Your company’s story and messaging are the first exposure consumers receive about you (or your client). Leaders should ensure their messaging, story and branding are on point and targeted by conducting a regular review. We recommend to our clients that they do a review either at the end or first of the year.

Your brand is more than a logo; it is your promise to your customers and potential clients. The words, logos and descriptions—and the way you present them—are all a part of your brand and your reputation.

Marketing today is all about presenting value. “Brand value” is a phrase that has become popular, and it has two meanings: (1) What is the value of your brand to the company? (2) What value do you project to your clients and customers? Ask yourself a single question: “How am I presenting value to my customers?”

Here’s a simple checklist of eight ways to confirm that the look, feel and sound of your brand are having the desired effect:

  1. Schedule a brand workshop with key leaders in your organization. Don’t restrict it to the marketing team. Invite the receptionist, a truck driver, line workers, managers and executives. Look at the demographics of your company and pull together a cross-section of your people. If you have an agency, ask them to moderate it. Plan on a full day of discussion and free-flowing ideas.
  2. Create a brand book for your team to review. Pull together all of your company descriptions, “about” text, various logos, icons, fonts and color palettes into a single document that will all be reviewed. Create handouts for each area of your brand presentation, with hard copies for the attendees.
  3. If your budget allows, conduct a brand survey of clients. How is your company perceived? Do your customers feel like they are aligned with you? Do your values come through?
  4. Start discussions about who your audience or market is. Is there consensus in the group? Is the perceived market your actual market?
  5. Look at your words. Do they all speak to this market? Are you using purposeful language that connects? As an example, you have a designer jean product designed for the Gen Z and Gen Alpha markets. Your company’s tag line is: “Our dungarees fit.” Does it work for this audience? Probably not.
  6. Once you have the words figured out, it’s time to look at your graphic presentation. Use the same target market filter to look at this. Look at your competitors. Where does your use of typography fit in? Are you using the right fonts to present your company?
  7. Look at your logo and color palette. Each of these areas is as important as the other, as they all link together like a chain. When you look at individual links of a chain, there’s not much strength. When you connect the links, the chain becomes strong and powerful. Some colors are long-lasting, while others are trendy. Do an internet search of popular colors for 2023, and you’ll come up with the latest colors. Are these a fad or a trend? Is it time to change? Does your logo portray what you want it to?
  8. Finally, sit down with your creative team or person, and pull all of the results together into a plan of change. It takes a while to create brand change, but the story of your business relies on your presentation.

Branding evolves with a company over time. A logo should never be considered a once-and-done event. Colors, fonts, language and communication styles grow and expand—just like consumers.

As a company leader, you are the keeper of the brand and story. Keep it interesting, on target and with purpose.

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