Get your brand in shape for the new decade


New Year’s resolutions about getting in shape, eating healthy or improving your life balance will likely fall by the wayside if they aren’t specific and realistic. Do you want to build strength, flexibility, or balance? Do you want to lose weight or add muscle? Jumping in before thoughtful planning can easily lead to disappointment.

It’s the same thing for your brand. As professionals charting our own careers and entrepreneurs managing our businesses, let’s look forward: What will the new year and new decade bring? How will I tone up my brand?

There are, of course, many factors we cannot control. But, as Regis McKenna wrote in the Harvard Business Review twenty years ago, Marketing is Everything, and assessment and planning of your brand strategy for the new decade is time worth spending.

What do I mean by brand?  Branding is a word that has been overused, poorly defined, and misunderstood for years. My good friend Jann Sabin defines it well.  She says “A brand strategy is a long range plan for the brand i.e. what the company stands for, how it’s different as a company, what the corporate culture reflects, what it will and won’t do. If the company were a person, this would be the description of the person who may evolve over time, but has certain core traits that remain.”

So what’s your brand, and what’s your strategy for strengthening it in the next decade? To assess, you’d ask yourself:

  • Who are we and what makes us special?  What are our values, and how do we demonstrate them?
  • Who are our clients, and what are their needs?
  • Who are our competitors, and what are they doing?
  • What are we going to do to stand out in a crowded marketplace?

Here’s a great post that asks you 125 questions – an exercise well worth the time as you start the new year!  I’d love to hear what other tools are out there, and what you’re doing to tone up your brand!

Janet Altman is a Marketing Principal at Kaufman Rossin, one of the Top 100 CPA and advisory firms in the U.S.

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