I get phone calls all the time from company owners or CMOs asking for a bid to redesign their company’s logo. I always ask a few probing questions to get to the heart of why they really called, and after a longer discussion I typically find they fear their marketing is behind the times and they might be missing out on valuable opportunities. Based on our conversation, I give them a better proposal to match their real needs, typically a comprehensive marketing approach to help attract and retain leads, prospects, customers and/or talent. Mostly, I receive their response: “We appreciate the proposal and will mull it over…” followed by silence for weeks, months, even years.
Frequently, right around the time I’m about to cross them off of my lead list, I get an e-mail out of the blue requesting an urgent kick-off meeting to begin the project. Although we are delighted to scramble to get started, I can’t help but think to myself how much closer to their goals they would be had they just committed in the first place.
If you are one of the many companies still wringing your hands about committing to that much-needed brand makeover, here are five ways your business will benefit by getting it off the ground…
Leads Will Start Noticing You
If your website is more than 3-5 years old, its more than likely just a brochure site, merely telling the world a little bit about your company. However, it’s pretty much invisible because it’s lacking vital components to attract the attention of search engines. Algorithms and criteria of search engines are constantly evolving, making it imperative to have a modern, modular website with the right components evolving right along with them. These components may include strategic key-word placement, a robust blog to reflect your expertise in your field, social media integration (sorry, a Facebook icon on the bottom of the page is ineffective these days) or a responsive, mobile-friendly interface. By not having these basic contemporary mechanisms, you’re becoming more and more obsolete as the weeks go by.
And don’t get seduced by the snake oil salesmen out there who guarantee they can catapult you to the top of the search rankings immediately by bolting on some black-magic wizardry. If your website is not overhauled correctly, adhering to best web practices, your position at the top of the mountain will be temporary until the search engines discover your cheat codes and knock you off worse than if you had not touched your site in the first place.
Prospects Will Start Respecting You
And once a lead has found you, how are they viewing your image? Is it of a turtle-slow, status quo, risk-averse kind of place? Or does it tell a story of passion, innovation and inspiration? Just like billboards, you only have seconds to capture your audience’s attention. But more importantly, you must retain their interest by projecting trust and making a genuine connection. A quality appearance will viscerally reassure them that their money will be well spent because you are the authority, committed to the successful delivery of whatever you do.
The customer experience is critical these days to convert “lookie-loos” into loyal evangelists about your brand. Once they’ve landed on your website, you can’t let them drop off due to a sloppy architecture or confusing content. Nothing turns a visitor off more than having marketing materials that appear mismatched and half-baked. A strong, congruent marketing system reinforces your credibility and sends a message that you care about your product or service, and the ongoing relationship with your customers.
Prospective Talent Will Start Considering You
Most company leaders agree that the biggest concern they share is the scarcity of quality employees out there. Everyone has read the alarming statistics of how many baby-boomers are leaving the workforce (and with them all the tribal knowledge they compiled) versus how fewer millennials are ramping up to take their place. Of those, the dot-com behemoths already have their hooks in the top talent by offering not only stupid-high salaries, but entertaining in-office climbing walls, ball pits and generous “bring your pet to work” policies, to say the least.
But research also shows that many people in the workforce aren’t as attracted to the crazy incentives as much as being able to participate in a forward-moving, future-focused company they can believe in. If you can’t install a climbing wall, the investment you make retooling your story to better capture your innovative visions will work wonders to widen your net to snag the right kind of people you will be desperately looking for.
Your Staff Will Start Advocating For You
A cleaner and better-defined brand system, including images, messaging and strategic positioning, is kind of like cleaning your desk. You just are able to think and focus better and be more productive once you have organized the environment in which you work. As I noted earlier, your staff wants to be part of an organization that is focused on the future, not afraid of reinventing itself and evolving with the times. The more stagnant you appear, the harder it will be to retain the quality talent you need. All employees, from management to sales to workers on the floor operate more efficiently and productively if they have a shared sense of purpose and commitment to growing as a team.
You Will Start Having More Confidence
Having a fresh brand will make you prouder of how you present yourself at networking events or tradeshows. You may find your operations a little less stressful due to a larger volume of new business walking in the door. Remember, advertising doesn’t really cost money when it works and a business that wants to scale and grow respects the role that image, messaging and effective modern marketing has to play in its ongoing success.
By retooling your communications system, you are modernizing without investing in all the really expensive machinery. You are breathing new life into the way you manage your business from the foundation up, which will pay off in dividends through increasing business volume, having a more committed staff and better output of what you do.
So, take your finger off the “abort” button and let go of your reservations. Launch your new marketing or rebranding project. The higher you allow your image to climb today, the smoother the flight is going to be tomorrow.