Have you ever gone into your closet and declared you have nothing to wear?
But why? You have a ton of great stuff in there! The reality is, a lot of the clothes we choose miss the mark. Some are an impulse buy, others are an emotional purchase, a deal, or a passing trend. Just because something looks good on the mannequin, doesn’t always mean it will also look good on you.
The same principle can apply to your brand. In fact, you might be surprized how much your brand and your closet have in common.
At a time when there is less demand on our business wardrobe, and more demand on our businesses, it is a good time to take a long hard look at brand strategy.
What is your strategy? Why do you do the things you do? Where is your plan?
A few years ago, I bid on a ‘Wardrobe Makeover’ at a local charity auction. The consultant came to my house, and the first step was to take everything out of my closet and assess it. I was asked to defend my clothing choices based on appropriateness for my body type, fit, age, and wearability. There were also items that held sentimental value, but, as Marie Kondo would say, no longer sparked joy. My wonderful walk-in was whittled down to just 15% of its original inventory. The rest was re-homed, or donated. The next step was a set of rules for purchasing decisions. The rules made a lot of sense. The goal was to make me stand out, give me confidence, ensure a good fit, accentuate my positives, and increase wear. I was given a style guide to follow. It was a real game changer.
The final step was to go shopping. Once we hit the shops, the regular bells started ringing. My adrenaline pumped as racks of dazzling clothes stretched out in front of me. My wardrobe consultant calmly reminded me not everything in the store was right for me. In reality, only 10% of the clothes in the store fell within my style guide. She went to work pulling items for me to try on. I was delighted how the new options made me feel. The clothes I purchased were worn with confidence, and often.
To this day, I use my style guide to make wardrobe decisions. It works every time.
Your brand is similar to your wardrobe in many ways. There are countless marketing options out there, but not all apply to your business. In fact, an effective brand strategy is as unique as your company. There is no one-size-fits-all, or template-based solution. You must narrow the parameters to make conscious, and effective choices.
Without a strategy, there are a lot of rabbit holes you might go down that will drain your pocketbook and your energy. As soon as you start googling brand solutions, you will be inundated with sponsored ads sent to you in response to your key word searches. Listening features on your devices may even be influencing sponsored content sent to your feed.
Information overload can be truly overwhelming, but don’t fear, help is as close by as my fashion godmother. There are many credible resources, and experts who can help you with brand strategy. You can take the guesswork, and frustration out of the process by making sure your brand strategy is narrow, unique, specific, and defined. Having the proper strategy will save you time, and money. It can even be fun.
Ask yourself these questions:
- Is there a brand strategy in my business plan?
- Has my brand strategy been updated as my business evolved?
- Do I use my brand strategy to direct all aspects of my marketing?
If you answered no to any of these questions, it may be time for a brand makeover. Your brand strategy should be concise, focused, and specific. The goal is to make you stand out, give you brand confidence, ensure there is a good fit with all of your marketing assets, accentuate the positives, and increase brand impact. At the end, you will have a style guide to follow. It will be a real game changer.
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