As a brand owner you already have your hands full with jobs you need to focus on to keep your business up and running. Managing your brand doesn’t need to be difficult if you keep a few simple checks in mind when thinking about how your brand works for you.
1. Do you look consistent?
This is an easy win, and helps to create a familiar presence whenever you engage with your audience, whether that be on social media, direct mail or in person. By having a consistent brand look you make it easy for your customers to recognise you. Make sure all your social channels use the same logo, at the correct size (to avoid any distortions and stretching). If you have the option to change colour schemes etc add your brands primary colour to keep consistency throughout the channel. Even simple things like consistent social handles and domain names will help to build your credibility.
If you use imagery, make sure the style and composition fits your brands style. Using the same image treatment will again keep consistency (especially when customers view your grid or feed).
Any business cards or printed materials should use the most up to date logo and house style so that customers will recognise that they are looking at the right brand when looking you up.
2. Who is your audience
It’s always good to check in on your audience to see who your most active followers are. This could be as simple as a quick poll or question on your stories right through to focus groups or interviews. By getting a gauge on your audience you will be better placed to communicate more effectively. It is also a good way to compare with your brand’s tone of voice, to see if your brand is still relevant to the audience it is aimed at.
And remember, numbers aren't everything with your followers. It is better to grow a dedicated following and have them actively support and champion you, rather than a large but mostly in-active audience.
3. What are you saying?
Does your audience know what your brand stands for? Your brand should have a reason for existing, whether it’s for a good cause, a passion or just to add some fun into the world you should shout about it. Your audience is looking for that unique story that sets it apart from the competition. Make sure that any brand communications work towards communicating your values. Be open with your audience and start a conversation around your values to involve them.
4. Is it relevant?
As well as having a consistent look and feel, you should compare your brand to its competitors and the wider market to make sure it isn’t falling behind. This isn’t an invitation to blindly copy them, instead look to identify changes in the audience and trends of the market to identify where you can offer more value or start a conversation. Being proactive in approaching your audience will keep you relevant and position you as a leader in that space.
5. How is the customer journey?
Put yourself in your audiences shoes and try to look at your brand with fresh eyes to get a high level view of how your brand is perceived. Your brand ultimately boils down to the impression it leaves on the audience. Ask questions like how do people find my brand? What is like to buy from my brand? or How does someone feel unboxing the product? By examining and refining the entire customer journey you can add delight and excitement at every step. It's often the subtle details and personal touches that help cement your brand into peoples minds.
Bonus - Are you having fun with it?
It’s easy to get stuck in a rut with the day to day tasks involved in running a brand, but you started it for a reason which says a lot. By understanding your core values, knowing you have a consistent look and feel and actively engaging with your audience you give yourself some room to have some fun in the process. Thinking outside the box a little and trying new ideas will open up new opportunities to connect and engage, ultimately making your brand more successful.