Brand Clarity is something I find myself talking about more and more these days and for one simple reason. It is the biggest issue that I see when it comes to branding whether it’s a new business owner, or one that has been in business 3+ years.
It is the same reason that I often rebrand a lot of people and why many people are still not happy with their brand even though they may have gotten a designer to work on it with them.
You might have landed here because you performed one of many searches that are common for new business owners:
- How do I start an online business?
- Where do I get a logo for my business?
- How to brand a business on a budget?
- How to brand and market your business?
These are just a few of many actual search prompts that come up in Google. That means, that people like you, are searching for answers for these very same questions.
What no one tells you though, is that making the decision to start an online business is just the very first step. The next step you need to take isn’t getting a logo, or working on your branding, or even figuring out your marketing.
The next step you need to take once you decide you want to start a business is to get brand clarity!
Clarity is the key ingredient in setting a solid foundation for your business. Just take a look at the stat below.
According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, as reported by Fundera, approximately 20 percent of small businesses fail within the first year. By the end of the second year, 30 percent of businesses will have failed.
That’s a pretty dismal statistic. So the next logical question is, why? Why are all these business failing?
According to this article in Inc.com, the top 5 reasons why businesses are failing are:
- Failure to market online.
- Failing to listen to their customers.
- Failing to leverage future growth.
- Failing to adapt (and grow) when the market changes.
- Failing to track and measure your marketing efforts.
But Kim, one of the first queries you mentioned above was about marketing and you said clarity was first, I’m confused.
So let’s take each of these failures and meet it with a question.
Failure to market online. Who are you marketing to? Do you know that? Do you know exactly who you’re serving and where they are so you can market to them?
Failure to listen to their customers. Who are your customers? Do you know what they want? How are you going to listen to them if you don’t know who they are yet?
Failure to leverage future growth. Going back to the Inc.com article, here is what they have to say about leveraging future growth:
“The online marketing you do once can continue to influence your business for years to come. Make sure your online presence, ranging from a corporate website to a company Twitter account, are all in sync with one another in messaging, tone, and overall look and feel. Customers and potential customers will respond well to aesthetically pleasing websites and are more likely to return to your site. Put in a little effort now and you’ll be reaping the rewards for months and even years to come.”
Knowing how important it is to not only have an aesthetically pleasing brand but a cohesive one across platforms, brand clarity becomes even more important, because we cannot brand a company well if we’re not clear on what this company is all about.
Failure to adapt when the market changes. Even though this may seem like it’s down the line and not as applicable for a small business owner, 2020 showed us how important it is to be able to adapt. In order to know how to adapt, we must be very clear on what it is we do and for whom, in order to adapt that to the changes that we’re seeing in the market.
Failure to track and measure your marketing efforts. This goes back to marketing itself. If you don’t know who you’re marketing to, where they are to market to them, or even what you should be marketing to them, then tracking and measuring those efforts is moot.
So all of this brings us back to brand clarity and the one phrase I want you to take from this series:
Clarity is the prep work that allows you to “bake your business”.
I’m sure you’ve baked cookies, cupcakes, or a cake once or twice in your life, especially if you’re a mom.
You know very well that you can’t just grab some ingredients and jump right in. First you need to think about who you’re making this for, what you’re going to make, and how you’re going to do it.
All of this information gives you the answers you need for questions like:
- Who am I making this for? School treats or something for the boys?
- What am I making? Gluten free cookies, or regular chocolate chips?
- How am I making it? Do I need muffin pans or just a baking pan?
And that’s all before questions like, do I need salted butter, semi-sweet chocolate chips, or gluten free flour.
Those questions above, are what make up clarity for our business. We need to ask the same questions.
Who are we baking for in our business? What do they need? How are we going to give them what they need?
So for the first installment in this series, I want you to think about who you’re baking for.
Who is this person? What are they struggling with right now? How are they feeling? Defeated? Stressed? Tired? Scared?
Where can you find this person right now? Are they hanging out in a particular place on the internet? Where might that be and how can you reach them?
In order to get the answers to those questions, you have to do some work first. So click on the image above and download the Who is Your Audience workbook.
You’ll start to hone in on your audience so you know exactly who you’re baking for and be ready for the next installment in this Clarity series.