“What is happening? Why is my business not running smoothly?”
I’ve seen and heard my friends who were starting out a business ask that question in panic, in the middle of running their business. The term “not running smoothly” didn’t necessarily mean that they ran out of money; it meant that their audience didn’t get what their business was about and so they didn’t deliver their brand’s message properly. They’ve got SEO process covered, they’ve got website run, they’ve got their web design and development covered, and even they’ve got management handled too. But, what’s missing? Keep reading to find out!
The missing part of a business that is losing its touch in the industry is “identity.” In the business world, we use identity for our brand to create visions that can be shared with target audience so they can understand our values and differentiate us from other competitors in the same industry. Not only that, when your business’ identity is solid, it can also boost your credibility, thus this will make things easier for your business. For that reason, a concept of shaping a brand identity is highly important for a business. Brand identity is one of the important elements in shaping a business. If you have a business, the first step you have to take is to set your goals, visions, and missions, then combine them into a brand identity. However, what if you have made your own brand identity but the same thing happened again and you didn’t get the result you have wanted? That is most likely caused by your brand identity crisis. But first, you need to make sure whether you are really experiencing a brand identity crisis or not.
Signs you are experiencing a brand identity crisis:
- You are attracting the wrong clients
- Clients don’t understand your business language
- You have to constantly explain about your products over and over again
- You feel that the old ways of doing things are not working anymore, that you are thinking of using “the other ways” even though it is not your style to do so
If you think at least three of the sentences above completely describe what is happening in your business, then yes, you are having a brand identity crisis. The first thing you should do is write down everything that is still off and scale it from 0-12 so you can know how bad it is and you can prioritise first what should be fixed immediately. That being said, it is not always a bad thing. Having brand identity crisis just means that you are evolving and learning. The fact that you realise something is wrong in your business makes you a better business owner. Setting that aside, now, let’s move to fix what is missing in your business.
The sure way of fixing a brand identity crisis is to be consistent. Brand identity is what represents your brand as a whole and what makes you, you. There are things you need to be consistent when it comes to brand identity:
- Your language. How you “speak” to others about your visions and your values matters. With strong and unique language, you can deliver the right message that can be understood by your target audience.
- Design elements. This part is very important. Like I said in the previous paragraph, a brand needs to be unique, starting from logo, font, colours, even to other design elements. This helps in making your target audience immediately recognise you the moment they see your logo. A good example of a great distinctive logo design is Starbucks’ logo. Even without the text around, when we see the logo alone, we know right away that it belongs to Starbucks.
- Message. Another crucial part in delivering a strong brand identity is the message. Your message should be delivered with your own characteristics, topped off with consistent meaning.
Move on and keep being you
Yes, you are having brand identity crisis right now, but life goes on, right? The world isn’t over yet. You should remember that the most important key of building your business’ brand is you. Yes, it’s you. Why? That’s because the brain that runs this business is yours. The creative ideas come from you. Therefore, never give up and move on to the next plan. Remember that if the first plan didn’t work, change the plan, not the goal.
Now, after getting your self-confidence back, it’s time to take action! Re-shape your brand so it can make more impacts to your target audience. Start collecting ideas and combine them. Make your business more engaging with your audience. Solve problems gradually and make a self-note consisting of the problems that have been solved and those that haven’t been solved yet.
That’s how you identify the signs of a brand identity crisis and how to fix it. You should never give up. Your brain contains ideas that can help re-shape and re-create your brand. Failure means nothing if you never give up. Remember that Starbucks once had their coffee concept reimagined. That example alone can tell you so many things at once. Keep your head held high and keep going!