The COVID-19 pandemic drastically changed the way health and wellness brands are doing business. We’ve all had to make changes, postpone or cancel in-person meetings and events for the foreseeable future, and are now focusing on connecting with people in isolation.
But these kinds of switches require a change in your branding as well, and there is a lot that can go wrong when you pivot. Unfortunately in my line of work I’ve seen a lot of branding mistakes that can actually sink the business so it’s risky if you’ve got a strong brand that’s been working until now!
That said, the current situation has completely changed the game and forced a lot of us to do things we wouldn’t normally do. So, in this post, I want to highlight some of the common branding mistakes that I have come across in the health and wellness industry so that you can successfully avoid them!
#1 Waiting for the perfect moment
This is the number one branding mistake for a reason. I get it, pivoting is nerve-wracking, to say the least – you had a great thing going and you’ve mastered your business model, but now, for one reason or another, it’s not a good fit anymore, your business is coming to a halt, and you must make changes.
But how do you know if you really need to pivot your brand?
A rule of thumb that helps get answers is: When your products/services aren’t a good product/market fit, it’s time to change your direction.
A product/market fit simply means your offering is not meeting the needs of your customers. Take the current situation as an example: Right now, you can’t meet your clients in-person anymore, which means you are not able to meet their needs right now, so you must change the way your services work.
What a lot of people do, however, is spend so long trying to get their new launch perfect that they miss the boat! The competition beats them to it because they spent so long on every minor detail.
Let me tell you a secret. No person, or brand out there is perfect. So it’s time to seize the day, and stop waiting for the perfect moment. Take action instead!
#2 Making too much of a jump
It’s difficult to know how much change is acceptable as part of your pivoting process, but more often than not, a complete overhaul will create issues with brand presence.
When you change your branding too much, you stop being recognisable because you made too much of a jump. Make small tweaks instead and see what parts of your brand you can use, and what parts can be reused as a baseline for the new direction you have chosen to pursue.
If you want to offer your health and wellness services online, see how you can transfer your one-on-one sessions into the digital format, and how you can set up your materials online. It’s much faster than scrapping what you already have and trying to reinvent all your services from scratch.
Note: I want to mention here that it’s not just the aesthetics I’m talking about like your colours, fonts, and logos etc. It’s the brand voice, values, or message too! Remember that you have clients who resonate with your existing brand, so if you make too much of a jump to becoming someone else, you’ll find you alienate your existing client base and lose clients instead.
#3 Not choosing a clear direction and goal
Change for the sake of change will not get you far. Sure, you’ll have a different business model, but how will you know it’s a good fit without researching the market first or at least figuring out exactly what you want to achieve?
Have a goal in mind before you start pivoting. When you have it, you’ll have an easier time determining the direction you need to take and whether it’s good for your brand. Ask yourself the following questions:
- What’s not working with the current business model?
- What things are working well? How can I build upon these things?
- Is the new market the right fit for my brand?
- Are my services the right fit?
- What are my existing customers saying?
Answering these questions will reveal whether you can start pursuing your goals or if you have to tweak your direction and journey a bit more.
Just make sure you’re not floundering trying to change your branding with no plan, because as far as branding mistakes go, this one can be costly!
#4 Not letting your audience know
This is more common than you would believe!
Lots of brands aren’t giving a single hint to their audience that they are planning to change things up, and the results are often disastrous – leading to a lot of confusion when you switch up your offer, branding, logo, colours, or voice.
When your customers don’t know about your plans, they will feel like you were taken over by someone else and they don’t know you anymore, or that you don’t value them at all.
You must engage your audience and keep them in the know. Listen to your customers and keep tabs on their feedback and pain points.
- What was their reaction when you announced the changes?
- Did their feedback change when you started pivoting?
- Do they miss something that you offered earlier?
- Do they welcome new services or features you’re offering now?
- Are they requesting something you’re not offering yet?
- Are they struggling with any part of your funnel?
Take this feedback and act upon it and improve your offer. When they see you are listening, it’s more likely your pivoting will be successful.
#5 Thinking it’s a one-time thing
Pivoting happens on a “as needed” basis. One successful pivot doesn’t mean you’ll never have to do it again.
If, after a period of growth and success, you see that business is slowing down again, you are hardly keeping up with competitors, only one of your services is getting traction, or you feel you are not unique anymore or have a different perspective, you have a viable reason to pivot your brand again.
Just keep in mind that pivoting is also a last resort option, when you have exhausted all other options. More often than not, you just need to do a bit of A/B testing and switch up some marketing strategies instead of going for a full pivot.
Pro Tips for Pivoting Successfully
Avoiding branding mistakes during the pivoting process will help speed things up, but when you can do it like a pro, it will be even faster. Here are my favourite tips for super successful brand pivoting process, even if you’ve never done it before:
#1 Keep track of your KPIs
Always, always measure everything that you do. It’s not just about marketing or sales, it’s about every aspect of your business – especially when you pivot.
For pivoting, you need to have baseline numbers on current customers, engagement, subscribers, and other important metrics so you can compare them with new data once you start pivoting your brand.
KPIs provide a benchmark for your brand’s performance and can immediately tell you whether you’re hitting your new goals or you need to take a step back and choose a different direction.
#2 Keep track of your competitors
You can avoid lots of branding mistakes and dead ends simply by keeping tabs on your competitors. Instead of testing the waters completely on your own, take hints from what others are doing, what works well, and what has been received badly in the market.
You don’t have to steal ideas but it can be particularly valuable to learn from their own mistakes!
See how they are going about their social presence, how their website looks like, what types of freebies they are offering, and how they are trying to retain their clients.
It will give you quicker insights and help you zone in on what works best faster.
#3 Surprise and delight your customers
Change takes time and energy, and every single thing in nature is trying to avoid it – the same goes for people. Change might be good in the long run, but it’s inconvenient. Instead of avoiding it for the sake of your customers, make the change exciting!
Add something awesome and new to your pivoting that customers and prospects will get. Like an exclusive offer, free resource, or a competition.
For your existing customers, you can offer a considerable discount for the first few sessions, week, or month of your newly digital services. For prospects and first-time customers, you can give them a free trial option before they decide to fully commit.
These types of approaches help to engage your audience and improve existing relationships with customers, attracts new customers, and nurtures new relationships.
Pivoting takes time
As the lockdowns and social distancing amid the COVID-19 continue, businesses are getting used to doing their business online. For some of them, especially those who rely heavily on in-person connections and communication, this is a big shift that needs to be followed with a few tweaks in branding.
Every change is scary because it takes us out of our comfort zones. But as everyone in the health and wellness industry knows, you must step outside to achieve the results you’re after.
If you’re struggling with pivoting your brand towards a more digital presence during these times, don’t hesitate to contact me so I can help you pivot successfully, keeping your brand presence intact while giving you the overhaul you need.