Now’s the time to ask yourself, “Is my brand saying what I want it to? Am I, or my team, delivering the experience I expect?” A brand isn’t something you launch and forget. It’s not a one and done kind of project. It takes a lot of nurturing along the way.
I recommend reviewing your brand elements at least once a year. Think of it like a visit to the doctor, but a lot more fun. You may not be feeling like something is wrong, but it’s always good to check regularly. If your brand is new on the market, or you’ve experienced a significant change in your business, you might want to check in a little sooner and more often.
It’s check in time
Are you delivering consistently?
Consistency covers everything from the tone of your communications to the shingle you hang out on the curb. When a customer reads your brochures or website copy, does it read like it comes from the same person? In the tone you want it to?
When your employees interact with your customers, are they representing your brand the way you want them to? Employees should be able to articulate your company values and personally stand behind them. If not, you might want to consider a workshop to help them understand what you’re trying to achieve and solicit their feedback. A workshop is also a good idea as you onboard new employees.
How’s it looking?
Your brand identity portrays your brand personality and characteristics. These brand elements carry a lot of weight in building recognition and affinity with your customers. Visual consistency conveys confidence and builds trust. Take a look at the imagery you use, your fonts, colours, etc. They should be consistent and work together on all your brand assets — stationery, business cards, forms, signage, etc.
How are you interacting with customers?
This includes face-to-face/in-person contacts, conversations by phone, email and anything written. Take a listen to your call messages. Do they need to be updated? Are you living up to your promise to return calls in a certain timeframe.
Are you being seen in the community?
Your involvement and support in the community will not only give you a sense of pride and accomplishment, it will also help demonstrate a caring brand. Your participation should align with your market and your brand to add credibility to your actions. As well, your employees and clients should relate to them.
Can they find you?
An office or storefront that’s easy to locate can make your customers happy. Make sure your signage is professionally printed and easy to read from the street or find in a building lobby. I’ve given up on visiting stores more times than once because I got lost in a sub division or couldn’t spot their signage. In that same vein, take a look at online listings. Are they up-to-date and clearly marking your location?
What happens when they find you?
Once your customers make it to your office, you want them to have the best experience you can. Don’t leave them hanging. How will they be greeted? Is the reception area warm and inviting? Consider things like artwork, magazines, coffee or cold beverages. Your store, office or service area should reflect your brand. And, here’s an idea. When visitors drop in, ask them about their experience. (A quick and easy way to get feedback.)
Remember, your brand is not a one and done. Continue to strengthen and grow your business with regular brand check ins. And, more importantly, don’t just take your word for it. Talk with your employees and your customers to learn how they see your brand performing!
Now get to it!
Haynes on Communication is available to help you review your brand. Let’s talk.