Your Brand Is A Mess

Written by
Glen Erickson
April 21, 2023
min read
Pile of multicoloured LEGO blocks on a carpeted floor

I was that kid growing up who could rarely keep their room clean. My mom probably considered the mess my “brand.” In my teenage years, I eventually learned some value in the cleanup — usually requiring an entire Saturday by the time I was motivated. These cleaning days usually turned into a “rebranding” of myself as I used the motivation to address the color schemes, the feng shui of furniture, the posters on the wall and their arrangement, and reconnect with the things that mattered to me through the elements in my room.

When it comes to understanding "Brand", I’ve listened to a lot of pep talks and keynotes, watched a lot of YouTube videos, and read a lot of blogs. “Brand” meaning more than a logo, but actually the entirety of the elements which together contribute to what makes you… “you.” It always led me to thinking about my bedroom growing up. That place held all the things anyone needed to understand me.

As a company, effective and recognizable brands are highly sought after. However, if we are honest, it probably feels like luxury capital — the realm of high-earning business, regardless of industry. As a local, small business owner, brand is often overlooked for these reasons. It’s just a low priority for the dollars available, but with a subtle fear of the dollars that might be getting missed by ignoring it.

And so, the most common result I see in my years with small business is a messy brand. A bad logo happens all the time, but it is much more than a logo.

Here are several more specific signs that your company brand may be a mess:

  1. Inconsistent messaging: Your company may be sending mixed messages to its audience, which can create confusion and uncertainty about what your brand stands for.
  2. Lack of brand guidelines: Without clear brand guidelines, your employees may be creating materials that don't align with your brand's values, colours, or tone, making it difficult to create a cohesive picture of who you are.
  3. Poor brand recognition: Your audience may not be able to recognize your brand easily, making it harder for them to connect with your brand and trust it.
  4. Inability to differentiate from competitors: If your brand is not unique enough, it may not stand out from your competitors, which can harm your business growth.
  5. Unprofessional visuals: If your brand's visuals look unprofessional or outdated, it can be a sign that your brand needs a visual update to reflect its modern values and appeal to its target audience.
  6. Inconsistent customer experiences: If your customers have inconsistent experiences with your brand, it can harm your reputation and create confusion about your brand's values and message.
  7. Negative feedback: If you're receiving negative feedback about your brand, it could be a sign that your messaging or reputation is not clear or consistent.

I’ve always related a good brand experience with what I hoped someone would experience when they entered my teenage bedroom — an immediate understanding of who I am, and surrounding elements to reinforce the interests and values behind me. Its what a store owner hopes for when a customer takes their first few steps inside their space. Can a company brand provide the same experience?

If your brand is messy, it can lead to a lack of trust and a negative perception of your business. Regularly review and refine your brand strategy to ensure that it's consistent and effectively represents your values and message.

If you think you could use some help with this, Nimble loves branding (and a clean room).

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