“New Year, New You!“
How many times in January do you see an email appear in your inbox with the same title – asking you to re-evaluate, re-invent and re-focus your life and direction…?
In reality, it doesn’t need to be January to go through this analysis. As with anything in life, it’s always good to step back from the day-to-day to reassess whether you’re following the path you thought you were, to check if what you’re doing is right for you and to see if you’re on track with the long-term plans you hope to achieve.
Brands are essentially the personification of a company, so it stands to reason that this ‘New Year, New You’ concept should also apply to brands. Of course this doesn’t have to be a January process, or even an annual process, but periodic reviews of whether your brand truly aligns with your business, its comms and its audiences – could pay dividends to your bottom line.
A brand reappraisal can be as in-depth as you need it to be – it largely depends on the size of your business, your industry and audience (and how frequently you sense check your brand comms). Broadly speaking though, the main things to reflect on and evaluate are:
Who do you think you are?
Is it who you were a year ago? If not, what’s changed? Do the same messages still apply? Is it relevant?
Who do your customers think you are?
An audit/customer focus groups/survey is a useful way to get a feel for what your communications are telling your customers you do/who you are. Sometimes the external comms aren’t aligned with how the business speaks about itself internally, or how it thinks it’s behaving.
Map the findings from your research against who you were a year ago, and who you think you are now, and who you want to be, or how you want to be perceived. It’s essential that businesses change – that’s how they maintain their competitive advantage – and it’s only right that your messages to your audience change too, to reflect that. By going through this sort of exercise, you’ll start to see straight away if your comms aren’t aligned with what your business has become and what you would like your customers to say about you.
This will give you a starting point for things you need to address for change.
Are you who you say you are?
Your brand values may say you’re an innovative company, but what have you done lately that’s been innovative? Have you developed your product? Have you empowered employees to share their ideas? Is you business a collaboration?
At TBD we often get involved with brands either at the start of their journey, looking to establish who they’re talking to and what they’re trying to say; or quite often 2-3 years in to the brand’s life, when the business has had a little time to evolve and mature and find itself. At this stage its often critical to review your messaging – as the business grows, you should review your tone of voice – is it confident, does it portray a scalable business, true to its roots and values?
This step back can often give you the reflection and understanding you need to ensure you brand and communications are working hardest for you to engage with your target audience.
Your customers get bombarded with messages every day (on an average day consumers are exposed to six thousand advertisements) – make it count! Make sure you’re telling them the right thing, in the right way, in the right channel.