Ah January, holiday FOMO is high but sweetening the deal is some precious thinking time with the intensity of internal requests at an all-time low. It won’t last, so time to reflect, reassess and set bold plans for 2024. Let us lighten the load, so you can knock off early and hit the beach. Here’s six ways to set your brand up for success in 2024.
1. Look back to jump forward
Don’t forge ahead just yet until you take stock of what worked and didn’t in 2023. Make a list of the things that worked well and more importantly what didn’t, and understand the reasons for the triumphs and flops. Look at the objectives for 2023 and what was achieved. A simple roadmap with a traffic light system is a helpful way to visualise the results and share with key internal stakeholders. Did the successes align with your greater business goals? If not, we’re not shooting at the right targets. And if a campaign didn’t meet its targets, find out why, even a few key customer or sales team conversations can unearth some golden insights to test further.
2. Be clear what success looks like
Marketers are very good at setting annual objectives for their brands. It’s January and you’ve got an almighty BHAG in for 2024. Key next step: how are you going to measure and evaluate your results against your objectives? Evaluation can be measured in financial, sales or market share terms. In addition, depending on the objectives, measures can be attitudinal, perceptual and experiential data, or even data points like satisfaction or NPS scores (both customer and staff), engagement on socials, key message recall or conversion rates off generated leads.
For instance, if the objective is to diversify the customer base, capturing and comparing the profile of people that interact with our brand or purchase our products year on year can be insightful.
3. Brand health check-up
Evaluating brand health is not an easy task but essential for understanding the success of your brand. Brand awareness is one of the more common metrics, and there are various ways to measure it. The two most common ways are brand recall and brand recognition, which can be measured via surveys, interviews, focus groups, and using online market research tools.
Another area of brand health is brand perceptions – the associations, emotions and beliefs that your audience have about your brand. These could be perceptions of quality and value, personality and likeability, or even associations with sustainability if that is one of your key messages. Both brand awareness and perceptions will influence the customer’s decision-making process and loyalty.
A quick way to assess brand health would be doing a focus group and a handful of interviews with customers to get a ‘feel’ of things. If there is access to bigger budgets, a survey or online tracking tool is recommended. Like all health check-ups, it’s only useful if you do it yearly. Start your 2024 right with a brand health check-up to establish a base line but don’t stop there. Think long term, just like your own health!
4. Crystalise your purpose and vision
Your purpose and vision is your foundation that should drive everything and everyone towards business success. As your reason your company exists (your ‘why’), your team need to not only under your purpose but also be inspired and motivated to live it. Your vision is your bold ambitious ‘some day’ goal to guide future innovations and business priorities, and motivate employees to go the extra mile. Many studies have shown that people (especially the younger generation) are increasingly seeking meaningful work, and a cause that resonate with their personal values (World Economic Forum, 2023; McKinsey, 2021).
Really have a good hard look at your brand purpose and vision. Are they fit for purpose? And if you can’t remember them without looking, they need work! What are some other tell-tale signs? Ask your teams – what are the employee satisfaction scores telling you? Are teams inspired? Would they recommend you to friends and family (your Net Promoter Score)? Consult a brand strategy expert or engage a branding agency 🙋♀️ to help crystalise and clarify your purpose and vision, ensuring they get a ‘hell-yeah’ response from your team and set your brand up for success.
5. Brand architecture: time to trim the dead wood?
Are certain brands in the portfolio or sub-brands more hassle than their worth? The start of the year can be a good time to reflect on which brands aren’t pulling their weight and contributing brand equity. It could be time for a spring clean to consolidate brand portfolios and help you work smarter not harder. Or your customer intel might highlight a growth opportunity requiring a new brand or a rebrand to take you in a bold new direction. At the very least some clear rules and guidelines will help you keep the house in order
6. Strengthen the culture to get people on board
A look at the culture within your teams can indicate how strongly employees are on board with the brand and company objectives. Whilst the new paradigm of flexible work has been great for individuals, fostering team spirit may have taken a back seat. Consider strategy workshops to reinforce your purpose, vision and values (do they even know them?) Strengthening cultural cohesion will help you be more on point with brand messaging. Culture and values workshops are also a great way to bring new teams and new team members into the fold.
Investing some time at the beginning the year to shed light on your brand health via market research, clarify your measures of success and reflect on possible refinements for your brand strategy or teams can make or break your brands success in 2024! Not sure your next step? We can help, so before you ramp up for the year let’s have a chat .
McKinsey. (2021, April 5). Help your employees find purpose – or watch them leave. https://www.mckinsey.com/capabilities/people-and-organizational-performance/our-insights/help-your-employees-find-purpose-or-watch-them-leave
World Economic Forum. (2023, February 2). Future of work: 5 ways in which the workplace could serve young people better. https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2023/02/youth-workplace-future-davos2023/
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