Is your zipper down?

By: Heather DeMonte, Co-Owner, Klique Creative  

Your brand might be embarrassing you and you don't know it. There's nothing worse than walking around all day in and out of meetings trying to impress some hard to impress people (your customers) and realizing your zipper's down, and no one's told you! Here are 5 telltale signs your brand needs to zip it.

1. Is Your Brand Out of Touch?

Brands are built on what users think of them not how they think of themselves. Your brand should always answer the question, "What's in it for me?" (the customer). Chances are what your customers care about is different than what you think. Maybe you think your brand stands for innovation but what matters most is collaboration? This is called relevance. Make sure your brand isn't crassly walking into a room with its zipper down yelling about stuff no one even cares about. Your customers might be too embarrassed to tell you, but we're not. 

2. Is Your Brand Lying?

Credibility is the cornerstone of a strong brand. Your brand has to do what it says it does. If your brand is lying, your customers won't like it. They'll just laugh at your brand behind it's back, or worse, post angry pictures of it all over social media. We've all seen disgruntled customers take to the airwaves with brand grievances. Don't get stuck with your zipper down. Do what you say you do. 

3. Is Your Brand is Just Like Everyone Else?

The most important thing you can do in creating a strong brand is to differentiate it. And not by having its zipper down! You need to differentiate yourself in an emotional way that is different than your competition and that inspires your audience. Think Disney. All that magic is really paying off. What you make people feel is just as important as what you make. 

4. Does Your Brand Need New Pants?

It's bad enough that your zipper is down, but those pants haven't been in style for decades! Be sure your brand looks as good as it sounds. Does your identity need a refresh? Is it outdated? The look of your brand establishes the perceptions of what you do. Why make a bad impression before anyone even hears what you have to say?

5. Does Your Brand Need to Zip It? 

When it's finally time to talk, make sure your brand has a story. And make it interesting. Your brand should captivate its audience with unique and authentic language, not just drone on with technical terms and lengthily descriptors that no one understands. It's better to say nothing than to say the wrong thing, otherwise your story will sound something like this, "Once upon a time there was this brand who wore awful pants, and talked about boring stuff and lied whenever it got the chance." Don't be that brand.