Ah, the heralding in of a new year. It’s when we bid farewell to the old and welcome the new, looking forward with ambition, hope, and honed determination. It’s also when we make pretty ridiculous resolutions.

Forget the gym membership, that pledge to visit Fiji, or the 30-day fast for your New Year’s resolution; what we have for you are tried and true ways to help you elevate your brand—and business—in 2017.

Each of us at The Brand Collective has a tip based on our area of expertise to help amp up your A-game and brand prowess in the new year. Prepare to take 2017 by storm.

Resolve to…

Be a stickler for brand consistency. Do you have a brand standards guide? If not, now is the time to contact your graphic designer or agency and make that a top priority. If you do have one, great work! Now you need to make sure you’re sticking to it. A brand standards guide outlines proper logo usage, placement, and sizing, as well as specifics about your color palette and fonts—including where and how to use them. Are vendors printing your logo? Are internal folks using the logo on marketing materials or reports? Make sure everyone is following the brand standards, and you’ll be reaping the benefits of brand recognition in no time.

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Resolve to…

Embrace spell check. There’s nothing as embarrassing as sending out a high profile newsletter (*cough, cough*), memo, press release, or—heaven forbid—running an ad or printing a sign that has a typo or misspelling. Something as glaring as a typo can invalidate your message, distract from your true focus, or dumb down your reputation. A simple slip of an “e” before an “i” or misused contraction can spell serious trouble for your brand. Get your grammar on and utilize the tools that technology has provided to make your life easier.

Molly

Resolve to…

Take time out to really think about your business. Answer questions such as, “Who are we? What is our authentic story? Are we telling that authentic story well? How well are we communicating with customers?” Remember, the stronger, tighter, more compelling, and more consistent your company story is (your story is what we call your key messages), the more clients, customers, and prospects will understand and remember you.

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Resolve to…

Own social media. Whether you love it or hate it, social media is here to stay. Your friends, family, and your (potential) customers log on to their favorite social sites every day. Stand out from the cat videos and recipe tutorials by offering your followers useful or intriguing posts they’ll be interested in—and be consistent about it! Make a goal of posting to Facebook 2-3 times a week. Soon you’ll get in the habit of it, and you’ll be posting to Facebook and Instagram like a social media rock star. Pro tip: come up with a few posts, and schedule them to go out throughout the week or month so you don’t have to worry about forgetting to post. Genius? You bet.

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Resolve to…

Do a brand audit in 2017. It can be overwhelming to try to stay on top of consistency of brand, but you know it’s important. Performing a brand-audit can help keep you on track. Think of it as a branding DIY: Gather up any printed materials you have, get your website and social media booted up, and pull your ads together in one place. Spread it all out on a table so you can see an overview of how you’ve been presenting yourself. Have you been true to your brand? Consistent? Have you evolved in a way that is working, or do you need to hit the brand reset button? Take notes and form a game plan for 2017 based on your observations.

Sarah

 

Happy New Year!