A brand identity should reflect the “personality” of a company. But do you feel like the same person you were a year ago today?
After 12 months of unprecedented upheaval and adaptation, life for many is very different than it once was. Your organization probably isn’t really the same, either. In the face of enormous changes to customary work practices and service delivery, many companies have shuffled priorities and adopted new processes. Some have even retargeted products, mission, and scope.
Now is a good time to reflect on all that alteration — and consider whether your brand identity still holds true. Or if it could use a refresh. Here are three questions to help you assess whether your brand identity might need a full facelift — or maybe just a shot of Botox.
1. Who are you?
Take a cue from Lou Reed, get a proverbial mirror and hold it up to your brand in the harsh light of day. Give it a long, hard look — and try to be honest rather than aspirational as you consider the reflection. What’s changed about your organization and its goals in the past 12 months? What’s changed in your customers? How do you stack up against your competitors? Does any of this impact your existing brand identity?
2. How are you seen?
Your personal preferences may be interesting, but they aren’t particularly relevant here. Your brand image should speak to what your target audiences care about and value. Does it? Many people will make snap decisions based on the “virtual” first impression your company makes in today’s largely digital world. With fresh and critical eyes, carefully review your brand’s current touch points. What impression would your preferred customer take away from a first visit to your website, or your company’s presence on LinkedIn or Twitter? Does it positively reflect your current position? Brand promise? Desired trajectory?
3. Are you in sync?
Your website and social channels aren’t the only things communicating your brand identity to the world. Every single person in your company is a brand ambassador — and your own colleagues may be feeling out of touch and less than certain about the company’s shared mission in our turbulent times. Does everyone who works at your company know what you collectively stand for? How you operate? The kind of customer experience you intend to deliver? Customers like knowing what to expect from the interactions they have with companies. This means delivering brand-consistent experiences across operations — sales, support, direct marketing, social media channels, PR and advertising programs, etc. Is that happening?
Brand identity = true reflection
In any business environment, it’s wise to periodically assess your organization’s unique attributes — and position them to best attract the type of partners and customers you want to work with, now and in the future. But after such a tumultuous year, it’s important to review those qualities — and determine whether your brand identity is still accurately conveying them. If your answers to any of the assessment questions indicate room for improvement, it may be time for a brand identity refresh. Reach out if you need help or guidance. Developing and polishing effective brand communications are Sterling’s specialty.