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January 30, 2024

3 Ways to add Sparkle and Shine Back into Your Brand!

Post By:
Michelle Balaun
In-House Contributor
Brand Director
Guest Contributor:

You know how shampoo brands say if your hair is dull and lackluster, buy this new product to make your hair shine and sparkle? So, you buy it.

The same goes for your branding. If your brand has not updated or evolved in the last year, it is probably dry, dull, and lackluster. Especially if you are selling to Americans who thrive on trying out the newest style, the newest brand, and the newest invention. Updating and polishing up your brand should be a ritual. 

I would venture to say 90% (totally made up number) of the business owners I speak with say “Oh, don’t look at my website, I haven’t updated it in ages!” I may be inflating that number a bit, but really only just a bit! Your brand is what sells your product or service 24/7 and it should clearly represent who you are, what you are doing, and how you are doing it right now. The ongoing momentum that builds through a strong evolving brand can ensure your biz goes gangbusters.

Consider branding the ‘Sparkle and Shine’ investment in your business’s future. Now let me be clear- I am not suggesting you have to overhaul your entire website, social media, designs, etc. every year. This is about evolving not changing. There are small ways you can shake it up and elevate your brand each year to showcase a ‘new and improved’ version of the business, one that demonstrates that this business is vibrant and thriving. Here are 3 things you can try!

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1. Sonic Branding 

Close your eyes, and think of being on the couch late Friday night, the big red N appears on the screen, and ta-dah… the Netflix sonic branding chimes in. Yes, THAT is sonic branding, same as T-Mobil, Intel, Windows, and I am sure you can think of many other examples. You don’t need a giant marketing budget. Check out royalty-free music from SoundCloud, etc to get your specific sound. This is essential especially if you are doing TikTok or YouTube. These sonic signatures become synonymous with the brand. 

2. Update Images 

Yes, yes you were quite a looker when you were 25 (if you are 25 now, enjoy it), but using old outdated images is not going to feel authentic to your audience. Today, if you show up on social media with no makeup, messy bun, and in sweats, that post will get lots of engagement- more so than the high production videos! If you are the face of your business, using a new image will bring you closer to your clients. Be sure to use an image that shows you in your element, doing your thing. Show what it looks like to work with you. Consider everything, down to your wardrobe. Wearing a suit in your branding photography might be too über professional and send the wrong message depending who you’re talking to and who you want to attract. To all my financial advisors, real estate agents, and consultants, the more warm and accessible you look, the less intimidating it will be for folks to reach out. Of course, using a professional photographer will get you the best results however, if it’s not in the budget, each of us is walking around with a $1000 camera in hand. Check out a few YouTube videos on how to take a good headshot with your phone, grab a friend, and DIY it! 

3. Seasonal Colors

Ok, this is a bit more involved, if you already have a brand color palette bravo, but I have seen this idea and it does create interest and anticipation. Try a seasonal color palette, for your entire website! Usually, this can be done quite easily if you are already working the back end of your site, and yes this takes planning. This can also roll out to your social media designs making everything follow a consistent through line. This can be an alternate version of traditional colors. For the holidays, instead of red & green, maybe consider pink and lime… if you are looking for real fun go to Pinterest and search film color palettes. You can find a color palette that reflects your favorite movie- awesome for inspiration! 

Another web refresh idea you can try without changing a single word is updating the typeface (fonts)! Ok ok ok I understand this is only for the computer literate or those with a very good relationship with their webmaster, but it’s a simple idea that can really evoke a whole new feeling when people engage with your business.

Marketing vs Branding 

The brand comes first, everything else comes after the creation of the brand. Branding is creating a story and a promise while marketing is connecting the benefits of the brand to a specific market. There is a great little Circus summary to explain all the facets of marketing. 

"If the circus is coming to town and you paint a sign saying 'Circus coming to the Fairground Saturday', that's advertising

If you put the sign on the back of an elephant and walk it into town, that's promotion

If the elephant walks through the mayor's flower bed and the local newspaper writes a story about it, that's publicity

And if you get the mayor to laugh about it, that's public relations

If you tell the town's citizens to go to the circus, you show them the entertainment booths, explain how much fun they'll have, answer their questions, and ultimately, they spend money at the circus, that's sales

And if you planned the entire thing, that's marketing.”

But before you can plan, you need to know how you will be communicating in all of these forms to effectively get your story (brand) across and capture the attention of your audience. Branding is the process of creating the qualities, personality, and tone of your product or service. Is it fun and whimsical? Is it liberating? Is it luxurious? Is it innovative?

When you ask what came first, the chicken or the egg, it was the brand first! And something this important should be revisited regularly. Don’t be scared of rebranding your business- Madonna does it every year! Want more ideas on branding? Head to the top of this page for my contact info and MESSAGE ME!