5 Steps to Conquer Brand Shame
Do you suffer from Brand Shame? Most new businesses feel it in one way or another. If you experience any of the below, you may be guilty:
You are unclear about your brand identity
You cringe when thinking about your brand message
You doubt your commitment to consistency in your brand
You fear your brand isn’t authentic to yourself or your audience
Sound like you? Brand Shame can result in disappointment and lack of confidence in your brand and in yourself. Here’s the deal: marketing is a HUGE revenue generator that can make or break your business. If you feel wary about sending out your website and running Facebook ads that direct to your services page, or are afraid to promote yourself because you feel your brand isn’t up to par, you need to TAKE ACTION NOW. So what can you do? Below are 5 steps to banish your shame and regain the confidence you need to get back in the game.
Identify Your Shame
First thing you need to do is determine what parts of your brand you like or don’t like. Make a list of pros and cons-- even the smallest details count. Do you not like your logo, but love your tagline? Write that down. Hate your colors but love your font? Write that down, too. Note the aspects that get you down and those that make you proud. Your cons list will be a literal road map of where you need to start.
After you identify the good and the bad, you can start defining your brand. Keep in mind, you don’t need to keep anything in place-- don’t be afraid to start completely from scratch. Hanging on to the past can often prevent us from moving forward. If your core message doesn’t resonate with you anymore, don’t be afraid to get rid of it. Even if your blog has been around for years, if you feel like it doesn’t define you now, change it. Find your own message, not what you think your message should be. Your brand has to be authentic and true to you. What do you like? What is your personality? What are you selling? What do you want to be known for?
"Hanging on to the past can often prevent us from moving forward."
Define Your Audience
Once you answer those questions, you need to think about the people on the other side of the screen--your audience. Who are you serving? Who is reading? Who is watching? Or, who would you like to be watching? As much as your brand needs to reflect you, it also needs to reflect your audience. You may have a feeling of who you want your audience to be, but it may be that, so far, you aren’t reaching them clearly. Not finding your people can make you and your brand feel lonely and frustrated. The more honest and open you are with your incoming audience, the more they will listen. People like to relate to others. How are you relatable? What story are you telling? These are things to keep in mind while defining which people you want your brand to speak to.
Invest in Yourself
So you know your brand, you know your audience, but how do you relay your message? In this day and age, people eat with their eyes. If something is visually pleasing, people are more likely to respond. Design is very important to a brand’s identity. Colors, fonts, and social media content quality mean everything. Your visuals define you, so now is the time to define them. Even if your design is already a-one, that doesn’t mean it resonates with you, and if it doesn’t resonate with you, it won’t resonate with your audience. Use design that you like, but that also stays in line with the brand you have made. Cohesion is key. Getting the right look is hard, but there are many people that would be willing to assist you. Don’t have the skills to make a satisfying logo? Ask for help! But make sure to be clear and speak up to get what you want. Never settle.
Goals are important for any business. Is your rebrand working? Track site visitors. Are you making more money? Keep on going. Set landmarks. How long does it take for you to get 1000 visitors? How about 10,000? Do you want to reach a bigger population in one week? Set that goal. If you don’t achieve it-- don’t worry! Things take time. Set a goal for how many new clients you wish to get in a month. Remember that your brand is never set in stone, but that it can evolve with your audience’s (and your own) needs.
What we all want is to close the gap between what we are presenting and what we really want to reflect in our brand. Setting and keeping goals, as well as hitting the refresh button when needed, will help to keep the gap a distant memory. Pay attention to your gut and your audience. Don’t be afraid to be YOU. If you follow your voice and listen to it, you’ll be connected to your brand and audience in no time.
Are you guilty of Brand Shame? Have you already conquered Brand Shame? Tell us in the comments what you have done to achieve Brand Pride!