It’s that time of year! Everyone is promising themselves they’re going to lose that holiday weight, stop smoking, or “be better with their money.” New Year’s resolutions are notoriously easy to make, and even more notoriously easy to break. Many folks make resolutions that are so general or non-specific that it’s nearly impossible to keep track of whether or not you’ve kept them – what does “get in shape,” or “eat better,” really mean anyway? And that makes it harder to keep these promises to yourself and your loved ones.
That’s why this year I’m keeping things simple, quantifiable and branding-related.
Want to blog more? Don’t just “resolve to blog.” Resolve to blog twice a week. It’s easy to tell if you’ve done that; just count your blog entries. Want to tweet more? Resolve to set a number of tweets per day and put them in your calendar. Easy to track!
These 5 branding resolutions are measurable and specific.
1) Do a brand review (yes, Phases offers one of these – call us! We’ll tell you all about it!).
How long has it been since you’ve had a logo refresh? Do you need one? How’s your website looking? Is your messaging straight outta 1998? Is the information up to date? How about your print collateral? Is your branding cohesive, distinct and recognizable across all your marketing platforms?
Just a couple of posts a week. 2 to 3 hours tops. I know it often seems like there’s no more time in the day for this (I have a hard time finding the time and energy, myself), but blogging is an important way to push company news out, build your credibility, burnish your reputation as a thought leader, and keep your name in front of people – even when you don’t have a new product or service offering.
This is more and more critical to building your community. Twitter is a surprisingly intimate and conversational medium, and so is very effective at allowing your clients and prospects to get to know you better in a non-pushy way. Set aside a half hour in the morning and a half hour at the end of the day or in the evening to tweet (or schedule them to go out twice a day at given times).
4) Scour the web for good news and reviews about your company.
Did a happy customer leave a glowing review on Yelp!? Link to it from your blog, Facebook page or Twitter account. Contact that person and ask them to turn their review into a real testimonial. Google, Yelp!, Citysearch, and eBay are good places to look. Industry specific listing sites are also good places to find reviews. This is also a good way to catch any negative energy that’s out there and take steps to correct or prevent customer experience, or other issues.
5) Get your employees involved.
Your employees are a bigger part of your brand than you probably understand. They’re dealing with your customers everyday in person, on the phone, or via email. They understand what your customers are saying about your company and your brand. They also often have great insights about communicating your brand promises and values to your customers. If you get them actively involved, their buy-in will magically transform into enthusiasm.
Of course, as with all New Year’s resolutions the key to making your branding resolutions stick is to execute them consistently and regularly. That’s why it’s important to keep things measurable and simple. So stop reading about them! Get out there and make it happen.
Let’s make 2012 a great branding year!