by Ronii Bartles | Featured Contributor
I get bored with my business and specifically my brand. I think it is a common problem with entrepreneurs and small business owners. We are so innovative by nature that it is easy to get bored with projects and want to move onto the ‘next big thing’. This is an ongoing conflict for me because I preach all the time to clients and anyone that will listen to be consistent and not change your brand. See my dilemma here?
When I started my business I designed my logo (mistake numero uno). It was terrible. Then, I meet a great graphic designer who worked with me on getting a real, big girl logo that better represented my company. Bingo! Bartleby was born and I had something awesome! Two years later, what happens? I start questioning. Have I changed? Has my business changed? Am I just bored with it? Ding, ding, ding… bored.
Here’s what I did: I sketched out a new logo on a napkin (I knew what I wanted). I liked it. A lot! So then I huddled around my computer for hours creating this new improved logo. LOVE! Then, my logical brain kicks in and I start second guessing this whole crazy idea because I teach this for a living. I’m doing exactly what my clients come to me with and I’m going against everything I tell them. So…
- Set it on the shelf for later: I did just that. I created this new visual identity and I set on the shelf (well, actually, I put it in a folder on my server but you get the idea). I got the creative juices out. I had an idea and it just had to come out. There’s no need to take action on it. It wasn’t time wasted because it got me excited and my creativity harnessed to work on other projects.
- Take it to your audience: Guess what? Another year later, I’m a little stale. I’m having an identity crisis again. Bells go off… bored. Ugh! So, I show it to my co-worker to get her take. She absolutely loves it and is ready to run with a brand re-fresh. Hmmm… Let’s hold our britches a minute. Again, we preach consistency in your brand and here we are changing it up. Let’s ask our audience what they think? People love to give their opinion on stuff. If they come back and overwhelmingly love it, we’ll run with it. But we need the research first. One day later (it didn’t take long for people to give their opinion) – mixed reviews. Everyone is divided in half. Ok then, back to the shelf. It isn’t meant to be.
- Create a sub-logo for a specific product or service: Still bored? Try creating icons or sub-logos for your different service packages or product lines (still within your brand elements and guidelines, of course). Earlier this year we decided to start to develop more products to better serve our clients. This has been a great opportunity to create sub-brand and visual identities so I don’t get so bored. It has been a great outlet to get excited over fresh ideas and images. I created a whole new logo specifically for our Champagne Thursday Inspirations. It is completely different from our overall brand but positioned as its own identity and presented by B&A.
Are you catching the ball I’m throwing atcha here? If you are bored and you have the itch, scratch it. Create that new visual identity or logo. You just don’t have to act on it or implement right away. Put it in the folder for future reference and keep the secret to yourself. The only thing you will be missing is the time you spent creating it.
This is what has worked for me but what do you do when you get bored with your brand? Did you change it? And did it work? Did you table it? What are some of your ideas on freshening up your brand and not getting bored?
Ronii Bartles – Marketing & Branding Expert from Bartles & Associates – Charleston, SC
Ronii is Bartles & Associates’ self-proclaimed Chief Rockstar. She has a whole list of amazing (but slightly boring) credentials like a Bachelor’s Degree from Shepherd University, a MBA from The Citadel, The Lowcountry Business Network Advisory Board Member and is President of the Charleston American Marketing Association, where she was also a 2012 Marketer of the Year Finalist. She loves to go around telling people that she actually is one of the Most Influential Women in Business in Charleston and a 40 Under 40 winner because the Business Journal told her so. Professionally, Ronii grew up in the marketing research industry and has been Director of Operations at ARG and W5. She took all that experience and started Bartles & Associates and roniibartles.com where Ronii and her team work with creative entrepreneurs and small businesses on developing branding and marketing strategies around what they do best, which they lovingly call Operations Marketing. B&A helps businesses uncork their potential by uncovering their WHY and then crafting that message into concise, memorable brand stories and marketing messages. Ronii is an active volunteer with Big Brothers Big Sisters for over twelve years, and won Big Sister of the Year in 2008. Originally from West Virginia (you can take the girl out of WV but you can’t take the WV out of the girl), she loves beer, college football (Let’s GOOO Mountaineers!), pizza, jeans and a t-shirt, and designer high heels. You can connect with Ronii on Twitter or LinkedIn or email her.