Have you assessed the health of your brand lately? If you answered no, you’re not alone. We all get busy with the day-to-day activities of the business — selling our product, managing our staff, doing the finances, and everything else that comes with your job and business. However, your brand health needs attention just like your physical health. It needs a check-up just like you do.
What is a brand?
A brand is what people feel about your product, service, or your entire organization. It’s the difference between tissues vs. Kleenex, or sneakers vs. Nikes. A brand is not a logo. It’s part rational, but also very emotional. A brand should be both meaningful and relevant to your target audience. It must be authentic to your mission, vision and values — in essence, do what you say, and do that consistently across all touchpoints.
Your brand also needs to be tweaked or refreshed to meet your ever-changing business, which is where the check-up comes in. If you’re a new brand, you’ll want to review it every six months because it will continue to evolve rapidly. If you’re more established, a yearly review should be sufficient.
Brand check-up steps
Your brand check-up should include the review of several things. Grab your team, and as a team, answer the questions below. This is best done as a cross-functional team to ensure you are seeing all areas of the company and not just the view from the top. It’s an interesting exercise and the answers may surprise you.
- How has the business changed in the past year?
- Do your mission, vision and values still support the direction of the company?
- Can the team explain the mission, vision and values of the company? How are they living it daily?
- How is employee engagement?
- Is your brand message consistent across channels?
- Is your branding unified and cohesive across channels?
- Is your message clear and concise?
- What do your competitors look like? How are you differentiated?
- What do customers/prospects say about you and your competition? Is this what you want them to say?
Each of these contribute to the health of your brand. When something isn’t aligned, your brand is at risk. When your brand is at risk, so is the success of your organization.
Once you’ve determined the health of your brand, you can determine where you want to be and create a plan to get there. If there are just a few minor changes, you can assign that to a team member for the first pass. If the revisions are more in-depth, it may need to go to an internal working team. And, if it’s bigger than that, you’ll want an outside partner to help bring all of the views together into one cohesive view. It doesn’t matter which path you choose, as long as a plan is put in place.
Don’t let that little ache or pain turn into full blown surgery. Find out whether your brand is healthy today. Brand health = brand wealth. ●
Sue Stabe is Co-founder of Long & Short of It