Understanding Where You Are On The Brand Time Continuum

Just like life, branding is a journey, not a destination. Most businesses understand the importance of creating, developing and revigorating their brands, but they make a common misstep in the process component of branding.

The process of branding is a practice that doesn’t have an end. It ebbs and flows right along with the life of your business. From startup to growth mode to legacy businesses, the brand follows a trajectory that matches your business, or at least it should.

Let’s look at the data to paint a better branding picture:

  • 89% of shoppers stay loyal to brands that share their values.
  • Brands with poor company branding pay 10% higher salaries.
  • Presenting a brand consistently across all platforms can increase revenue by up to 23%.
  • 59% of shoppers prefer to buy new products from the brands they trust.

The action of creating a brand doesn’t end; it’s a constant practice that’s impacted by many factors. Your approach varies based on these factors and is deeply affected by the life stage of your business, so let’s break this down.

STAGE: Building a brand from ground zero.

The startup business is building something where there once was nothing. From a blank canvas, the brand story is hatched and sent out into the marketplace to gain its foothold.

The process of creating a brand at this stage of the business combines research, strategy and design to create something that defines your business as it stands on that given day, the day you launch.

Common pitfalls for the startup branding team to avoid:

  • Focusing on the design too much. It’s a common branding mistake to get too caught up in the design of the logo and other branding elements. While the design is a pivotal piece of the branding process, too much emphasis on design alone can lead to a lack of substance.
  • Overindulging in research and strategy. Just like too much attention to design can cause problems for the startup company creating their brand from the ground up, too much focus on research and strategy can result in a highly logical brand that lacks innovation.
  • Seeking perfection. Perfection, as the saying goes, can get in the way of progress. Many startups get caught in the feedback loop. Turning to colleagues, investors and team members for feedback and never feeling that their brand is ready-for-show. While seeking to produce quality work should always be a goal, striving for perfection can be a never-ending endeavor.

STAGE: Adjusting your brand for your growth strategy.

Adjusting your brand process for a growth-stage business requires a different approach than in the startup mode. As you enter into this phase of your business, you know more than you did back on day one. You’ve gained intel about your audience, your competitors and your own strengths and weaknesses. You may be in a position to make some changes.

Common pitfalls for the growth stage branding team to avoid:

  • Change is not mandatory. The old adage, if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it, may apply. Some growth phase businesses feel the urge to overhaul their brand, but don’t need to. Be sure that if you make changes to your brand, it is for good reasons.
  • Left turns may be needed. Your vision for the brand may not sync up with the events on the ground, at this stage of your business. And, that’s okay. You may have to adjust your brand to fit these factors at the growth phase.
  • Use data as your north star. You have access to numbers, statistics and data points now that you’ve been around for a while. Use these details to help you define your brand more accurately. For example, you know where your customers are finding you, you know what products or services they like best, you know a little bit about their lifecycle with your business and what makes them who they are. Using those tidbits to refine your brand allows you to speak to your target audience more deeply.

STAGE: Keeping your brand invigorated as your business matures.

During the maturity stage, a legacy brand can feel like it has plateaued. Competition and the fight for market share can be intense. Your brand can be one of the catalysts that help you overcome these big obstacles.

Common pitfalls for the mature stage branding team to avoid:

  • Forgetting to capitalize on what you’ve built. Just because your brand has grown and your brand needs to evolve doesn’t mean that you should make yourself unrecognizable
  • Missing opportunities for growth. It’s easy for a mature business to want to rest comfortably on the brand that has brought it this far. Embracing change, however, can be what’s needed to revitalize your mature brand and your mature business.

Whatever stage your business is in, the brand should follow along with that trajectory. To successfully do so is a process. It requires reopening the book to review what’s working, what is not working and what’s changed on an ongoing basis. Awve Marketing stands by businesses of all sizes, shapes and ages as they navigate their brand process – recognizing it as a living breathing part of the organization.

Do you have marketing challenges that you need help with?

Jackie Awve Marketing offers a group coaching session on Fridays from 1 PM to 2 PM for a JAM Session! Please RSVP: jackie@awvemarketing.com

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Passionate about making positive contributions to the Commercial Real Estate industry, Jackie Awve develops branding and communications programs that create value and business opportunities.

2021-12-29T23:21:07+00:00November 12th, 2021|Brand Development & Management, JAM Blogs|
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