Once a year it’s a good idea to diarise some time to look at your brand and ensure it’s communicating the right message. Remember your brand isn’t just your logo, it goes much deeper than that to include who you are and what you do. Think of it as your organisation’s personality.

Lets breakdown B-R-A-N-D as a prompt for each stage…

Take some time to think about what’s changed recently:

What has happened over the last 12 months which might mean that you need to change or clarify who you are and what you do? It has been quite a unique 12 months so you’re bound to have changed in a lot of ways to adapt to the circumstances.

Has a new competitor entered the market, has covid meant your audiences have different needs or challenges or have changes in technology brought any threats or opportunities?

Has everyone else in your sector started offering something as standard, or added digital access to their services and you’re getting left behind? Ensure you don’t stand out for the wrong reason.

Another thing to be aware of is brand creep. What’s that? We see this a lot in the Charity sector especially where an organisation has changed what they do in order to give them the best opportunity to win a funding bid or to support a new group of beneficiaries. When they review they may find out that actually what they’re doing and who they’re supporting is different from what they initially set out to do. A bit of re-alignment might be needed in this case.

Also have your objectives close to hand. Can your brand deliver your objectives as it is? For example, are you aiming your message at a professional audience with a relaxed and informal look and feel?

R is for REVIEW.
If your brainstorm has revealed areas that need addressing then set aside some time to review:

What did you do in the last year that worked and what didn’t? This might be a new product or service, a marketing activity, an event, a new fundraising challenge, a networking group you joined or even a different social media channel. Did covid mean some of your events became digital or did you finally get a e-newsletter up and running? Now is the time to review and decide if it’s worth pursuing or should be stopped.

You can find lots of sources of data to analyse, if that appeals to you (I love a bit of data myself)! Look at your website analytics (and set them up if you don’t have them), email stats, social media engagement, event participation, number of inbound phone calls etc. Also look at all your income or profit from the last 12 months and where it came from. Who were your most profitable clients or generous donors and how did they find you?

A is for ASK.
This is the tough one. You’ve got to talk to people!

Talk to your audience / clients / supporters. Find out what they like about you and why they use you. Ask them how they heard about you and if they’d recommend you. You can get a lot of really useful information from them if you’re brave enough to ask and prepared that you’ll probably get some constructive criticism too. But it’s better to know right? Then you can do something about it.  If I’m honest this is a real ‘Do as I say, not as I do’ action. Note to self, be more brave!

For more info on this read our recent O is for Opinions blog.

N is for NEW.
Anything to add?

What aren’t you doing that you should be? Has your review so far thrown up some great ideas or reinforced some ideas you already had? Is your visual brand (your logo and your look & feel) communicating the organisation that you are effectively, to the audience you want to attract? Are you using the branding consistently or is it difficult to apply to your social media, for example. Are there any new elements that you need to bring in or guidelines you need to add to so the consistency can return? Does your ‘Who we are’ description need updating if you’ve changed when you do or how?

D is for DO, or DON’T.
Now you know all this information it’s time to do something with it.

You’ve got the facts at your fingertips now so it should be easy to see what you need to do. If it will take some investment then budget for it when you’re planning for the next year. Decide how you’ll introduce any new things you want to do, and IMPORTANTLY decide how to stop doing anything which isn’t making you money or is at odds with your brand. Your time is precious so you want to be spending it on the activity that will work hardest for you. Your brand needs to work hard for you too, you only get one chance to make a good impression!

Also, put a reminder in your diary now to review it again next year…

We’re here if you want to talk to us about ensuring your brand is a true reflection of who you are. Email jo@jg-creative.co.uk or call Jo on 01270 626624.