New Year, New You, New Branding

New Year, New You, New Branding

Each Friday, the Commexis blog features a post from one of our experts about a trending topic in digital marketing. This week, Melissa Shaine, our manager of branding and social media, will explain why the new year is a perfect time to do a brand refresh and refocus on your identity.

With 2017 quickly drawing near, it’s time to review, evaluate and set new goals. For a company, this is the perfect time of year to reflect upon and assess the core of your business: your brand. Branding impacts everything you do. Unfortunately, its value, is often overlooked and misunderstood leading to a companywide disconnect in procedures, communications, quality and content.

Branding is your purpose, promise and story. It’s why you do what you do and what differentiates you from the competitors. Create a New Year’s resolution to recommit to your brand vision.

The number of channels that allow you to reach customers grows rapidly each year, making the implementation of a clear brand identity and voice that much more essential.

Kicking off the new year with a brand refresh can set you upon the path to achieving your New Year’s resolutions.

What follows are some key factors and tips to keep in mind when auditing your brand. Focus on reassessing who you want to be and how you want your brand to be perceived, and set goals accordingly for 2017.

Define and Refine Your “Why?”

Understanding and defining your purpose is essential. Why do you do what you do? What is your unique value? Refreshing or reminding the company of its “why?” at the start of the year will help to create a unified front and aligned goals for the entire organization in the coming year.

Outline Your Values and Story

Every brand needs a narrative in which they believe passionately. Define your core principles and your brand mission to create your company’s “why?”

Once your company’s core principles and your “why?” are defined, you can create your own narrative. Live it, breathe it, embrace it. Promote it throughout the business by educating your employees. View your employees as assets and brand advocates. A strong commitment to your principles and values will permeate throughout the company and infuse employees with both passion and creativity.

This top-down approach will sow your corporate values through every service, project or task your employees complete, all while aiding in delivering your narrative to your audience.

With thorough understanding of your brand’s core values and overall narrative, you’re now poised to create goals or “resolutions” for the new year.

Record Your Resolutions

What are your resolutions for 2017?

No matter the specific goals you set for your company, branding is a key component of all aspects of your business so don’t forget to set some specific goals for your branding and its impact and not just for customer growth or sales. Make sure the goals you set are SMART goals. Meaning they are specific, measurable achievable realistic and time-based.

Set Strategies

Where most miss the boat on their ambitions is lack of strategy. Without strategy, it’s easy to get distracted which makes achieving your resolutions that much harder.

Assign tasks, create new procedures and even set deadlines that will lead you to achieve those goals. Reflect on last year’s obstacles and opportunities so you know what to focus on in the future.

Create Meaningful Content

We’ve talked a lot about the importance of relevant content. Content marketing is not only vital for your business but also for your brand identity.

With your mission and story in mind, create new content to share your story with your audience. Be authentic, real and true to your purpose. Knowing your target audience may seem obvious, but not everyone does the needed legwork before creating targeted content.

Do the research and find out the voice and channels your audience prefer. Tailor your messaging accordingly.

This will help you to disseminate your corporate narrative to the most receptive audiences. Choose the resources that best fit your brand’s story. Then be sure to update older marketing materials, refresh your website, company social media profiles.

Be Consistent

Being consistent not only with content, but also in the way you conduct every aspect of your business will improve the quality and value of your service. Further, it fosters stronger relationships both within and externally. Your company’s commitment to your core values, message and beliefs and consistent delivery will build a strong reputation for the coming year and beyond.

Spread the Word

Share your message, new content and branding with the world! The new year is the perfect time to reveal the new you. Using the above principles, you now have a stronger brand identity and you know how and where to communicate with your audience. Social media means you now have nearly unlimited access to your potential audience. Use it wisely!

Listen and Learn

Being self-aware and understanding your external perception is all part of your overall branding, so listen and observe the impact of your efforts. Collect feedback on your company’s narrative from both clients and competitors. Brands can now receive nearly instant feedback directly from their customers and can audit a campaign’s success in real time.

Letting your audience get in on the conversation and be part of the creative process promotes an essence of community and collaboration. Leverage and build your relationships, ask for feedback and follow up.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions!

Adapt and Adjust

We must constantly analyze and adjust our strategies to reach the results we desire. It’s important to be flexible and nimble. It’s never a straight path to achieving your resolutions. In a competitive market, the importance of branding will without a doubt continue to increase.

We hope these tips are helpful and that you feel encouraged to refocus on your brand in the new year.

Commexis Manager of Branding and Social Media, Melissa Shaine, holds a Bachelor of Science in Fashion Merchandising and a minor in Human Resource Management from Philadelphia University. She has expertise in social media, brand strategy and execution.

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