Two Kinds of Brand Distress Signals

22-Nov-2011

Brand is such a big word. And brand problems can be even bigger. So stay on this small desert island for a moment, where distress signals are of two varieties. The S.O.S. in the sand  (as to be seen by the scrappy little prop plane that is sure to help you) or the giant bonfire (all the palm fronds are getting stacked on that inferno) sending up major smoke signals for some major rescue.  Here are six types of brand distress that we think can be helped with either 1. a quick fix or 2. a major rescue.

Does your brand need a 1. quick fix or 2. a major rescue?
Quick Brand Fix:
So note the duct tape. It’s a perfectly respectable way of, well, fixing anything. If you’ve been “duct-taping” together your brand message and look & feel, but you, or your employees and your customers really like you and your product and the missing piece is just looking and sounding the part, here are some of the distress signals you might recognize:

- logo shame, you are embarrassed to hand our your business card
- you have trouble summing up what you do in one or two sentences
- updating your online presence (be it your site, or the need to engage in social media) keeps getting put off

If these signals ring true, then it might be time to wave down that scrappy little prop plane and get some support. Peel off the duct tape and scrape of the residual goop and get a clean fresh update. Mostly, just recognize what you’ve done well in the past, look where you want to go in the future, and find a realistic way to better interpret what you can inject into your brand today. That might mean hiring a designer, spending some time doing some brand exercises like our desert island series or finally getting your head wrapped around what social media style you can execute consistently (i.e. not dread or quit doing).

Major Brand Rescue:
Okay, so these are those big black smoke clouds puffing up. To a passing by ship or commercial plane they might seem small, but if you are on that island (i.e. in the thick of your small business) then they can seem looming and large. Here are some smoke signals for sure:

- a disconnect between what you are saying about your biz, and what people (be it you, your customers, or your employees, even just your business partner) are actually experiencing
- your online presence is confusing, it’s not just in need of an update, but is actually repelling what might be some great inbound traffic, or on the other end of the spectrum, it is non-existent
- your tribe is restless and just can’t get a clear grasp on your vision and are actually at a point of resistance to forward motion (and by tribe, this could be the people mentioned above, or even just all the conflicting voices and ideas in your own head, especially if you are an entrepreneur)

Before you can put out the fire, you need to just take a deep breath, know that you are busy and aren’t struggling with anything that anyone else hasn’t before, and just really try to find a partner that’s a good fit before you jump in feet first to coordinating your brand rescue plan. It’s going to take more than one pair of hands, but it will be worth it.

Some good books for DIY rescue are Rework by Jason Fried & david Heinemeier Hansson for getting scrappy and getting started, and Launch by Michael Stelzner for common sense social media and content sharing strategy.


Braid Method Branding for Creatives ECourse

The Braid Method Branding ECourse is for creative entrepreneurs who are ready to support themselves financially with their business, create a blog or consistent online presence, and finally turn the work they’re already doing into a digital product, package, or offering for dream customers. This branding ecourse comes with 7 learning modules in a 300+ page digital download, a workbook with 20+ branding exercises and scripts, a quarterly masterclass, and an exclusive Facebook group so you can connect with us and other students.

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