At this time of the year I see a trend with clients planning ahead for where they want to take their brands in the new year. Companies, teams and individual professionals are currently scheduling in brand strategy and planning sessions for January and February, to ensure they can start the year with a strong, high-impact brand.
Below are some of the essentials to get right in your business or personal brand in 2023. Identify the gaps right now, and you have your plan to hit the ground running in the new year.
Have you ticked off the following?
- Brand Clarity: You have recently engaged in a professional process to define, clarify or refresh your brand, resulting in a strategic document that clearly states your positioning and key messages for your target markets, and how this should be interpreted through all visual and written communications, as well as providing direction on how it should be communicated through your people in their conversations with clients, contacts, and each other.
- Your Online Presence is up-to-date, such as a user-friendly, optimised website that clearly communicates your brand messages and your core offering. You have a process in place to refresh web pages regularly with new content (such as publishing articles and videos) that keeps you visible and relevant to your audience.
- Team members who are responsible for bringing in business or maintaining client relationships (such as accountants, lawyers, financial advisors and consultants) have the appropriate tools to empower their personal brands, in order to be seen as peers or trusted partners to decision-makers, and to assist them to develop their online and offline network-building.
- Team members who are the ‘face of the business’ or who communicate in any way with clients and stakeholders (even internally!) have a scheduled opportunity early in the year to personally connect with the brand they represent and to reflect on what they want to communicate. They have also received or are scheduled for training on first impressions and communication skills in business.
- A strong Brand Communication Plan: If you are in professional services or B2B, you have a comprehensive LinkedIn strategy forming a core component of your 2023 Marketing Plan, that is guided by your Communications Team but involves a range of staff representing the business.
Why does a checklist like this matter?
A clearly defined and consistently communicated brand cuts through the noise and stays top of mind with your audience – this immediately makes you more competitive among others working off a hit-and-miss plan! I encourage you to use this short checklist of core brand components to help you plan your 2023 brand strategy for standing out and staying top of mind with your target audience.
Happy new year!