With spring fast approaching, it inspires me to think about sunnier days ahead – both literally, and figuratively speaking. And as a branding buff, it makes me think about how I might infuse new energy into my brand, and my customer’s brands too.
In this article I’ve outlined some simple strategies to help set you up for a season of growth for your brand.
Choose Brand Clarity
Clarity around what we want is the best way to achieve our brand goals or milestones, as it creates opportunities to take aligned, intentional action. I’m going to challenge you to think about your brand goals over the next three months.
Imagine three months from now. What is it that you will have wanted to achieve or have completed for your brand by that time? Now, write it down.
Being clear about our brand goals or milestones helps to bring focus to everything we’re doing, or NOT doing to build our brands. It brings greater purpose and alignment to the actions we choose to take or choose to not take. Do a brand goal check-in at least once a month, or once every three months to make sure that you’re making progress with your brand building.
Need some extra accountability to stay motivated to reach your milestones? Get yourself a branding bud, ideally this is someone who will keep you accountable to reaching your brand goals/milestones.
Spring Cleaning Your Brand
Spring cleaning offers us the perfect opportunity to part with unwanted clutter – and that same approach can be applied to our brands. Less can often be more, when it comes to old, or outdated content you created with your brand more than a year (or more) ago.
A great example of ‘brand decluttering’ was something I did around this time last year when we were in the beginning stages of the lockdown. With everyone on the planet spending more time inside, and online, I knew there would be a surge in online traffic. I took the opportunity to archive, delete, update, or repurpose a lot of old content that was no longer an accurate reflection of my brand.
After doing a quick audit of my social media accounts, google results, and website I was shocked to see old content that was actually undermining my brand, rather than adding value to it.
My challenge to you is this, do a quick Google search and Google Image search of your brand’s name, if you have a personal brand, google your name. While you’re at it do a sweep of your social media accounts too. What do you see in your search results? Is it an accurate reflection of how you want your customers to perceive your brand?
Delete abandoned social media accounts on platforms you haven’t been active on over the last year. You don’t need to be on EVERY platform, instead show up consistently on platforms you actually enjoy participating on. Delete, or update super old blog posts, or social media posts.
Get Curious About Your Brand Position
Now that you’ve removed clutter, which is no longer serving your brand, what have you created space for? Revisit the brand goals you wrote down earlier and reflect on what’s the next direction for your brand.
First take a look at your current marketing content, and product/service offers. If you’re a service-based business, see if your offers are a current reflection of the kind of work you want to attract. If they’re no longer a fit, its time for an update! Set aside at least an hour for this brand brainstorming session, but half a day would even be better.
Research will help guide you on the next steps you want to take with your brand. Check out your competition, or other brands you admire, and take a quick look at what they’re currently doing to market and sell their brand, services, and/or products. What marketing content or service/product offers are they selling, that you can easily repurpose for your brand?
Continue the research by either briefly interviewing or surveying your audience, and customers. This will further help you to determine what type of new marketing content, or new product/service offers your customers would like to see from you. Asking your audience, and customers about this, takes the guesswork out of creating new content or offers, and provides helpful insight into customer expectations from your brand.
Reflect again on the brand brainstorming you did earlier, along with the research you completed. Think about how you might add value, elevate, or change the current conversations happening in your industry for the better. Where is the opportunity to position yourself as a leading voice in your industry?
Finally, after you’ve made changes to your product/services offers, make sure to let your audience and customers know that you have done so, and you’re looking forward to showing up, and serving them even better!
Cultivate a Compassionate, Collaborative and Inclusive Brand
I’ve been heartbroken over the last year to see several of my favourite local businesses close their doors for good. As a fellow local business owner, I can’t help but imagine what small actions might have helped these businesses, even if the outcome remained the same, and closing shop was inevitable.
Although better days are coming with the arrival of vaccines, the reality is that we’re still dealing with the effects of a global pandemic, an economic recession, along with persistent acts of systemic racism right here in our province.
I don’t have all the answers on how to solve these massive challenges, but as people, business owners, and as brands, we can start to do better by taking a compassionate and collaborative approach through our actions, and our choices.
I’ve seen so many examples of this solidarity over the last year, and I want to encourage you to continue to move through this year with that same kindness in mind.
How might we begin to cultivate compassionate and collaborative culture with our brands? It starts with thoughtful action taking.
You can be collaborative with your brand in both big and small ways, and what you do depends on what feels like the right fit for your brand. You don’t necessarily need to do big, elaborate gestures to help support fellow businesses. Here are a few great ways to be supportive of your favourite brands.
Word of Mouth referrals. It’s easy, fast, and free to tell our friends about the brands we love both in person, and online. The best way to brag on the brands you love is by either sharing, commenting, and ‘liking’ their content or leaving them a review. When you use your online platforms to spread the word about other great brands, you’re building real relationships, and a community that may someday support your brand in return.
Purchase from local brands you love whenever you can. Money is the life force of any business, purchasing from a business you love helps them to continue the great work they’re doing, and directly supports our local economy too. Every dollar you spend is a vote cast for the kind of world you live in. Nova Scotia is a province with so much diversity, make it your mission to support diverse groups. Visit https://www.bbi.ca/business-directory for a list of Nova Scotia black owned businesses. Visit https://www.ulnooweg.ca/business-directory/ for a listing of local, Indigenous owned businesses.
Finally, you can also consider starting a strategic brand partnership. Is there an opportunity to strengthen your brand by partnering with another aligned, like-minded brand? Be creative and think about what brands you might like to partner with. How might you add even more value to both of your customers if you were to team up? What might you offer to your customers that makes your partnership mutually beneficial?
When you’re looking to strengthen your brand this spring, remember to get clear about what you want over the next three months. Make it a priority to do some spring cleaning with your brand, especially as it pertains to your online brand presence. Being clear about what you want creates space for innovative ways to build your brand through your offers, and marketing content, and keeps your brand presence current, fresh, and relevant. Building a compassionate, collaborative, and inclusive brand is the best kind of branding to aspire to, and its something that is often not achieved on your own.
If you feel like you can use some extra support to strengthen your brand this season, I’m here and happy to help you with a free, 30 minute, 1:1 VIP brand sessions. Book a time with me at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more branding tips and insights please follow along with me on Instagram @brandingbybrittany, I’d be honoured for you to join my small but mighty community of brand creators and changemakers.
by Brittany Pickrem
Brittany Pickrem is a brand designer for 6 and 7-figure leaders and changemakers across the globe. Brittany provides leaders with a world-class brand strategy and style from their website to their wardrobe.