Working for a startup is exciting. The team consists of a small group of talented and dedicated people willing to do whatever it takes to succeed. For fast-growth companies, those challenges that were once so exciting become frustrating as the founders give up control and more people get involved in the business.
Maintaining the focus of your brand identity over time is a challenge. As more and more people interpret your brand and do their best to present the company to prospects, customers, and funders, the brand becomes muddy. Each person responsible for developing marketing and sales collateral interprets the brand differently, favoring specific fonts, colors, or graphics. These modifications may seem inconsequential at first, but over time they give your audience the impression that your company is not as capable or professional as they once thought.
What is a Brand Analysis?
Also referred to as a brand assessment, a brand analysis evaluates every touchpoint between your company and your audience to ensure your brand is consistently and properly represented. It looks at the current state of your brand and its position in the marketplace. It creates a clear path forward so you can reinstate and maintain a differentiated and authentic visual identity. It identifies what’s working well, what’s not working, what’s missing, and the best course of action to take to close the gaps and move forward.
A brand analysis doesn’t just look at your logo and website. It reviews and evaluates your social media, email marketing, presentation decks, webinar slides, white papers, and promotional materials — every single piece of outward-facing collateral used to present your company to your prospects, customers, and funders. It looks at the treatment of each element to make sure it is consistent with your brand standards (if available) or the overall look and feel of your brand. Is the typography consistent? Are the icons all of a similar style? Is there a specific color palette? Do the photographs have the same look and feel and do they reflect the brand?
Why is it Essential for Fast-Growth Companies to Conduct a Brand Analysis? What Are The Benefits?
A brand analysis gives you a clear path forward so that you can present your company in the best possible light to customers, prospects, and funders. It is critical for fast-growth companies because:
1. A Complete Brand Analysis Saves Money
The sooner you do a brand analysis, the more money you will save. Not only will the assessment be more limited in scope, but you won’t need to redesign as many creative assets. By conducting a brand analysis, you will know which elements of your brand are working well and do not need to be changed. You’ll also know which elements need to be brought into alignment with the brand immediately and which are currently missing. You won’t have to waste valuable time and money reinventing the wheel. The stronger your brand is now, and the more robust your brand standards are, the easier it will be to add new graphic elements down the line.
2. Brand Consistency Instills Brand Loyalty
Consistency in how you present your company has a tremendous influence on your customer experience. Have you ever gone to the grocery store to pick up your favorite product only to realize that they’ve changed their packaging? That change raises questions about whether you should stay with that particular brand. Is this really what I’m looking for? Is it the same company? Is this a new product or just new packaging? Will it be as good? A brand analysis makes sure your audience recognizes your company at every point along the journey.
3. A Professional and Cohesive Brand Inspires Confidence
A brand that has a cohesive look and feel is trustworthy. A brand that is erratic is perceived as unprofessional. As you continue to grow your business, you will need to attract new customers and funders. A strong brand reassures your prospective customers and funders that your solution and company are worthwhile investments. A consistent look and feel helps your company build its reputation and credibility.
A Brand Analysis Removes Obstacles to Growth.
Working for a fast-growth company, you don’t have the time to redesign your pitch deck (yet again) or frantically search for the right logo. You need to streamline the process, so your company always puts its best foot forward. A brand analysis provides you with a written set of recommendations that you can implement immediately, provides insights into what might be missing, and finally suggests what you might try to enhance your client experience. It gives you the information needed to develop or update your brand standards, which will help ensure that your brand stays consistent moving forward. Having evaluated your digital assets, you are now well-positioned to organize them in a digital asset management system that can be accessed by your entire team. Finally, the brand analysis recommendations highlight other areas for improvement for all of your brand touchpoints.
If you work for a company preparing for exponential growth, get in touch. I’d love to work with you to help you achieve those growth goals by presenting your company as the very best solution in the market. If you are interested in learning more about how your company can benefit from a Brand Foundation Analysis, let’s talk.
About the Author: Jillfrances Gray
I am a creative director and designer with 20+ years of experience helping clients innovate and execute their marketing initiatives. Services include brand strategy, brand identity, website design, graphic design, social media marketing, and email marketing. I am obsessively detailed oriented and have a passion for solid, stunning aesthetics. Plus, I’ve been told I am a lot of fun to work with.