On November 30, we held our final workshop of the year, Brand Impact Essentials. at Hatch. What an honor to be joined by local entrepreneurs and nonprofit leaders to think about goals and strategies for the year ahead. I always come away from these sessions inspired by the diverse talents and voices in our community, and love seeing the connections they make with one another, too. Below is a roundup of top tips we discussed:
1. Sweat the Small Stuff
Many brands focus on attracting audiences to their doorsteps without thinking through the experience visitors will have once they arrive. Consider and audit your current brand touch points; they play a critical role in how clients, prospects, and partners will view, understand, and engage with you. What message does your current creative identity send? Are you easy to reach? Does your website meet basic usability criteria? Are you making promises you can keep in the words and phrases you employ? Or, more simply put, build (or renovate—or at least, clean up) your brand “house” before you roll out the welcome mat!
2. LISTEN AND LOOK BEFORE YOU LEAP
How much do you really know about your current and potential clients and customers? What makes them tick? What are their key influencers and pain points? How do their needs differ? Are your service offerings clearly framed to address user needs? If not, what needs to change? If you aren’t clear on this, step back, do some research to learn more, and then evolve accordingly.
3. TELL A STORY AND KEEP IT SIMPLE
As many of you know from previous posts and workshops, helping clients build, and evolve, their “brand story” is a key part of the work we do. Stories create connections, help us find common ground, establish credibility and humanity, and give emotional context to the information we are sharing. Are the stories you are telling today compelling, credible, and clear? Is anyone even listening? If not, get out the eraser and start from scratch. And remember, simplicity wins, (almost) every time. Like all great stories, yours can—and should—unfold over time, based on how deeply users are engaging with you..
4. MAKE CHOICES and stay focused
Branding is the discipline that guides your thinking, your actions, and your communications. Your brand should be the lens through which all behaviors, actions, and resource decisions are filtered. The most successful brands make choices and stay focused. Give yourself permission to walk away (or delay) efforts that aren’t “on brand.” You can always revisit them later.
5. MEASURE. ASSESS. EVOLVE. REPEAT!
Strong brand management starts with solid marketing measurement. Do you have metrics in place to track and measure the impact of your efforts? How often are you reviewing and tweaking your tactics based on how you met your goals (or didn’t)? How might internal or external changes affect these goals? Evaluate and measure your progress, and get outside perspectives on how to consider evolving and optimizing your efforts.
Do any of these resonate with you? If you’re interested in exploring or diving deeper on any of these topics in the coming months, drop us a line to learn more about our services, explore how a brand coaching program can help keep you on track to achieve your marketing goals in the year ahead. Or, schedule a custom workshop for your team or organization in the new year.
To your branding brilliance in 2017!
- Canva – online graphic design and layout tools
- Fotor – photo editing
- ThingLink – interactive images
- Timeline JS3 – content-rich timelines
- Landscape – image resizer for social media
- Storify – collator for social media
- Fiverr – low cost talent for design, coding, audio, etc.
A few blog posts from the year that offer additional tips and resources are noted below.
- Optimizing Your Online Presence: A Few Takeaways from the Anvil Media Team
- Our Simple Summer Reading List: 20+ Quick Reads for Better Branding
- BSB Spring Research Roundup: 4 Tips—and Many Resources—To Pave Your Path
- Mid-Quarter Roundup: B2B Marketing Trends & Tips for the Year Ahead
- Our End-of-Summer Reading Roundup: 4 Little Lists for Big Impact Ahead