It's the start of a new year and no doubt you have some idea of how you'd like this year to pan out. And good for you. Today is the first day of your step towards whatever it is you want to do. And if you are looking at what you have in your hands right now to achieve it, it might seem small, maybe it's non existent. But every thing has to start somewhere. Start with what is in your hands, take each day as it comes and the small thing will eventually become the very thing you have been hoping for. Today is the first step.
What is in your hand? Perhaps the beginnings of a business idea, or your business is in full swing but it is not quite where you thought it would be. It takes time to build a brand, to build people's perceptions the way you would like. How will you continue to build your brand this year? How do you want your brand to be perceived?
Start the year with your first step in the right direction:
Write it down and make it plain: What do you want people to think of when they hear your company name or see your logo? That's the perception you want to create. Write it in detail, feel it and express it. Is it genuine and authentic? Can you stay true to it? Is it tangible and believable? This is the brand you are trying to create.
Reaching your intended audience: Do your marketing materials on- and off-line line up with what you just wrote above? If not, why not, and how can you change them? Be honest with yourself. Look carefully at what you have produced so far, look at your customers, does it appeal to the audience you want? Get to know your audience, where do they shop?, what do they like?. Lining up your materials and products/services with your brand attributes and what your audience wants will help win the customers you want whilst shaping the perception you'd like.
Connecting with your audience: What's your brand story? Every business has a story behind it; the reason you started in the first place, the problem you wanted to solve. I encourage you to write this down and share it, share it verbally, through film, a blog post, anyway you can because stories connect people. We all have a story and it helps us to relate to each other when we know our stories. Don't be afraid to share. Just be yourself and tell the truth.
These three things will put you in good stead for the year ahead. Knowing what you want to achieve, with whom and how to connect to them. Let me know how you get on!