Marketing today is all about human connection. People choose brands that make them feel something, so it’s important for companies to ensure their branding elicits the kinds of thoughts and emotions they want consumers to associate with their business.
If a coach notices that their client’s brand is lacking essential elements that serve to create these emotional connections and help with brand recall and loyalty, it’s up to the coach to bring the issues to their client’s attention and offer helpful suggestions.
Below, 14 professionals from Forbes Coaches Council share the recommendations they would offer their own clients to help them improve lackluster branding.
1. Convey Your Unique Backstory And Purpose
I would ask, “Why do you exist?” Often, entrepreneurs have a unique backstory and purpose in business, but their materials and client experiences fail to convey it. It is valuable to share who you are and what your brand stands for. Further, I would advise them to define a niche target and service offerings. Saying “no” to the wrong work allows you to say “yes” to more mission-driven work. – Cami Gueguen, CAMIO PR LLC
2. Define Who The Organization Is Serving
First, who is the organization serving? Who is its defined, real customer who helps to generate continuous revenue growth and profit for the organization? Are its strategy, culture, and leadership clearly aligned across the organization for its core customer with a compelling brand promise, brand positioning, brand story and a systemized customer experience and life cycle? – Dennis Foo, Pu Xin Aspira Advisory
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3. Revisit The Company’s Vision And Voice
People align with a brand that makes them feel something. A lackluster brand should revisit the company’s vision and voice to gain clarity around what the brand stands for, where it is going, and how it communicates with the world. Based on that exercise, developing and using strategic, cohesive messaging to elicit the desired emotion will illuminate the brand in the eyes of an ideal client. – Lindsay Miller, Reverie Organizational Development Specialists
4. Create Specific Marketing, Branding And PR Business Plans
A lackluster brand needs a shot in the arm. The best shot is to create specific marketing, branding and PR business plans and double whatever efforts you’re already undertaking. Additionally, you should create a very aggressive editorial calendar and execute it consistently. As a last resort, you can always hire someone to bring an outside perspective. – Jon Dwoskin, The Jon Dwoskin Experience
5. Put Value Front And Center
Make value the most recognized aspect of your company. That’s the answer. Make valuable decisions, give valuable service, and remember your company values as you lead your team. It will speak for you. – Edyta Kwiatkowska, Leadit, Hana Mana Instytut Szkoleniowo-Rozwojowy
6. Get Involved And Engage
I see way too many CEOs hire someone to just “do social media.” The No. 1 thing leaders can do to drive their company brand is get involved themselves and engage. Not only are they intricately connected to the brand, but they also set the tone for the rest of their company to engage (which significantly helps increase brand trust). – Michael Quinn, HireMilitary
7. Get Feedback From Staff And Customers
A company’s brand is a reflection of the business’ culture, mission and vision. If the company’s brand is lackluster, thinking about what the company wants the brand to represent for both internal teams and external clients or customers is key. Getting feedback from internal teams and external customers about what they feel the brand already represents is helpful in these situations. – Brandy Mabra, Savvy Clover Coaching & Consulting
8. Pay Your Top Five Clients To Think-Tank Your Brand
Survey, host and pay your top five clients to think-tank your brand with you. Don’t think or assume your biggest fans are too busy to help you refine what you are doing and the perception of its value. Create a situation where you host them, treat them like gold, and do something like give them a nice gift card for their frank advice. Some would do it for free, but ask your biggest fans to help. – John M. O’Connor, Career Pro Inc.
9. Measure Three Invisible Forces
If a brand is lackluster, the company itself is likely to struggle with the three invisible forces that determine if an organization is evolving or dissolving: psychological safety, motivational drive and cognitive diversity. Measuring them to find out where the problem is and how serious it is would allow them to optimize and reignite their culture, which in turn would vitalise their brand. – Csaba Toth, ICQ Global
10. Leverage Brand Archetypes
Try using brand archetypes to create a clear position for your brand and go all-in on it. Most brands struggle because either they don’t know what they are trying to communicate or the positioning is watered down. The archetypes will determine the brand character. Once you know that, be clear and strong and even over-the-top. There is a lot of noise out there. The distinctive brands get noticed. – Krista Neher, Boot Camp Digital
11. Ask Customers What They Don’t Like
A brand is formed from the perception of customers. Therefore, ask them (and only them) directly or indirectly through surveys, communities, workshops and events or via branding specialists what they don’t like or miss about the experience of your brand presence and what they find good or better in others. Then, implement it perceptibly for them. – Michael Thiemann, Strategy-Lab™
12. Reflect On Who You Serve And The Problem You Solve
I would ask them to pause and reflect on two questions. First, “Who am I serving?” Second, “What problem am I really solving?” Most companies that do not have a clear brand lack clarity in the answers to these two questions. Once we can answer these, then we can begin to shape brand strategies around them. – Cole Taylor, The Starting Line
13. Do Focus Group Surveys Across Your Target Market
Do a few focus group surveys across your target markets and assess the feedback you receive critically, then have a creative problem-solving session. To go into even greater depth, do the same survey with your key stakeholders. Brands are created, elevated and destroyed by the perception created in the marketplace across many touchpoints. Always seek input before charting a course of action. – Arthi Rabikrisson, Prerna Advisory
14. Update Visuals And Communicate Relevance
The brand is the summation of the values embodied by the company, and the brand promise is what attracts and keeps customers coming back. For a lackluster brand, the most effective method of improving its connection with current and future customers is to update the brand’s visuals and communicate how it continues to be relevant. It may require a logo update or overhaul, but the aim is to create resonance. – Thomas Lim, Singapore Public Service, SportSG