When should you update your brand? Always a tough question to ask this one since if your brand isn’t broke, why fix it? (As the saying goes.) We all know that one of the fundamental elements of a strong brand is consistency. That said if your brand feels slightly out of touch, isn’t making the money you want it to make or no longer conveys what it should then it’s time for a speedy overall.

If you want your business to be taken seriously you need to be serious about it. It’s all about making a good first impression and it starts with how you are perceived. Your brand is the most important asset of your business so you’ll need to invest time and money into it. If sales are slow then it’s for two reasons; one you’re not differentiating your business from the competition enough; or two, not enough people know about you.

Here’s how to do a little sprucing up to get your brand out there – without spending a heap of money on a fancy brand consultancy. You will have to spend something though, no getting around that one!

First impressions are paramount

Oh so true, and backed up by scientific evidence no less. In an experiment, people were very briefly shown a number of websites and then asked which ones they would like to explore further. The good-looking sites came out on top. No brainer there.

My point is to make your brand look as good as it possibly can. When you are going for funding or working out how much money you will need, factor in dosh for the webby professionals. You cannot do everything yourself – content, images, graphics, font, etc. – that’s where professional help is all-important. If you can’t afford to pay for a complete overhaul, start small. Yes it’s an investment but very worth it.

Update your product selection

No point in having products on your site that don’t sell. Take them down, and sell off any that haven’t worked – don’t keep them on there purely to bulk up the selection. No point in having products that don’t make you money. We give our products 3 months; the bigger retailers give it a matter of weeks!

If a product isn’t flying out, discount heavily and get them off the site as fast as you can, in order to get in the new stuff. With the big retailers like Debenhams if your products aren’t selling and selling well, you’re out! It’s a harsh fast world out there, but none of us want products hanging around taking up space for nothing.

Add something new to your site

How about starting a blog, or penning a new column? It will create more interest instantly. I’ve been overwhelmed by the reaction to the biz column – so much so, that every Friday morning starting in November we will feature someone with a business and drill down into the challenges they are facing (as well as the successful bits).

Talking of which, if you are a business owner or entrepreneur or just staring out with a dream then why not tell us your story so far. The hurdles you have faced, the adversity, the dreams you have. We’ll feature it and profile it across all our social media channels. Email us at submissions@abigailahern.com with the subject line #Mybizstory.

Don’t stray

Don’t keep on and on rebranding. There’s no point in continually using different fonts, logos or colour schemes, as it will look and feel like a big disconnect. You can certainly tweak what you have if it not’s working, but don’t keep chopping and changing drastically. The questions you have to ask are: are you happy with your brand message, brand personality and brand identity? If not, tweak it.

A critical path to your success depends on your brand values, messages and personality. Getting that right will push your biz towards more profitability, simple as that!

 

Check out the weekly biz column archives for more tips and business advice.

For retailers, start-ups and budding entrepreneurs, why not try our London Retail Class, or sign for our Online Retail Class?

This is our ultimate A-Z guide for anyone thinking of starting their own business, or looking to take the next step in building their retail empire.

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