2015 is here, and it’s time to get a handle on your branding! For many businesses, branding may not be a priority, or even an afterthought. Yet consistent branding is more important to the success of your business than you may realize, so why not take this opportunity, with a fresh new year ahead of you and your business, to realign and possibly refresh your branding? The process is easier than you may think!

The Power of Branding

Effective and consistent branding is vitally important to the success of your business. When your branding is ineffective, inconsistent or even non-existent, your business suffers – you are less findable, notable and memorable to customers. If a potential client or customer receives one of your business cards, or finds your website or even passes your van or truck in traffic, what will be their immediate impression of your business? It is likely that your business card will be collected and sorted with others, that your website will be one of many returned by a search engine query, and that hundreds or even thousands of people will drive by your truck with your logo on it. So what will make your business stand out from the rest, and what will compel a potential customer to remember you and potentially return to you as a client or customer? The power and effectiveness of your branding – including branding elements such as your logo, tagline and color scheme – is what makes you stand out from the crowd.

A Fresh Start Includes Cleaning House!

Whether you are rebranding your business or not, the beginning of the year is an excellent time to “clean house.” What does this mean exactly? It means it’s time to review all of your branding-related materials and branded property and toss out any outdated or misaligned materials, ensure that your digital and “real world” branding is aligned and in sync, and determine if a rebrand is necessary for your business.

Is Your Brand Up To Date?

To begin, it’s important to ensure that all of your marketing materials and branded property are up-to-date, properly aligned and accurate. If your business has been re-branded in the past, it is possible that your employees or volunteers may be distributing business cards, brochures, fliers and other marketing materials with your old logo, tagline or color scheme; some may prefer your old branding, while others may have missed or disregarded previous efforts to update the material on hand. Review everything that your employees or volunteers may be handing out to potential customers or donors and ensure that it is correctly branded. Be careful that in this effort you don’t confiscate or improperly discard personal property, which can include branded materials previously handed out or awarded to employees or volunteers. It is usually acceptable to retain personal effects and ornaments at a desk or workstation with outdated branding, but it is also acceptable to advise employees that non-uniform clothing worn at work and during work hours and other work-related materials such as pens, notebooks and bags must include the correct branding.

Digital And Real World Branding

Next, make sure that your digital branding is updated and aligned with your “real world” branding. If your website went through an update or refresh, make sure that every page included in your external and internal websites and web pages is correctly branded. Also, make sure that your employees are including the correct branding, including images and taglines, in digital messaging such as email signatures and internal documents and memos.