Why? His hypothesis is that at about the 20-year mark many companies find they’ve lost their focus, the market has changed around them and maybe there’s been some senior management change. Whatever.

Maybe it’s like the 17-year locust or seven-year itch. But I’m guessing that if your company’s about 20, some of the other nine clues are making themselves evident.

So where does your company stand? Healthy brand or unhealthy?

For most successful companies, working on brand building – understanding it, delivering on it, communicating it, measuring it – is an all-the-time thing. If your organization has a clear vision of your brand and is acting on it, you’ve probably already stopped reading. If not, you’ll probably find yourself nodding yes to a number of the clues; it may be time.


Bill Hatling is the President of HatlingFlint in St. Cloud, MN (a Flint Group agency), and is a Certified Brand Strategist from the Brand Establishment.

About The Brand Establishment

The Brand Establishment perfected the first contemporary brand development process specifically for small to mid-sized advertisers more than two decades ago. These tools and procedures have been utilized by companies in virtually every business sector – hundreds of times.