Image plays a big part in how the quality of our services is perceived. That’s a reality. So in the same way that it’s important to update your wardrobe or try out a new hairstyle to keep your look professional and modern, it’s necessary to give your business a regular once-over too.
I’m not talking a total overhaul here - attempting to reposition your business is a whole other ball game altogether. But just some minor revisions can help rescue your brand’s integrity, infuse new energy into a tired looking brand, ensure your business remains current in a competitive global environment and potentially help you reach new customers.
How do you know your brand needs a refresh? Here are 5 tell-tale signs that it’s time for a spruce up:
1. Your branding is outdated
There’s a time and a place for a retro look, and it’s usually reserved for themed staff parties and 40th birthdays. So if your brand no longer resonates with who you want to be as a company, then it’s likely time for a more modern makeover.
You might have thought your logo was pretty swish when you first started your business, but now your tagline is looking pretty naff and that WordArt file has aged about as well as an over ripe avocado. You can’t claim to be an innovative engineering firm if your branding is stuck in the 80s. There’s probably no question that your company image is suffering because of it.
It’s time for a contemporary refresh while still keeping with the look and feel of your original branding. Talk to a graphic designer about how they can tweak your logo for a fresher, more sustainable design.
If you’re on a budget, try Fiverr - a website where you can pitch your project to professional service providers for a small fee. An updated logo won’t change everything though, you still need to communicate your fresh image through your brand story and written marketing too.
2. Your services have changed
It’s not uncommon for your services to evolve as your business grows, takes on more niche engineering clients or employs engineers with certain specialities or skills. Your business has matured, so should your brand.
Does your current image reflect these changes? Or are you actually giving potential clients the wrong message from your branding and turning them away before they’ve even picked up the phone?
It’s time to establish some clarity on how you want your business to be positioned in the market, and this may mean making some adjustments to your visual messaging and approach to marketing.
If you haven’t got this right, you’re likely experiencing the next point…
3. You’re not reaching the right audience
If you’re finding that you’re not quite hitting your target when it comes to finding customers that you really want to work with, then it might be down to your company image.
As with the point above, you need to determine who your ideal client really is and whether your brand story is working hard to reel them in.
***Define your target market and find your ideal customers in >>> The Ultimate Guide to Client Management***
Are you trying to target high-end but your brand is saying more ho-hum? Are you looking for big budget but your website suggests more basement-price? Do your documents ooze with trust-us professionalism or project sloppy indifference?
A generic and underwhelming brand will offer you no hope in catching the eye of your target customer. Consider if there are particular services that you need to start promoting to better attract your desired customer base.
4. Your branding is inconsistent
Confession time: Do you have one design on your business card, a banner-friendly rehash of your logo on your website and a half-arsed attempt at a customised invoice design (or maybe it lacks any design elements at all)?
Inconsistent branding looks unprofessional and becomes confusing for your clients. You need consistency to ensure it becomes a familiar and distinguishable company image.
Cull the confusion by establishing more clean-cut branding guidelines and implement them across all your marketing material - from your social media to your signage.
Check out these great examples of brand guidelines for inspiration.
5. You’re not attracting great talent
If you’re struggling to find top employees your brand could be to blame. Globalisation means competition is increasing, and there will always be impressive new entrants into the market. Can you compete?
People are attracted to innovation and want to be associated with a company with a strong industry presence. If your brand isn’t really sending out come-hither vibes, you’re going to stand little chance of attracting the cream of the crop to your firm.
When is the right time?
Tie the update to a real change if possible, such as an introduction of a new product or service, relocation of premises, an update to company structure or a significant business anniversary.
If there are no major changes or milestones on the horizon, consider evaluating your brand every 3-5 years. These decisions should always be strategic though, based on specific business goals, not just because you’re tired of the existing look.
What message is your current brand sending to your clients? Dated? Unprofessional? Confusing? Is it about time that your engineering brand had a tidy up?