We are all guilty of choosing a quick fix solution to a long term challenge. Looking back over the past few years, I can pick out several occasions where I have done this myself. For example, I traded in my current MacBook for a slightly upgraded one three years in a row and felt only temporary satisfaction with my decision. The excitement slowly wears off as your purchase’s shortcomings become more apparent. Unfortunately, the same situation applies to an organization’s brand ecosystem.
This isn’t to say that there isn’t a time or place for low-cost solutions for your branding and website. Small businesses may not have a budget for expensive options, and that’s okay! But when the time comes that your business is outgrowing your current solutions, don’t move sideways, move up!
The Problem With Relying On Quick Fixes/Low-Cost Solutions: They Rarely Help Achieve Long Term Goals
It bears repeating that if you’re a small business, this might not apply to you just yet. But for growing businesses, it’s important to upgrade your brand assets, not “sidegrade!” What I mean by this is that re-creating your logo in Canva is not likely to be the answer to your marketing challenges. Similarly, changing your Wix theme, or moving your site from Wix to Squarespace is also not likely to bring you closer to your long term business goals.
Why is this? Because templated websites, drag-and-drop site builders, and other out-of-the-box platforms have one thing in common: they lack a long term strategy. Their templates may look decent, but that is only one piece of the puzzle. When creating a brand ecosystem, you need to have an understanding of your audience. What types of devices will they be viewing your website on? What kind of visual language will they most likely respond to? How are they interacting with your brand online, and how can you direct them to your website?
Why Long Term Solutions Make Lasting Change
Long term solutions are strategy-driven. A professional brand and website will give you the tools to measure your progress and success as you grow your audience. You are merging creativity with technology to learn about your audience and then catering to their needs and speaking to them in a way that will inspire them to act. Marty Neumeier, author of The Brand Gap, famously said “Your brand is not what you say it is, it’s what they say it is.”
A successful brand identity should be comprised of a strong mission statement, clear voice, a unique and visually appealing logo, color palette, typography, patterns and icons—and that’s just to start! Your logo should be available to you in vector format so it can be easily shared with printing companies to put on uniforms, apparel, and promotional materials. It should also be available in various web formats for social media accounts.
Think functionality! Your website shouldn’t be a place for consuming information only. Can your visitors place an order, or request a service? What kind of interactivity can you include? Think about the functionality of your website beyond the web. How is your site impacting your business?
Having a great website is only part of the equation. You need to manage your SEO (search engine optimization) to increase traffic to your site. Make sure your new website has data analytics tools built-in so you can set traffic goals and learn from visitor behavior.
Have You Outgrown Your Quick Fix Solutions?
If you suspect your business growth is being stunted by a lack of cohesive branding and web presence, it is most certainly time to explore your options. If you catch yourself tinkering endlessly on Canva, Wix, or other do-it-yourself services only to scratch your ideas and replace them within a few months/year, it is also time to make some upgrades. Lastly, if you are in a position to have a budget for marketing and branding, then you are definitely ready!
Is It Time To Ditch Your Quick Fix?
That’s for you to decide! Weigh your options, and consider the value of your brand ecosystem to your overall business. Is there room for improvement? Can you use your current brand assets for another few years? Every business is different. It may be worth creating a 1-2 year plan to set aside a budget and list the goals you wish to achieve with your new brand or website.
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