What kind of a year will 2010 be for brands? Well, 2009 was quite up and down and we seemed to be rocked by events both economical and commercial, so I guess one watchword for 2010 must be to take as much control for the destinies of our brands as we can. So here are my personal thoughts on 10 Brand New Year resolutions – you will have your own I’m sure, so please feel free to share.
- Put brand leadership centre stage – put your brand firmly at the heart of your organisations and operations. Add the brand as an item on all meeting agendas – even your board meeting.
- Be sustainable – take a look at the Green Brands 2009 report that I mentioned in my last post. Sustainability will become less of a differentiator and more of a critical success factor.
- Don’t let operational issues become brand problems – we’ve seen some disasters in the recent past; BA, Eurostar, McClaren etc. But things will go wrong in life – that we let them become a communications disaster should not follow. Get your ‘spill drill’ in place ready, so you won’t have to go and hide in the ‘No-Comment Hotel’.
- Ditch your mission statement – if you still have one. The world is changing, your corporate and brand values are too. Your vision should be shared… values come out of the organisation and are the product of the beliefs your people share, not something imposed from above.
- Do a values audit – talk to your people, ask them what they think are the values of your brand – then do the same with customers… it’s amazing, but if you ask people things, sometimes they will just tell you! Then compare them to your own views.
- Watch your competitors – not just from an aggressive (or defensive) standpoint, but look what they are doing right – what they do better than you – admit when they do something very well and learn.
- Evaluate your brand – try to put a price on it. There are sophisticated models for brand valuation, if you are big enough you probably use them already – but even if you control a relatively modest brand, take a stab at what it’s worth to you. Perhaps estimate how much you have invested in your brand in advertising, marcomms and brand communications over the years? Or, if a competitor wanted to licence your brand how much would you charge?
- Talk to people – social media, love it or hate it, is a powerful force. People will be talking about you and your brand like never before. Get involved in those communications – stimulate and initiate discussions, but above all… listen.
- Be ‘arsed’ – it’s the details that make such a difference and say so much about your brand and your attitude to it and to your customers.
- Take a day off – when I do training or coaching sessions (usually off-site if I can) one thing clients always find most of value is just getting out of the business for a day and taking the ‘helicopter view’ of their business. So, why not have a ‘brand day’ once a month?
Okay, I’ve shown you mine, now show me yours?