Ah Summer, it’s the most wonderful time of the year… to get completely distracted from building your brand!
Because the Summer is such a short-lived season here in the Maritimes, the urge to run to the nearest beach, hiking trail, or patio on every warm and sunny day is a very real temptation here along the east coast. To that point – as I write this, I’m daydreaming about some ice cream and a stroll along the waterfront.
As busy business owners, we sometimes underestimate how the Summer can be the very best time of the year to reflect on how to show up powerfully with our brands for the second half of the year. In this post, I’ve come up with some easy (and free) strategies that you can use to give your brand a boost this summer.
CONDUCT A SUMMER BRAND AUDIT
A great way to determine where your brand needs attention is to conduct a brand audit. Taking a closer look at your brand is an important thing to do because you can easily determine where you need to make your next investment in your brand.
You can do your own brand audit, or you can have a branding expert (like me), guide you through this process. The purpose of a brand audit is to provide key insights on where your brand is performing effectively, as well as to identify any gaps in your brand presence and positioning.
Its easy to get caught up in the day-to-day operations of your business and become blind to areas where you need to maintain, grow, or unlock your brand’s greater power and potential.
BUSY SUMMER SEASON? TRY DOCUMENTING VS. CREATING BRAND CONTENT
Although it’s tempting to let your social media presence slip when you’re busy, you must still consistently show up to build connection and community with your online audience. If not, you risk losing the momentum you previously created with your followers.
If you have a booming business in the summer months ‘documenting’ your content is a great way to maintain an authentic and consistent presence that requires less time than planned content.
Try documenting your content instead of creating and planning it
‘Documenting’ your content means that you are posting content as it happens, when it happens, rather than pre-planning most of your social media content. With this strategy, you’re giving your audience a behind the scenes look into the daily hustle and bustle of your business with minimal effort and time commitment.
SLOW SUMMER SEASON? SET A BIG, IMPORTANT GOAL FOR YOUR BRAND
I’ve covered how you can show up best with your brand while you’re busy during the summer months, but what can you do to strengthen your brand if summer happens to be your slow season?
If you’re in a commercial creative industry like me, many of your customers may take summer holidays, which can typically mean a slower time for client work.
The HUGE benefit of having a lighter client workload, means that you have more bandwidth to work on your business instead of in your business.
Having more time to work on your business provides you with the advantage of having space to innovate and improve key areas that you would otherwise not have as much time for.
To get started – set at least one major goal that you want to achieve for your business, or your brand, by the end of the summer season. Break that goal into smaller tasks to complete each week so that you can steadily work toward achieving your goal by the Fall.
SHARPEN YOUR SKILLS WITH SOME SUMMER STUDIES
The summer can also serve as the perfect time to add something new to your skillset. Taking time to learn a new skill can help you to serve your customers better. Improved customer experience with your brand means happy customers, and an increase in repeat business, referrals, and revenue.
Take a moment to reflect on this question:
What is something you can do to enhance your customer’s experience with your brand?
Whether its learning about how to better refine business processes or learning about a brand-new service or product you’d like to offer, it will be time well invested if it can improve your customer’s experience.
Taking time to learn, and implement new skills provides space for innovation and new possibilities for your business.
TAKE IT OUTSIDE
There are a lot of creative ways to take advantage the beautiful weather to boost your brand image and presence.
Its a picture-perfect time of year, so you may want to consider hiring a great photographer or videographer (like Geworsky Imaging), to take a series of custom, outdoor portraits or videos to keep your brand looking fresh, and current.
This strategy works especially well for those who are building personal brands and have a constant need for current photos and/or video. No matter your industry, it’s always good practice to put in plenty of facetime with your followers.
Another great way to make the most of the warm weather is take your in-person meetings outside with existing or potential customers. When heading out for in-person meetings, or if you’re going away on vacation this summer, make sure that you write a custom out-of-office responder.
Writing a custom out-of-office response is a fantastic opportunity to extend your brand experience to your customers in a fun yet unexpected way. I talk more about how you can do this on my blog page so make sure that you check it out.
Wishing you a wonderful, and safe summer season ahead!
by Brittany Pickrem
Brittany Pickrem is the owner and designer of her self-named boutique brand & design agency in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. Her team works with you to craft a custom brand experience for your business, from your boots to your billboard. Specializing in brand strategy, graphic design, wardrobe styling, website design and more, we make your brand show up with a persuasive presence across all channels. It’s their passion to help their customers build a powerful brand online, in print, on screen, and in person.
To learn more, find Brittany and her team at brittanypickrem.com