Changing brand perceptions and how they can impact your business.

While COVID-19 has been an incredibly difficult experience, it’s given many businesses the time to evaluate where they sit in the market. Has that happened for you?

At the risk of sounding clichéd, this is the silver lining among the clouds. There’s a real opportunity to plan, innovate and make changes while it’s quiet – so when things are fully back in action, you’re ready to go.

But where to start?

We strongly believe that brand perception should be an initial focus of any forward planning you’re doing. We’re definitely entering a new phase and nobody is sure what the future holds. What your business has stood for over decades may not be as relevant for tomorrow as things are changing rapidly and new trends are constantly emerging. This has been particularly apparent over recent months. In daily life we’ve all noticed things like, for example, a surge in home cooking, online purchasing and demand for exercise equipment. These and other changes affect different businesses in different ways.

With a lot of competition out there, brand loyalty is crucial.

In a nutshell, brand loyalty means that your customers know you, trust you and want to continue to do business with you. To retain the loyalty you’ve already built up, it’s important that you make sure your existing customers understand the direction of your business. And to attract new customers, it’s important that you let potential customers know exactly what they are buying into. To ensure you stay relevant and connected in the minds of your customers, you should keep them informed about what you offer and about any changes in your products or services.

An example of this is our own studio. Around 15 years ago digital design became just as important as print design, which had been our core business for many years. We had to adjust our business so that we employed the right people with the necessary skills and developed the skills of our existing staff. Then we had to communicate to our clients that we had strong expertise in the digital field so that we didn’t miss opportunities as their businesses evolved to incorporate digital requirements.

Sometimes you might need a total brand reinvention to stay relevant.

You may have been the leader in your field once, but competitors may have superseded your status by evolving to ensure their relevance to customer needs. But it’s important to keep in mind that any reinvention of a brand shouldn’t be right just for today – you’ll need to ‘stretch’ your brand so that it’s relevant in the future as well. Time and resources are precious, so you won’t want to undertake the same process again in a few years’ time.

As we’re all so busy on a daily basis just getting the job done, it takes something like the current situation to make us step back and evaluate our businesses. If COVID-19 has had an impact on your business, maybe now is the best time – before business is back in full swing – to look at where you sit in the market and your relevance in today’s market.

At our studio, we’ve already been working with businesses over the last few months to redefine their offer and become more relevant. And what we’ve found is a real energy and commitment to move forward, even in what might well be a new playing field. If this sounds like you, get in touch. We can help you work out what you need to do to give your business relevance for the next decade and beyond.

Reminder: Why you should invest in your brand.

Your brand should make it clear to a customer that they’ll benefit from dealing with your business rather than that of a competitor. Developing a well-considered brand and strategy is a key part in building your business. From the colours, typography and graphic elements used through to the language and tone of voice you choose to adopt for your collateral, these all tell your customers who you are and what you represent.

When it’s done well, a brand identity can help you hit the ground running. And contrary to popular belief, it’s more than just a logo (although a logo is important). It’s about creating visual guidelines that cover fonts and colour – and it’s also about creating emotional parameters for copywriting, social media, advertising campaigns and more. It’s strategic, it’s planned well and it’s designed to continually connect with your target markets.