Get ready for the New Year. Get ready for change! “More change?” I hear a groan. But hang on a second. Let me encourage you with, perhaps, a familiar phrase you’ve heard a family member say — “Chin up!” Because today we’re here to give you resources for how you can re-vision your brand for a new year, new you!
Fresh feels like a fresh cup of java with steaming business boost goodness are always a plus. Continue reading for pocket checklists to add to your toolkit, practical questions to ask yourself, and lastly, insights to making your own style guide.
Now. It is time for some keys to a new year, new you. But is it really time for re-branding?
Is it time for your company to re-brand? Be strategic about re-branding
Maybe this isn’t an option for you, and that’s okay. The purpose of re-branding is to re-position your business. It’s like a revision for a document. You wrote your first draft, and now it’s time to re-envision it, take a look at your work from a distance and form, shape and mold it into the best version of itself. Of course, this comes through time. I mean take a look at Dunkin Donuts. This beloved chain began in 1950! They had their logo for quite a long time, so it’s pretty timeless. But even they decided it was time for something new.
So in the beginning of January 2019, more or less, they decided it was time to freshen up from the competition, and re-think their brand strategy. Do you remember seeing advertising, “Just call us Dunkin’?” They made sure to communicate to their audience about the upcoming changes and prepare them in advance (instead of suddenly changing their name one day… well, see ya! There goes decades old brand loyalty out the door).
Additionally, branding is everything about your company that is seen, known, heard, experienced and talked about, from visual designs to customer service responses. So, a successful re-brand may help to get you more recognized.
RE-BRANDING CHECKLIST A. To Be or Not to Be?
First, review this list of questions to help you consider if it’s time for re-branding in some shape or form. Re-branding is what you need it to be, grand, big, small, or something in between.
- Has the function of your business become outdated? Is anything on the website or your technology showing its age?
- Is your market oversaturated and struggling to stand out?
- Do you feel your business reputation needs a fresh start?
- Is your business too wide? Narrow your focus for more effective promotion.
- Do you have a decade old logo? It’s time to change, unless it’s a logo that is sort of timeless. Get a second opinion. You can even ask your clients what they think!
- Has your company significantly grown?
- Has it developed a new voice, and overall, a new tone that requires a new appearance?
Ask your customers what they think?
All in all, have you considered what people think about when they hear your brand name? Does it match up with your vision? Or could it be better? Much to keep track of, but we like to make it easy, so we added this next checklist that fits right in your pocket for handy access. As you see, this list has several main categories you can consider making adjustments toward.
RE-BRANDING CHECKLIST B. Your main categories to review and check off
- Visual Design
- Brand Mission Statement
- Brand Personality
Repetition and presenting your brand consistently over time will allow customers to internalize your brand values and become a re-occurring customer. To help you maintain consistency for a new year, new you, we’re including an insight about making a style guide.
2. What is a style guide?
It’s exactly that, a guide; a compass to help you determine HOW you want people to identify you and WHAT you can do to maintain a cohesive presence and identity across all channels and platforms.
You will essentially create a PDF booklet with information like: visual guidelines, tone, regulations, username guidelines, information for videos and images your brand uses, all your profiles (LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, Redditt, Instagram, etc.), and it can even include response examples for how team members communicate and deal with clients. In your style guide, you will also include an outline of the following: brand colors, fonts, fonts for graphics, logos, acceptable color combinations, and photos of your office and team. You could already have all this information, and it’s just a matter of house cleaning for the new year, and compiling it into a single secure area.
3. What is your brand voice?
Let’s be practical about this one, too. Make it a goal on your own new year’s checklist to do this simple, yet inciteful task. Take a look at all and any prior content written by your company. This can range from email campaigns, email correspondence or responses, as well as channels you regularly use. Check the tone and emotion you’re presenting. It is easy to send mixed messages like using different tones of voice per every channel you own. This isn’t what you want. You want one solid voice to carry you through. Plus, you’ll want to add a detailed brand voice description to your style guide, so your employees can be onboard the same ship.
Importantly, tone and appearance should always be consistent across channels and platforms.
Last, but certainly not least, we put together an infographic to help you identify or solidify your brand voice. It’s important. Tone of voice reflects your brand personality, and it will help you stand out.
I feel like a new you for the new year also requires confidence. Be confident. Start with what’s right in front of you. Set smart goals, practical goals, and be on your toes, planning to stay ahead just in case 2021 brings a couple more unexpected tidings. And remember, you really are not alone. We’re here to help!
We would love to help you understand how you are perceived on the web. We can provide a FREE digital assessment, just click the link below. Have a Happy Holiday, and may your branding be merry and bright.
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Virginia Weiskopf, Personal Technical Guide
Over 20 years of expertise providing technical solutions that let you focus on your business.