Sixty-seven percent of small business owners expect to see some sort of increase in business in 2014, according to a survey by Sensis digital advertising. Strategic, focused branding plays a vital role in growth, so make sure you understand the signs of poor branding practices and establish a logical and appropriate counterattack.
Sign 1: Skewed Goals
Ask yourself this simple question: What are your goals? If any of them are intangible or vague, such as “earn more income” or “pay off XYZ,” you may be suffering from a lack of brand vision. Take the time to goal-set . Goals need to be time-bound, so any brand vision should be grounded by a timeline. Furthermore, the goal must directly relate to the company, be realistically attainable and be measurable in smaller pieces.
Sign 2: Social Media Flatline
According to Social Media Today, 90 percent of companies use social media, and 74 percent perceive social media as equally or more important than in-person networking. Using social media, however, is not a small commitment you engage in halfway. Proper branding through social media requires multiple angles, such as networking, lead generating, writing and content development. If a company is not incorporating all these angles, then your social media channels simply may not be in line with your branding.
Social media requires a strategic use and growth plan to keep the brand relevant and in the minds of consumers. It is not a throwaway strategy, but the public face of the company. If you suspect you are guilty of the former, hire a social media strategist to help you develop and implement specific goals that support your branding efforts.
Sign 3: Is Your Brand Made Clear in a Single Sentence?
A single sentence can not always explain a brand entirely, but it should certainly encapsulate it. Too many brands are attempting to illogically expand their market without making direct connections. TalentZoo recalls the famous Bic brand, the pen company. They added razors and lighters to their line-up, only to then add underwear to the list. The last concept failed, unsurprisingly. It was too far off from the brand’s image.
When expanding, do it logically. Can the brand be summed up with one cohesive thought, and are the products or services lining up under that umbrella of sensibility?
Sign 4: Your Brand Has No Physical Presence
If your brand lacks a physical aspect of any kind, it is time to change things up. Even full digital stores need a physical embodiment of that branding. Get business cards and any other marketing collateral that makes sense for your business. Include these items in correspondence and product shipments and hand them out at networking events.
Sign 5: No Unified Color Palette
MotoCMS offers a unique tutorial on managing color for a website. The company believes that few colors really match up in a meaningful way or are considered aesthetic “friends.” Designers need to isolate color friends and use them on a consistent basis with the branding. Web design is enchanted by color, and if a brand cannot answer what its dominant color is, and have it visible in nearly all aspects of its design, it is losing a branding opportunity.
Web Project Manager
LEXINGTON, Ky., (Feb. 14, 2017) – Kentucky Small Business Development Center is seeking nominations for the 2017 Pacesetter Awards. The recognition program was created to honor high performing, second-stage businesses that are changing Kentucky’s economic landscape. The deadline to submit nominations is March 15.
KSBDC encourages small businesses that meet the following minimum qualifications to apply:
· Privately held
· In business for three or more years
· Employ six or more full-time employees, including the owner
· Annual sales meet or exceed $500,000
· Located and headquartered in Kentucky
·Demonstrate the intent and capacity to grow evidenced by the judging criteria.
Pacesetters will be selected based on two or more of the following criteria:
· Growth in the number of employees
·Increase in sales and/or unit volume
· Innovativeness of the product or service
·Response to adversity
·Employee engagement and commitment
·Contributions by the nominee to aid community-oriented projects
Pacesetters will be recognized at the Kentucky Celebrates Small Business event held at the Capitol rotunda in Frankfort during the first week of May. Each honoree will receive an award inscribed with the business’s name and a promotional video for their own use that highlights the business. In addition, KSBDC will send a customized press release announcing the award to local media and trade associations. Honorees are given the rights to use the Kentucky Pacesetter logo and event photographs in promoting their business.
Anyone may submit nominations, including third parties associated with an eligible second-stage business. A business may self-nominate by completing the required form. Winners will be notified by March 27. Full nomination requirements and the application are online at https://www.ksbdc.org/kentucky-pacesetters1 .
The Kentucky Small Business Development Center, part of the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, is a network of 12 offices located throughout the state. The center helps existing and start-up businesses succeed by offering high quality, in-depth and hands-on services. KSBDC is a partner program with the U.S. Small Business Administration. More information on KSBDC services can be found on their website, http://www.ksbdc.org/ .
Writer: Roberta Meisel, 859-257-0104
UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, through its land-grant mission, reaches across the commonwealth with teaching, research and extension to enhance the lives of Kentuckians.