You’ve heard about brand strategy, and you like the concept behind it. You understand that piecing together a logo, website, and social media presence can end up looking sloppy when it’s all created separately, and you want to make sure your visual identity resonates with your customers on a psychological level.
But when is the best time to work with a brand strategist? What stage of business is best suited for this process?
Here are three signs that it’s time to hire a brand strategist and take your business to the next level.
1. Your business is stable, but it’s not growing.
If you have a business and sales process in place that has gotten you this far, but your company’s growth has tapered off, you may have hit the upper limit on what you can accomplish without a strong brand.
Branding can help you scale your business and communicate your brand’s personality to your customers in a more vivid way. These slower times in your business are the “calm before the storm” where you can regroup, consult with a brand strategist, and determine where to go next.
Brand strategists take all sorts of components into account when auditing your brand: your colors, fonts, website, logo, written content, social media, the words you use, the photos you use, the customers you target, the ways that you stand out from (or don’t stand out from) your competitors, and so on.
This holistic approach ensures that your company’s image, message, and personality is consistent across all platforms. As an example, if you have amazing content and engagement on Instagram, but a 1990’s-style website… there is a branding disconnect, and you are leaving money on the table. A brand strategist will provide you with actionable ways to bridge these gaps and improve your overall brand identity.
2. You want an expert outside opinion.
Successful business owners know that expertise matters. You will move towards your business goals dramatically faster when you stop trying to handle every detail yourself.
You’ve probably seen this concept when you serve your own clients. Like if you’re Marie Kondo, and your customers are literally buried in clutter… but while they feel overwhelmed, you feel excited because you know exactly how to help them.
Or if you’re a health coach, and your client explains to you in great detail why they don’t have time to prepare healthy meals… and within a few minutes you pinpoint precisely how they can fit a new meal prep habit into their Sunday evenings. It’s because you’re an expert, and from your outside perspective the solutions are simple.
If you don’t have a background in branding, it’s unrealistic to expect yourself to become an expert on branding. When we’re in the thick of running our businesses, we truly “don’t know what we don’t know.”
A professional brand strategist can spot your company’s branding and messaging weaknesses from the outside. Brand strategists use their expertise to quickly scan your brand and point out marketing angles you hadn’t thought of yet, competitors you may have overlooked, and psychology principles that are impacting your design.
Having an outside pair of eyes on your brand is a smart business move that will save you time, energy, and money down the line.
3. Your focus or ideal client is changing.
If your business is pivoting to serve a new customer segment, a brand strategist can help you identify the strengths of your former brand while setting you up for future success.
You may need to rebrand or make changes to your content, tone, and visual identity in order to effectively speak to your new customers. Working with a brand strategist at this crucial moment can help you start on the right foot and sidestep preventable branding problems that could hinder your sales.
To get the most out of your experience with a brand strategist, it requires an open mind and being available to feedback — both positive and negative. Many entrepreneurs cut corners on branding and visuals when they first start out, and when you hit a certain point in your business you will realize that it’s time to portray a more professional image.
When that happens, it’s best to embrace the change and step into your new brand identity with the help of a branding expert — even if it might mean saying goodbye to your old color scheme or brand attributes. If your visuals, content, logo, website, and products or services can all work together to communicate your unique value, you will be able to charge premium pricing and attract clients that become enthusiastic ambassadors of your brand.
Some of our clients at Aventive Studio already have a strong visual brand when they start working with us, and some of our clients desire a full rebranding experience to take their company to the next level.
Our first step with each client is to create a personalized brand strategy document that will guide your brand and our work together. You can learn more about our unique process here and book a consultation with our Creative Director here to see if now is the right time to work with a brand strategist.