There’s no doubt that 2020 is turning out to be a year of great challenge and uncertainty. Just navigating through a pandemic gives your company tacit permission to focus on the health and safety of its employees until you’re ready to resume fuller, “more normal” business activities. But what will “normal” look like in the future?
I believe that when we emerge from pandemic, economic and civil crises, we will enter a new era, a new time, a new age. Disruptions of this magnitude often force changes and drive innovation. Our economy is changing, our interactions are changing, our society is changing.
Additionally, I believe the digital transformation, aided by artificial intelligence and 5G, will gain a strong foothold on the other side of this pandemic to usher in a new “experiential” and economic age. It’s a good time to rethink your brand and how it should engage in the near future.
Should You Recast Your Brand for Relevance?
A brand strategy should be aspirational; that is, you should consider your business vision and map your brand to align with it. Yet there are nuances today that we’ve not faced in the past. The world has changed drastically in the last several months—on many fronts. And like the individuals who make up companies, the companies themselves have needed to adjust.
When changes of this magnitude occur, there’s an opportunity to reset your brand, add to or change your brand story, and arrive at a space better suited to move your company forward.
Will your brand be relevant in the new age? How has your business vision changed? How has coronavirus affected how your customers and partners engage with you? How should your company engage your audiences and communities in light of recent cultural considerations? How will pending technology advances affect your company? And, ultimately, what should you consider as you address a brand modification? We’ve got some ideas.
5 Things to Revisit About Your Brand
Who are your customers today, and who will be your customers tomorrow?
Looking ahead, where is your business going? Who will your business serve? Who will be your key audiences in the future? Do you have new and different products coming out? Will you be entering new markets? Does your company have plans to go public? All of these things should be addressed in defining and developing your new brand.
How do you engage your customers and key audiences?
Your core communication channels should influence the type of brand you create. Has your brand adapted adequately to the digital world? Digital marketing channels are more fully and broadly used these days. They offer more flexibility for various design styles and language than traditional communications channels. Moreover, digital channels are now “owning” most of the marketing content—and for good reason. Yet this allows for more creative and interactive options, and lends permission to be more “human” vs. corporate in your tone of voice, as we see more one-on-one interactions. In fact, people are now expecting certain companies to express more human qualities, including having a social voice and a stance on social issues. Many companies are complying. Is yours, and should it?
Has your company revisited its corporate values, vision and mission?
Many companies are still riding on their existing values, vision and mission that have been in place for years. Those statements might be out of step with the times, even if they were composed in the last year or two. Now is a good time to revisit them. Are you missing anything important in your values in light of today’s climate? Does your business vision need revising? And can your mission be restated to be more inclusive? These things should play a role in the development of a brand that aligns with them.
What does your company need to achieve, and what perceptions are required?
The core attitude, beliefs and behaviors your company puts forth should help drive how the brand is defined. In addition, your brand strategy should be aspirationally aligned with your business vision. So, what perceptions does your brand need to own to reach that vision?
Put plainly, a brand is a cluster of perceptions around a product, service or organization. Your company’s actions help drive perceptions. And there are existing perceptions in the marketplace of your company. The question is, what perceptions do you want to own? You get to decide that. You can manage those perceptions through your brand, storytelling and overall communications executions and behaviors. But ultimately, the brand you develop must be meaningful to customers, differentiating from the competition and true to the values of the company.
What does your brand look and sound like?
Is your brand look and language outdated? Does it appear stodgy and old, tired and not modern? Take this opportunity to become more relevant, both industrially and culturally. Refresh your look. Update your language. Retire noncompliant wording, phrasing and language. Be current. Look current. Sound current. That shows you’re connected to the modern world and that you care about what’s happening around us today. Develop a social voice, and determine how, when and where to use it. People are not only used to this these days, many have come to expect it.
Get Company Buy-In and Seek Professional Support
For any new branding to succeed, all these things need to be considered and become part of the process of delivering a new or reset brand. But most importantly, your executives and leaders need to either be a part of the brand reset process or at least understand what it is, why it is, and be prepared to support what the brand will become.
Having a strong, true, meaningful and differentiating brand has always been a mission-critical marketing endeavor. But there may be other nuances that need to be addressed—perhaps now more than ever before.
Should you reach out to brand experts for help? It’s a good idea. Discuss with them how brands are managing to stay relevant today. What are they doing, how are they changing, and why? What do they think you should do with your brand? Ask them about creating a social voice. Having good professional help will avoid rework and misfires. They can even help facilitate and generate consensus inside your organization.
So go ahead. Reach out and talk to brand development and branding professionals about why and how to reset your brand. At Kiterocket our team of brand experts are ready to support you. We invite you to take advantage of our expertise, contact us now.