Blank, Bland or Brand: What Image Does Your Business Deserve?

Françoise Garnier

I'm not getting business from my website, I am not even sure what it does for me. Can you do a better one?

A Familiar Brand Story For Small And Medium Businesses

“Doing another website” is rarely what it is really about. As I see a client's brand come to life when I press the “Go Live” button for their new website, I remember the journey they went along to this point and I applaud them for deciding to improve how they build their success.

It started with the classic comment and question quoted above. I bet you've heard this, maybe said it before.

A website is a window into your business that tells a lot about it and its potential to thrive... or not. It only takes a few questions and a quick look at a website to find a sad story of a neglected small/medium business brand.

A Brand Diagnostic Not Everyone Wants To Hear

“Neglected? It can’t be! We have a logo, we got a website a few years ago, we hand out brochures and promotional gifts, we’ve advertised, ….”

True, but all too often something critical is missing or poorly implemented: A solid brand strategy and communication plan. Without these, you are wasting money, missing out on important connections with customers and on opportunities to grow sales profitably.

No business owner will say that their business should only have a blank or bland image. Even if they don't think "brand" as much as I do, they want a strong positive reputation. However they often don't drive their brand as hard as they could, letting some uncontrolled, even negative communication happen. Their business suffers sooner or later and undoing damage is harder than building success by first choice.

Brand And Business Success: 7 little questions

Simple business sense is all you need to answer these questions about success. It isn't about marketing theory, it is about facts.

  1. How is your business going to generate sustainable sales, if nobody knows the business exists?
    If they can’t easily find you on the internet?
    If your social media and other activities do not lead automatically to your website?
  2. How can your website attract visitors and keep them for more than 3 seconds, if they don't see instantly the connection between their needs and your solution?
    if your website lacks content relevant to them?
  3. How are you attracting the “perfect customer” you’d love to have, if you are not clearly talking with them in your website?
    How are they going to know you, trust you, want your product or service, if they do not hear/see/feel the relevance AND UNIQUENESS of your solutions?
  4. How can they be enthusiastic about a bland “me-too”, “try-to-be-all-things-to all-customers” business focused on not-missing-out-on-anything rather than on doing specific things brilliantly?
  5. How can they trust you, recommend you, if your website says one thing, but your customer service does another?
    If you/ your people don’t deliver consistently the same brand experience across everything you do?
  6. How can they go from considering your product or service to buying it, to coming back for more solutions, to being an ambassador for your business on social media or to their friends or their customers…, if your passion for your business does not shine through your website and every point of communication with your market?

Can you see that "doing a website" without applying well a sound brand strategy will not help your business be successful? It will cost you money and effort. Don't be fooled by offers of cheap websites.

Anyone can build a pretty website shell with trendy functionality, but few people take good care of your brand. Few help you formulate a solid brand building strategy that is structured in the context of your business vision, its capability to succeed, and that takes into account the whole brand experience.

Test Yourself

To how many of these statements could you honestly confirm “Yes, I am totally confident that I do this very well”?

  1. We regularly review how our brand is going
  2. We sytematically measure and use what your customers think and say about our business
  3. We recognise our true brand assets and we use them to our business advantage
  4. We understand our ideal customers and we focus on them exclusively
  5. Our products & services, and the way we communicate them, clearly focus on Customer Outcomes
  6. We communicate a very clear compelling "brand story" to your ideal customers.
  7. We deliver what we say, and we build upon it consistently, with Everything we all do
  8. We Reach, Connect, Engage with and Delight our ideal customers really well
  9. We know we get active attention from our audiences on our website and social media
  10. We build momentum across all activities and communications to profitably accelerate success

Now Is The Best Time To give Your Brand Some Energising TLC

Congratulations if you are 100% satisfied with the market response you get and the way you succeed. If you want more however, may I suggest a proven way to get a great result:

  • Do a strategy workshop with a branding specialist who understands small/medium business
  • Then work with the right resources to implement the recommendations. When you decide to change your website, ensure the strategy is fully integrated and expressed in your new site.

Françoise Garnier

Talk to a brand building specialist who cares about your success, personally.

To see more opinions, tips, articles from different perspectives on building a strong business, check the posts filed under Strengthen, Support and Succeed.

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