What Makes Radical Brand Growth so Radical?

Growth mode is tricky. Your business is different from the way it was at inception, and you’ve most likely moved away from the scope and scale you had when you started out. You have some established ways of working; a culture (that may or may not be different from how it began); you’ll be starting to realise the ambitions you had at the beginning; and you may even have expanded the products and services you’re offering.

 

When you’re growing your business, you want to appeal to new customers who click with your business and your ethos, because those are the customers you want to net – they’re the ones that will bring out the best in you, and who will recommend you to other like-minded people. But you also want to keep the ones you already have.

So how do you update your brand to reflect the changes you’re going through, while keeping all of the good things about the old one?

That’s when it’s time for Radical Brand Growth.

It’s not always easy; and the chances are you’ll need to be engaged with the notion of major change. It’s about assessing your brand against others in your landscape, understanding what your brand communicates about you, defining your post-growth brand persona, and clearly articulating your value proposition to the audiences you want to communicate with; then delivering that in all its glory.

It’s ambitious, and it can feel risky. To be truly radical – getting to the very heart of your business, and pulling that out into sharp focus – can be a significant departure from the way you’ve been represented to date, and some decisions can definitely feel like a gamble.

Take one of my recent Radical Brand Growth clients – a fishing bait supplier. The MD and I did a lot of work around their messaging, even their mission statement, and communicating it clearly to both existing customers and new ones. Their strapline had always been ‘Advanced Bait Solutions’. It says what they do, and that’s OK – but does it do enough to distinguish them from any other bait company out there, or to appeal to new customers, within a highly competitive market? Without necessarily being able to communicate the technical subtleties within the split-second first impressions stage, one angler’s bait is, well, much the same as another.

Talking to their MD, her passion and commitment shone through in every conversation we had. It was so clear to me that her vision was not just to grow now, but to be a presence in the industry for many years to come. So I suggested changing it to ‘Inspiring Anglers for Generations’. This encapsulates so much more about the company’s vision, ambition and quality, and it positions them perfectly to capture the next generation of anglers – which is important for an industry with a lot of pressure from other leisure competitors.

It was a radical change as from their perspective, and we had lengthy discussion around it. Something I thought was the most obvious, even basic, but fundamentally important change took eight weeks to get the go-ahead, because it felt like such a major shift to her. But eventually, the process as a whole got the company to appreciate that they needed to change their approach to their brand and marketing strategy, and the feedback I subsequently received suggested they understood the importance of doing so. A lot of work went into various messaging and design updates across social, website, email marketing, and they even began to consider launching a clothing range. In many senses it became the first opportunity to review everything about their brand and market strategy from a holistic foundation.

So Radical Brand Growth is not just about changing your visual perception. To be truly radical, you have got to be open to change. When I say it’s a radical process, it’s because it can go really deep into the heart of a company, and what it comes out with may surprise you. It may be that you need to change nothing – and never would I suggest change for the sake of change – but it may bring a whole new vision to your growing business that you had never considered before.

Radical Brand Growth allows you to grow your business with foresight and ambition, while retaining the customers who were attracted to your original brand. You bring existing customers on your journey with you, and you attract new ones to the evolved brand you will grow into. It is planned and controlled, but it is also beautiful and tremendously exciting. I can’t wait to join you in the process.

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