I drive a 2012 Subaru Forester. It’s not sexy or flashy. In fact, quite the opposite. It’s a reliable car and old enough that I know it inside and out. Plus, it’s my second one. And the only reason I don’t still have my first is my ex totaled it. But I digress.
Since it’s out of warranty, I do basic maintenance on it, but otherwise I think of my car simply as a way to get me from A to B. It’s stable and sturdy and serves me perfectly. Plus, I park it on the streets of New York City, so it’s covered in dings and scratches. As tempting as it is, a new car just doesn’t make sense for my lifestyle. And frankly, I don’t need something new to get the job done. My plan was to drive it until it gave out.
The Honeymoon is Over
Then things got a bit wonky but I kind of looked the other way. It wouldn’t get into gear right. It stalled periodically. I brought it to my local mechanic and they couldn’t find anything wrong. So I kept driving it. And then…all Hell broke loose. My dashboard lit up like a Christmas tree and it turns out my transmission valves had rusted, I had no fluid and my second gear was completely burnt out. (face palm)
But here’s the thing. I had something trusted and reliable.
I kind of knew something was wrong, but I didn’t do anything about it.
I crossed my fingers and hoped things wouldn’t get worse.
This is what most people do with their brands and businesses. We get so caught up in running our business from the outside, dealing with customers, orders and the like, that we don’t pay much attention to keeping our business running on the inside. We ignore small issues internally until one day they will refuse to be ignored. And this doesn’t always lead to needing a complete rebuild, like the case of my transmission (good times). But maybe because we’ve been on autopilot, we aren’t talking to the current needs of our customers in the way they need to hear it today, our brand becomes a little stale and staid.
But, I’m Soooo Busy
I get it. Non P&L items always get put on the back burner. Because, you’re in the business of revenue, not upkeep. But here’s the kicker, if you don’t keep up with your website and people come to your page and then leave because the message isn’t clear or doesn’t address their needs, you just went from a potential P to a big fat L.
Or maybe you have a blog you haven’t posted to in months.
Or your emails include dead links because no one has paid attention to where they’re linking to.
All of this is not just unprofessional, it’s lost revenue.
Let me say that again for people in the back: your lack of a clear and current message is costing you money…every day.
Staying on top of your messaging is vital when it comes to running your business. And moreover, understanding the evolving needs of your customers and adjusting your positioning to address them can literally be the difference between business and bankruptcy.
So that money you don’t want to spend to redo your content or launch a new email campaign or keep up with your blog, might actually be costing you more money in lost customers than if you just spent the money to do it in the first place.
Luckily, it’s never too late.
Refreshing your brand message isn’t a lost cause and actually is pretty damn fun and exciting. It’s like going from a station wagon to a convertible. You can reinvent yourself and be whoever you want to be. Or better yet, just enhance who you are or showcase the value you provide. You’ve worked hard to build a business. It would be a shame if you were embarrassed to have people see it.
From Cluttered and Confused to Concise and Clear
Take my client, EduCounting. They create fun, educational finance videos. The old website had a newsletter pasted to the About page as their content. Yep, in 2017. Now it looks like this.
And while your site might not be that egregious, how long has it been since you’ve reviewed the content?
Maybe you’re ready for a total brand refresh? This non-profit had a site that was a house of cards, with pages and content being added for years with no consistency or direction. And frankly, no clear message.
Or maybe you were once focused on one audience and now you want to switch to another, like this client did, moving from professionals to consumers.
Is it time to review your brand message?