Every brand needs to occasionally take out the pruning shears and polishing cloths to spiff itself up.
Sometimes these efforts are a big success, as LEGO has proven recently, and sometimes they are major flops; think back in 1985 when Coca-Cola introduced the New Coke.
LEGO had let its brand slide over the years. It seemed to think that as long as it walked down the same path, it would continue to be a marketplace winner. It nearly waited too long to rethink its strategy.
Coca-Cola wasn’t in any imminent danger of failure when it tried to reassert its leadership position with a new cola formula. However, it seriously miscalculated consumer response.
These two examples illustrate four important points about freshening up your brand:
- It’s a balancing act.
- Timing is critical.
- Benefits can be significant.
- Harm can be significant, as well.
The timing and balancing points are related. If your position is strong, your spring cleaning can be minimal. However, it shouldn’t be ignored. If you’re beginning to sense that you’re falling behind, you’ll need a little more octane behind your efforts.
Here are three tasks all business owners should consider this spring:
1. Tweak your look
Is your website or perhaps your logo beginning to look a little dated? It doesn’t take drastic changes to imbue them with a little more energy. I really enjoy exploring the Internet Archive Wayback Machine. It has been archiving Internet web pages since around 1996. You can “turn back the clock” and see how sites used to look.
I recently scrolled through several versions of the Walmart home page. You can watch its logo change and the general layout evolve over time. If your look is beginning to get a little gray around the temples, it’s probably time for a few touchups.
I looked up my site from 2000. Wow — what a throwback. I even had dark hair back then. Check it out for yourself.
2. Figure out what you missed
There is always a latest and greatest marketing channel or strategy, and you can’t chase after every one as if your business life depended on it. However, you should review your digital media marketing options today and see that you’re holding the right cards. Ask yourself these questions:
- Which social channels are you pursuing? Is it working for you or should you focus your efforts somewhere else?
- Have you made good use of video? Developing video content might be a little difficult at the beginning, but video isn’t going away.
- Are you committed to creating engaging content your audience will find interesting? I can’t count the sites that I see every day that have blogs with posts that are so outdated it’s embarrassing.
3. Revisit your customer list
Is there more you can do for your major customers? Increasing your business with the big players can pay off significantly. If your business mix follows the 80-20 rule, a slight improvement with those who drive 80 percent of your business will yield a significant improvement.
Revisit your customer list and work to understand what your biggest customers need. Once you have this figured out, be ready with a solution. If you’re spending a lot of energy with some very small accounts, find ways to deal with them more efficiently or more profitably, or cut them loose.
Are you taking a fresh look at your business this spring? Tell us how are you responding?
About the Author: Susan Solovic is THE Small Business Expert. Sign up for Susan’s Success Tips Newsletter and get your free copy of “Smart Marketing Strategies for Small Biz” ebook.