Your brand is a crucial aspect of your business. More than just a logo or a set of colors, your brand sets the tone for your business, defines your products or services, represents your values, and helps your business stand out from the competition. In short, your brand is a snapshot of what your business has to offer to your potential clients. In the best cases, a well-developed brand will help your business achieve success but a flawed or off-target brand can have the opposite effect. Here are five ways in which your brand may be keeping your business from reaching its full potential.

1. Lack of Clarity

How often do you look at someone’s business card or website and wonder what they actually do? If your brand doesn’t make it clear what pain points you solve, how and why would a potential customer know to reach out to you? Plain and simple, if it isn’t clear immediately how your business serves your customers, chances are you’re missing out on business leads.

Lack of clarity can also occur when you promote too broad a range of services. In this case, the problem isn’t that your potential clients don’t know what you do, the problem is they aren’t exactly sure what to come to you for, or worse, they may not take you seriously as an expert in your field. What’s more, you’ll have a hard time attracting customers who know what they want and need. Clarity and focus are key in attracting your ideal client.

2. Too Trendy

There’s a difference between industry standards and trends. You may notice that many companies in a particular industry tend to use similar colors or their brands have a certain look and feel. Banks are a good example. Many use greens and blues and have a sophisticated but approachable look because they want customers to trust them and feel comfortable. While many businesses may have elements in common, they are still easily distinguishable. A look that’s trendy on the other hand, can cause your brand to get lost in a sea of lookalikes. I’ve seen a lot of this lately in the online business world. There are certain elements, colors, fonts, and stock images that I’m seeing so often that I can’t tell any of the businesses apart. Appreciating a certain brand style is great, but you need yours to be uniquely yours if you want to be noticed … and remembered.

3. Outdated

Another issue with having branding that is based on a popular trend is that it won’t age well. As seasons or years go by, popular accents and color palettes are phased out. It’s totally normal for logos and brands to evolve over the lifetime of an organization, but you generally need to be consistent with the overall look and feel of your brand so that you can take advantage of the recognition you’ve earned over the years. Keep this in mind when deciding on your brand and be sure to go with a look that is timeless and won’t need an update in less than five years.

4.  Doesn’t Resonate with the Ideal Client

Many business owners want to use their favorite colors and fonts for their brand. Or, they want to replicate something they’ve seen somewhere else. Businesses that do it right base their brands on what makes the most sense for their industry and client base. Some choices are obvious—like a business that’s targeting men would not opt to use pink and flourishy fonts. But some choices are less obvious. Age and gender are just two of the factors that you should weigh out before selecting your brand elements. You also need to consider the emotions of your client both before and after you’ve solved their pain points.

5. Unprofessional

One of the first things that new business owners like to do is set up a business name and create a logo and a brand. Why? Because it feels so official! Branding helps us put a “face” to our business and allows us to start building a reputation. The goal is to showcase yourself and your skills in your industry. The problem is, many new business owners decide to save money by designing their brand on their own or by sourcing it out at a very low rate and too often they end up with a brand that does not represent their business as professionally as it could.

Think about it … you wouldn’t wear jeans and a t-shirt to a big interview, would you? So why would you represent your business with unprofessional branding? Especially since your business will be “wearing” it for a few years! If you need a really low-cost logo or brand, I suggest keeping it simple—text-based might be best. That way, you can enhance your brand at a later date when you have more funding and a better idea of what your brand should represent and who it needs to reach. It’ll be much easier to evolve from something simple then it will be to rebrand entirely.

If you’re afraid your brand might be holding your business back, don’t panic! It’s likely it can be fixed with a few simple tweaks. I love working with new business owners to help them transform their passion professions into branded businesses. Set up a time for a free consultation to find out how I can help you start developing your brand. And for more tips about growing your brand, join my email list and follow me online!