When your branding pants are too tight and your sweater is too scratchy.

I love my brand, but my brand does not fit.

Guest post written by Christine Thatcher at Design to Delight.

I’ve often heard good branding compared to the perfect outfit. Well, for the past few months, my online pants have been too tight and my shoes feel too small. My online sweater is scratchy.

Have you ever tried on an outfit that looked okay, but wasn’t stellar? You know in your gut you shouldn’t buy it, but you do anyway and then you stare at it in your closet for the next year.

It’s not the actual article of clothing that is bothersome, but the mind space that you give to the “shoulds” surrounding it. So you let it sit there, taking up space, physical and mental.

laptop and branding plan on desk

A year ago, I deviated from a brand I loved to try something new. From day one, my new brand felt like a scratchy sweater. I wore it anyway because it’s what I should do and I thought maybe it would get less scratchy over time. It hasn’t.

Have you ever felt this way about your online presence? It’s okay to feel it and it’s good to question it. I don’t advise changing everything on a whim — because it’s a pain! If you are dedicating a lot of effort trying to squeeze into a brand that doesn’t fit anymore, your potential clients will notice. They may not recognize your discomfort but they will struggle to make a connection.

Here’s how this has manifested itself over the last few months (and why):

  • I’ve never really loved my new business name. I rushed this decision.
  • I didn’t love the branding (even though I did it). I didn’t take myself through my own thorough process — I rushed it.
  • I’ve struggled with what to write about and where to share it. I was trying to cater to too many audiences.
  • I’ve struggled with what to offer and how to present it. I’ve got 2 separate audiences with different needs.

 Are you wearing a scratchy sweater? What are you going to do with it? End of the year is the perfect time to purge the proverbial online closet and make room for the things that fit really well. Dump the wrong offerings, the wrong business names, the wrong branding.

DO — pat yourself on the back for trying something new, for taking action and learning from it. Clarity is freeing, no matter how you got there.
DON’T — stick with something just because you invested money and think you should.

If you are feeling any of these things? What is one thing you’d love to purge? What is one thing you’d like to make room for?

© Studio: tiffany gouge