Business leaders are often looking for signs of failure — and for good reason. An overwhelming number of small businesses collapse every year, and if your organization is young, you are more likely to encounter a difficult uphill battle to success.

When it comes to branding, which has such a profound impact on the potential of your business, you should be able to respond immediately to a weak and waning brand.

Still, you should not be so focused on finding evidence of failure that you do not recognize success. If your brand is doing well, you can shift your attention and energy to building up other aspects of your business. You can employ brand analysis tools to help you identify when your brand is strong, but you can also look for the following signs of an effective brand strategy:

Your Target Audience Remembers Your Brand

Rarely does a consumer encounter a brand for the first time exactly when they need to take advantage of its products or services. Yet, if that consumer can recall the brand when they are about to make a purchase, that brand has accomplished one of its most critical goals. 

Your Consumers Engage With Your Brand

It is one thing to remember a brand; it is quite another to enjoy engaging with it. When your brand garners a loyal and happy following of consumers, you can rest assured that some component of your branding strategy is effective at building awareness of and excitement for your company. 

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Your Brand Is Consistent

It should not matter whether consumers are interacting with your brand on social media, in a magazine, on your website or in your brick-and-mortar store — the look and feeling of your brand should be the same everywhere.

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Inconsistency leads to confusion and distaste from consumers, so you should put ample effort into building and maintaining brand consistency across your channels. 

Your Brand Is Distinct

Before you begin building your brand, you should pay attention to the existing brand strategies employed by your market competitors.

Typically, you want to use similar brand conventions to communicate your products and services to consumers, but you also want to make your brand distinct, perhaps by drawing upon the unique selling proposition you offer.

Your Brand Is Timeless

Admittedly, this sign is not essential to success. Many small businesses will refresh and rebrand several times throughout the course of their existence, and far from indicating failure, refreshing and rebranding tend to be signs of commitment to brand strength.

Still, if you can develop a brand that looks and feels timeless, you are more likely to maintain strong branding into the future.  

Your Brand Experiences Appropriate Exposure

Your brand might be perfect — but if no one sees it, it will go to waste. You need to be certain that your brand is appropriately exposed to your target audience using the marketing channels they most often engage with. You should think critically about your exposure strategy to ensure a large amount of reach as well as plenty of opportunities for more targeted interaction with loyal fans.

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Your Stakeholders Perceive Your Brand Positively

There is something to be said for the Goop branding strategy, which relishes negative attention. However, most businesses will only thrive when their brand has a positive perception from stakeholders, to include both the target audience and the business staff. Thus, you should work to ensure that every interaction stakeholders have with your brand is an effortlessly positive one.

Your Brand Emphasizes Emotional Connection

As much as you might prefer your consumers to be impassively rational in their buying decisions, the truth is that many purchases are made from the heart. Therefore, your brand needs to be able to connect with consumers on an emotional level — be it joy, fear, trust, guilt or something else.

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Your Business Operates With Integrity

Consumers are more informed than ever before, and many will engage in additional research before making a purchase. As a result, consumers are more capable of identifying unscrupulous brands. By committing to honesty and integrity in your brand strategy, you have a better chance at achieving success.

Your business is not destined to fail. In fact, many business leaders believe that optimism is an effective outlook for achieving better performance. By searching for signs of strength in your brand strategy, you can give yourself heart and hope for greater business success into the future.