And why they should motivate you to rebrand your business
Often when business owners and leaders aren’t getting the results they want, they blame it on their marketing or mindset. But, there’s one thing that people don’t often think about that is actually the critical piece – the branding.
If there is a disconnect between you (your brand) and your audience (those dreamy clients or perfect customers you want to have), nothing else matters. Everything has to make sense to your audience and tie into your big overall vision and values.
If you have even one marketing asset that is misaligned from what your audience thinks they know about you, it will plant seeds of confusion, skepticism, and mistrust. It may even lead them to devalue you, no matter how much work you’ve put into building your business and credibility.
Typically, this happens after a business or leader has been in operation for a couple years or more, has been steadily adjusting their messaging, visuals, and marketing strategies individually, and hasn’t really taken a step back to think about how it all ties into who they are, what they want, and where they are headed.
Without a reliable foundation to tie all marketing and sales messages and images back to, it is very likely there will be a disconnect between what you know you can do for your target audience and what value they believe you can (or can’t) give them.
Disconnect is the #1 reason people come to us for a rebrand. And if you don’t address the disconnect, it will affect your sales.
We have seen this happen before with small businesses and big influencers.
We want to share the top 10 types of disconnect that are keeping you from reaching your goals, help you prioritize the next thing to focus on if you’re seeing them in your own business, and share some precautionary tales along the way.
Brand Disconnect #1 Multiple Personalities (Voice/Tone)
If your brand shows up in different ways in different places, there is going to be a huge disconnect, which will lead to distrust. You need to have a clear image everywhere your brand shows up. If you don’t it’s likely because you haven’t clarified your brand identity and voice before distributing marketing messages on multiple platforms.
One of us was considering hiring an industry leader who had already built up more credibility and recognition than most others in her industry. Her website and funnel materials were rock solid – some may even say intimidating. But, in 1:1 conversations, she seemed to be a different person than what was presented (a delightful surprise, but confusing as she had a personal brand!). Further, in her direct emails, her message came across as insecure and unsure – which made the foundation of her credibility seem unstable.
This person, who up until that point seemed like she really knew what she was talking about and could help anyone grow their business, wasn’t presenting an image in their messaging and visuals that was true to who they are, confident across the board, and consistent. Although they had an incredible offer that was just what was needed, the disconnect planted seeds of uncertainty in the results, so they didn’t land the project.
This happens more often than you think, I’m sure. This is because the voice of the leader or business has not been clearly identified – and/or they are not consistently aligning all of their messaging with conviction in that voice.
Brand Disconnect #2 Purpose or Promise Unclear
If your audience doesn’t understand the problem you solve, they won’t invest in your offer. A confused audience is an unengaged audience.
Does your audience fully understand the value your offers bring to the table? Do they understand how you can help them specifically? Do the people in your audience think your business was created just for them?
If you’re answering no to any of those questions, you have a brand problem. You need to develop a well-positioned brand purpose and promise so people understand what you can do for them.
After going through our Brandividuation process, one person said to a client, “where have you been hiding?” It wasn’t that they had been hiding – it was just that they hadn’t clearly positioned themselves as relevant and valuable with enough clarity or confidence before then.
Brand Disconnect #3 Your Philosophy is Inconsistent
If you’re trying to plant your stakes in the ground for your brand on a particular philosophy or theory, but your messaging sometimes conflicts with it, you’ll struggle to gain recognition and differentiate your brand.
There are many reasons why your brand and philosophies may not align well. Sometimes, brands grow too fast and as they go, they layer on new offerings and messages, taking them away from their core beliefs, values, and philosophies.
Other times, as entrepreneurs shift from a solo business or tiny team into a more structured and slightly larger small business, the message gets lost or muddied along the way. Most of the time it is because there is no central guidance for this growing team to help them stay aligned to the businesses values and vision.
Then, there are other instances where the philosophy itself shifts or changes and there isn’t an articulated body of work to help the team express the brand’s identity and beliefs.
In some cases, there are experiences and messages from others that make entrepreneurs and leaders question the validity of their core beliefs in the marketplace.
We were consulting with a coach in the personal development space. She had an incredibly unique combination of experience and offers, plus a well differentiated approach. However, she wasn’t showing up using that philosophy consistently in all her messages and offerings.
When we dug deeper we found out that some of the advice and teachings shared with her over the years had made her question the value of this very unique approach. In fact, one marketer had even told her that she shouldn’t use her own methodologies and philosophies in her marketing because they were too different.
Once we dove into her client intelligence and validated her approach by proving it was valuable to the people who mattered – her clients and audience – we were able to build out messaging around her differentiated philosophies and help her embody them in all her marketing.
After a couple months of showing up with her clearly fully owned messaging, she shared that the experience of extracting and articulating her core beliefs in her messaging was business and life changing – that it had given her the permission to show up to her people with her way of coaching.
Brand Disconnect #4 You Haven’t Differentiated Your Brand
In order to stand out, command attention, and let people know you can help them in a way nobody else can, you have to position your brand well.
People who are confused about what you are actually bringing to the table, how you can help them, and why it should matter to them won’t likely invest time, energy, or money into your initiative. So, now is the time to let go of all the efforts, solutions, services, products, audience segments, or anything else that is not serving you and niche down so you can differentiate yourself.
Trying to serve the wrong audience, sell too many offers that aren’t the best fit for your audience, or mirror what others in your industry are doing in their marketing is going to make your business blend in, delay success, and potentially kill your business – slowly and painfully.
Niching and going narrow – whether that be in terms of your audience, your offers, or your frameworks – will allow you to stand out and attract people who are the right fit for your most profitable offers.
Brand Disconnect #5 It’s Not Obvious Who You’re Talking To
It’s true what they say – if you’re talking to everyone, you’re talking to no one. If it’s not clear in your messaging who you are talking to, the people on the receiving end of the message will be confused about whether it’s meant for them.
Often, the disconnect happens here when there are multiple audiences and/or offers and you’re unsure of how to present them cohesively and consistently to your audience without overwhelming or confusing them.
The dots haven’t been connected between you and your audience or how your overall brand isn’t infused into each offer and touchpoint.
Many entrepreneurs and leaders struggle with this because they don’t have enough information collected about the people they are serving, or want to serve, in a central database. This is where the brand and marketing research portion of the rebranding process can truly benefit you.
Sometimes a disconnect happens when a business or leader is transitioning, scaling, or evolving their business and they haven’t put time into ensuring their brand and messaging grow with them.
Whatever the cause of the disconnect, this is a critical one to address because you have to be able to reach the right people with the right message at the right time – and the right people have to know they need you.
Brand Disconnect #6 You’re Talking to the Wrong People
This form of disconnect ties into the previous – if you’re talking to the wrong people, they probably aren’t a good fit for the offers and value you bring to the table. So, while you may have built a community of fans and friends, you haven’t really done a good job of building buyers.
You know you have this problem if you:
- have an audience, but you never get them to opt-in to your resources or offers
- get good engagement on social media, but none of it converts to sales calls or purchases
- have people mention you or refer you to others, but it’s not for the right reasons
This is where things can get sticky – nobody builds a business to have a fan club. That’s what we have friends and family for. You want an audience of pre-qualified leads.
There are a couple reasons why messaging could be attracting the wrong people:
- Your business has shifted over the years, but your messaging hasn’t shifted enough with it
- You simply don’t know enough about what is going on in the heads of your ideal audience to speak to their decision stage, pain points, beliefs, or goals
- Your brand presentation isn’t at the professional level it needs to be to earn trust and believability with your evolved or new audience
- You’re putting content out, but it is not the right content for your audience’s stage of awareness
If your audience feels like it’s not the right fit, you must bring someone in who can get the information you need to make smarter decisions in your marketing so you reach the people who are most likely to become your clients and customers.
Brand Disconnect #7 Your Messaging is Confusing or Weak
If your messaging is fragmented, customers will be confused, won’t know you’re talking to them, and won’t trust you. Misaligned or confusing messaging compromises your brand’s integrity. When messaging is poorly aligned, it looks like you’re still trying to figure out your purpose to the outside world.
Language builds trust, so you need relevant, authentic, confident, and well-positioned messaging that will help your audience understand why your business exists and why it matters to them.
Often, messaging for many businesses is piecemealed and cobbled together, one post or marketing material at a time. So, there’s no singular line through all the brand messaging to make the value proposition clear and values aligned to marketing and sales.
Without a clear Unique Brand Value statement and promise, plus key messaging to weave into all communications, messaging is haphazard at best and turns off people you want to attract. At worst, if not approached carefully, messaging can instil distrust in your audience and spark cancel culture.
Brand Disconnect #8 Your Visuals Don’t Align to You and Your Purpose
People will have a difficult time recognizing you in the crowded online space, if your brand visuals don’t reflect who you are, how you can help or the impact you make. Many people are visual, especially when they are learning something new.
While your message is what usually gets people to understan what you do, who you do it for, and why it should matter to them, your visuals is what grabs attention so they read that message.
If your brand’s visuals don’t align to your messaging or identity, you run the risk of:
- Missing an opportunity to grab your audience’s attention
- Your brand being standoffish or lacking an emotional connection tied to your bigger purpose
- Having a disjointed presence that doesn’t really tell the story of who and what your clients get if they invest in your service or products
- Seeming unprofessional or even misleading if your visuals don’t align to who you are
Many businesses don’t know how to make the connection for themselves. They are unclear how to reach their ideal audience and connect the dots from vision to visuals. That’s why we have built our signature service around extracting and articulating the value and visuals in both the messaging and visuals together.
Brand Disconnect #9 Your Visual Presence Doesn’t Reflect Your Level of Expertise or Service
If you know you have an incredible offer and people need it, it can be frustrating when they don’t believe in the value. As much as people don’t want to believe it – your visuals actually have a lot to do with perceived value.
When your branding is cobbled together, DIY’d, or pieced out among freelance designers without cohesive alignment, your business image can come across as unprofessional at best.
Without a foundation that ties your visuals back to your value, reflects the level of service or products you offer, and is professionally designed by someone with experience positioning premium brands, there will be a disconnect between who you are, the value you offer, and what your audience sees.
The images you use in your marketing will also have an impact on the perception of your brand. If you are only posting randomly selected stock photos or selfies without a strategy, it’s hard to truly reflect the full value behind your brand and offers. When you have a professional brand photoshoot or have an image gallery curated especially for your brand, you are positioning yourself at a higher level.
It’s important that your visual branding identity (logos, styles, colors, fonts, etc.) and image curation helps your audience connect to your brand.
If it’s hard for your ideal clients to seamlessly connect the dots from your vision to how you can help them, through your visuals, they won’t be as interested or engaged in what you’re saying and offering.
One of us was talking to an upcoming influencer in her industry who was a very lovely person and well-versed in her knowledge field. Once you got on a call with her, there was an immediate connection. But, her visual representation was loud, in your face, intimidating, and, to be honest, unprofessional. The colors were bold and dark, but her she was approachable and kind. She needed to get clear on who she was and bring that out in her visuals and voice better to get to the next level.
Unfortunately she decided not to work with us and, a year later, is in the same position – and her business is as well. Luckily you get to choose when you rebrand – and depending on that choice, you may or may not completely change the perception your audience has of your brand and offers.
Brand Disconnect #10 You Don’t Have a Central Guideline to Keep Your Brand Aligned Consistently
To avoid every other kind of disconnect that can happen in your branding and messaging this one thing is crucial – you must have a guide that serves as a north star to keep your communications and presence aligned to your brand’s True Self. Your purpose, promise, values, unique brand value statement – all those things must be consistently communicated through key messaging and visuals.
But, many business leaders and entrepreneurs simply don’t know who to turn to to create this foundation or haven’t put the time and financial investment to make it happen.
As you grow, it will become more and more difficult to keep your brand aligned to your values and vision without a central guideline – especially if you are growing a team and diversifying your income streams.
The more your business grows without a central source of brand guidance, the more out of control it will become for you and confusing it will get for your audience. That’s why it’s critical to rebrand your business and align your total presence to who you are and the value you offer.
There are so many reasons why rebranding your business can be just the boost you need to make your vision a reality.
Before You Can Step Out & Level Up, You Have to Know Who You Are and How You Want to Show Up!