Brand Jumpstart: Ready Your Brand for the New Year

#1 in Brand Jumpstart Series

There’s no way to avoid it: We’re well into the fall, which means you should already be evaluating the effectiveness of your marketing and planning for your brand to better support your business next year. This is the first in a series of four posts designed to help you ready your brand for the new year. And, the process begins with a fresh, clear-eyed look at your brand.

If you’re not engaged in brand re-evaluation and planning right now, we get it. Lots of companies get caught up in the here and now and postpone the brand planning process. After all, it’s not as if customers will tell you that they’re confused by your messaging or that they can’t remember what your logo looks like. And we know that without guidance, brand analysis can feel “fuzzy” and difficult to measure against pressing, end of year performance indicators.

But here’s the hard truth: if your brand isn’t reinforcing the way you want to be perceived, it could be silently undercutting your ability to pursue growth and accomplish your goals. Which means that the time for brand planning is now. The only question is, “How?”

The answer is that you do it through a deliberate, objective process. We recommend our Brandfluence™ process, which begins by taking stakeholders through a series of creative, provocative questions and exercises in the areas of:

  • Identity – Who and what you are
  • Competitive positioning – How you are different
  • Brand evaluation – How you come across now – and how you should in the future
  • Brand promise – What people should expect from interactions with you
  • Brand personality – How interactions with you should feel
  • Audience (s) – Who you need to reach

The process requires honesty, attention and a willingness to remove yourself from the day-to-day routines that can lead to rutted thinking. It enables our clients to inform the right direction for their brand – whether it’s a minor directional shift, a light refresh or a complete re-launch. It guides our development of both creative and strategic deliverables in support of that direction. And, because those deliverables align our signature creativity with the company’s overall objectives, they often lead to measurable, powerful results.

Many of our clients have told us that the initial brand exploration process alone has tremendous value to them because it focuses otherwise disparate ideas, perceptions and information. It forces a fresh look at brand components that may have become dated or misaligned with the company’s overall strategic goals. And it brings together and connects the perspectives of multiple stakeholders.

For this reason, we’d like to offer you an early holiday gift – the very same Brandfluence workbook we use when we work directly with clients. Full disclosure: We hope that when you see it, you’ll connect with us to work with you to get the most out of your brand in the coming year. But even if you don’t choose to work with us now, we want to help you benefit from our process as you explore, identify and pursue a plan to take your brand forward in the future.

Which brings us to what’s next in this “Jumpstart” series: Once you have a brand plan, how will you execute it? Our next post will show how we helped one client to use information generated through our process to build out a refreshed brand and successfully launch it across multiple media.


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