A lot of people have a new financial year on the horizon so it’s a good 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 like 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?

Have a new competitor or changes to technology brought any threats or opportunities?

Has everyone else in your sector moved on or started offering something as standard 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. 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 you profit from the last 12 months and where it came from. Who were your most profitable clients 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!

N is for NEW.
Anything to add?

What aren’t you doing that you should be? Has your brainstorming, review and question asking thrown up some great ideas or reinforced some ideas you already had? Is your visual brand (your logo alongside your look & feel) communicating the organisation that you are effectively to the audience you want to attract? If not are there any new elements that you need to bring in to fill the gaps or do you need to refresh what you have? Does your ‘Who we are’ description need updating?

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!

Then put a reminder in your diary to review it again next year…

Talk to us about ensuring your brand is a true reflection of who you are. Email jo@jg-creative.co.uk or call us on 01270 626624.