January 9, 2023
Unless you're a life coach, fitness coach, gym owner or nutritionist, your business may be a little quiet once the holidays have passed. Make January a productive month by using the slow time to review, assess and update marketing and branding aspects of your business. A little time on housekeeping and refreshing now will set you up for a solid, consistent, successful 2023.
We're sharing our suggestions of marketing tasks to solidify your foundation, clear out the clutter, repair the cracks and spruce up back of the house, so to speak. Come February 1, you'll feel re-aligned, fresh and ready for all of the good business coming your way in 2023. Need some help? Give us a call or email us!
MARKETING TO-DO #1: REVIEW BRANDING
First, take a good hard look at your logo with the lens of 2023 as ask yourself;
Is the company logo fresh and current or dated and static?
Does it align with and communicate our business?
Do we love it?
If the answer is yes, fantastic! If the logo just exists, feels tired and static, or you just don't like it anymore, it's time for an upgrade. Businesses change and grow and with that, logos may change also - with thoughtful planning and execution. Upgrading or refreshing a logo does not have to be a drastic departure from your current logo. We'd suggest you keep elements of your current logo for brand consistency if it works.
What's a good first step? Grab a plain sheet of paper or open a new doc on your computer and write an unedited list of words that describe your brand and business. Brand descriptive words can range from colors to feelings and emotions to descriptions. Don't leave anything out. To add dimension, ask people you work with or partner with for words they think of when thinking of your brand. This list won't be published. It is simply a space for ideas that will likely never see the light of day.
Once you have a list/s, take a focused look at the words and highlight, circle or bold 5-10 words that resonate with your brand and business. If multiple people participated in the brainstorming, highlight duplicate words that came up across lists.
Next, pull up your current logo or print it out and write words that describe that visual representation. Again, write the first descriptors that come to mind and don't edit. Also ask people not familiar with your business to look at your logo and give you a few words that come to mind - without filtering. Narrow down those lists to the 5-10 most common words.
Then the moment of truth: place your brand descriptive word list next to your logo descriptive word list and compare and contrast. What matches? What doesn't? Looking at your brand descriptive words, does your logo fit? If yes, fantastic! Keep it and keep going. If not, it's probably a good indication that your brand identity could use an update. Why? Your logo is the visual representation of your business. When a consumer sees your logo, we want them to understand what it is, intrinsically feel what it represents and if a marketer is doing a good job, correlate that image with your business. When you see a large red circle with a smaller red circle inside of it, what comes to mind? See what we mean?
A fresh, current, aligned visual representation of your business that is implemented consistently across all mediums is critical to your marketing and brand awareness. If it's time for an update, start by looking around online or in your community for logos that possess elements that align with your brand descriptive words. Collect those logo ideas in a folder - either physical or preferably, digital. Then, find a talented graphic designer - or contact us for help. A talented graphic designer can combine your current logo and folder of logo ideas, with your brand descriptive words and create magic.
Along with your logo, the words you implement and use to communicate your brand across all channels and mediums should not only align with your brand description, but also be consistent and easy to understand. Using different words, fonts and messaging across different platforms and materials insures confusion and works against brand recognition. While customization is important to keep messaging fresh, your main message should always circle back to either your company name, tagline or a set group of brand words.
Grab the list you created in your logo review, and pull words and taglines from your current documents. Again, contrast, review, refresh and pass this information through seasoned and fresh eyes. Narrow down and finalize.
Once you have messaging, text and words set, create a checklist of every online location or platform where your logo, photos and messaging are present. Go through each site, prioritizing your website and social media pages, and review and insure logos, text, fonts and messaging are correct and the same. Then, move to Google Business, Yelp, Member Organization sites and any others to update, correct and align messaging and visual id. Update when something changes, or add - within brand standards, as you post and promote to new mediums or share with partners or developers using the checklist of locations you now have on file as a reference for where the business information is active.
BRAND STANDARDS & STYLE GUIDE
The final element of an annual brand review is collection or creation of the Company Brand Standards & Style Guide. What exactly are brand standards and styles? A Brand Standards & Style Guide is a document detailing how the company logo should, and should not be, implemented across various mediums, along with brand colors, text types and brand messaging guidelines. Elements of standards and styles are typically produced by a graphic designer or brand communications professional when the logo and messaging are developed. But, if you started from scratch by creating a logo yourself, or it's been awhile or through the hands of various staffers, it's possible that standards were never developed, or are scattered across numerous hard drives. Messy happens.
An established, centrally-housed and communicated Brand Standards & Style Guide insures everyone who interacts with your marketing across any medium does so consistently and according to standard. It also creates one easy, quick go-to destination when you need to send a logo to someone or share fonts or colors. We suggest one folder on a centrally-shared drive that includes a PDF document visually detailing the brand standards and styles and includes all elements of the brand within that folder or drive - logos in all types and designed versions, brand colors with Hex numbers, fonts, messaging, etc..
Here's an example of our TL.Authentic Brand Standards & Style Guide for reference:
The Brand Standards & Style Guide may also include the following:
Company main phone
Company main email
Facebook, TikTok, Instagram & Twitter page handles & url's
List of #hashtags
Any other verbiage connected with your brand and company
ITEM #1: BRAND REVIEW COMPLETE!
Completing these three straightforward assessments and tasks will insure your brand and business are ready for a busy year ahead!
Need help with any or all of these brand tasks or simply don't have the time? Contact TL.Authentic at firstname.lastname@example.org or 916.827.1599 to get started before January gets away from you!
Marketing To-Do #2: Clean and Organize your email inbox/es!