It’s not an easy time to be a business owner and it’s not a clear and effortless path for the modern employee. Brands around the world are being pressured to use their platform to promote good, swiftly react to changing circumstances, and remain confidently resilient. It doesn’t take a large scale pandemic, social movement, or politically unstable environment to threaten the health of a brand. A brand’s health can be compromised in smaller (but equally impactful) ways such as unmotivated employees, a lack of transparency, or an absence of purpose. Business owners are often moving so fast that an unhealthy brand can slip under the radar until it’s too late (or extremely costly and difficult) to salvage. Here are some ways to help maintain a healthy brand during instability and calm waters, and ensure that you always have your eyes on the pulse of your company.
Prioritize your company culture
You’ve probably heard this a thousand times and you’re going to hear it a thousand more. Company culture is not a fleeting trend and it isn’t an optional side item. The culture that is woven into the fabric of your company is more important than ever and can make or break your brand. A healthy brand starts on the inside, and what is happening within your company’s walls will affect how your brand operates on the outside to critical customers, vendors and other key partners.
Empower your people
A strong company culture is not a set hierarchical structure that employees abide by in order to follow suit to keep their jobs. A healthy employee is one that feels empowered to share a new idea without harsh criticism, jumpstart an innovative project without guidance, and step out into the unknown with the confidence to positively impact your (their) brand. Empowerment is everything to a brand and when you can nail it, your brand will be better off because of it.
Show your personality
The days of fitting in are over. 86% of consumers say authenticity is important when deciding what brands they like and support. A healthy brand isn’t afraid to show their personality and show off what differentiates their brand from the others in the industry. A stifled voice and marketing that is lacking purpose will not take your brand to any innovative places. If you want to stand out from your competitors, it is your unique brand personality that will show consumers what you stand for, how you operate your business, and what you have to offer that is differentiated from other competitors.
Flexibility, and the ability to stay nimble under rapidly changing circumstances, will give your brand the freedom it needs to thrive. This has been tested a lot recently among all businesses, regardless of size. Brands rarely follow a straight and upward trajectory without needing a little wiggle room along the way. Be ready and willing to take a risk, start over, or change directions if it’s best for the health of your company. A strong brand moves with the tides and isn’t afraid to make quick and spirited decisions that aren’t necessarily part of “the plan.”
Capture your customer’s attention
Your brand should be built not only to solve a problem or raise awareness, but it should be centered around your customer. Your goal is to attract customers, provide them with value, and be welcomed into their world. Every social post, blog, and marketing message should be aimed at your target market, ensuring that they always feel heard, understood, and appreciated. Your efforts do not stop at the acquisition of a customer, but they extend into the entire span of their relationship with your brand. Retention efforts truly matter – as they drive profitability, with each purchase working to amortize the customer acquisition costs your business has already incurred to find that customer.
Embrace the power of YOUR data
Data can empower you and your team to make the best decisions for your company, thus planning the best you can for healthy outcomes. Focus on collecting the same variables consistently, reaching out often for customer feedback, and figuring out how to draw accurate insights and meaningful distinctions from your analysis. Don’t ever run away from your numbers; dive right in and get to work.
Start with purpose
Everything comes back to a brand’s purpose and how it shows its consumers what it stands for and applauds. What’s the why behind your brand and what is it that creates loyal brand advocates? According to Oberlo, 77% of consumers buy from brands who share the same values as they do. It’s not about what your followers want to hear; it’s about what your brand wants to say through its actions and brand messages. A brand absent of purpose or a company who speaks of wishy-washy values become void of meaning. Your consumers are looking to adhere to meaning now more than ever, so it’s inherent to your health to find your brand’s differentiated purpose.
Invest in your brand
When you make a move to invest in developing your purpose or you decide to put funds toward maximizing your strategies and processes, there is beneficial ROI in that. Understand the value of intelligently investing in your people and in your company. If you can’t do everything well on your own, be brave enough to reach out and outsource your challenge to an expert. Making smart investments now will build your company up for the future.
Is it time for a check-up? Your brand health could be deteriorating as we speak, but you and your team are too focused on daily workload to see what’s happening. Your brand’s health is just as important as your other agenda items, so it’s time to prioritize it and take the actionable steps needed to make your brand strong on the inside and the outside. What will you do today to acknowledge your brand’s health?