A brand whether it is your own personal brand or that of your business – is always evolving. New competitors come on to the scene or the market shifts in some way. Perhaps you’re facing a job redundancy, exploring new opportunities or looking at a re-brand.
Whatever the case for you, it’s wise to keep a careful watch on what is going on and re-evaluate your brand and its current position.
Set some time aside and do an audit to uncover where you currently stand with your personal or business brand. Armed with that information you can decide what may need re-invigorating and put a brand communication action plan in place.
Getting feedback from others will help you identify any issues and problems you may have and on the flip side open up potential solutions and opportunities.
A survey of your clients or customers will elicit some great information. You can do this with an online system like Survey Monkey via your website or sending an email. Pick up the telephone and talk to customers find out what works, what doesn’t and what could be improved on.
Question them across various categories such as your product or service offering, your website and communication collateral. Do the same with suppliers and staff if you have them. Are there any other key people you could talk to? Perhaps partners, your financial advisor, mentors or coaches. Journalists if you deal with them regularly and even a few friends or members of the general public may help you compile feedback.
Once you have this feedback information you may get an insight into how your brand is being perceived. Is the perception of your personal or business brand what you hope for or does it need work? Delve little deeper with this analysis and do a SWOT audit.
Strengths – what is working well
Weaknesses –areas you need to improve on
Opportunities – where can you see potential for growth or change
Threats – what is not working and needs fixing
Your brand is also your packaging and visual identity. What does the outside and inside of your physical place of business look like. As an example, I drove past a training academy situated on a major busy highway. Good looking building and the signage caught my eye. But! Outside the landscaped gardens were overgrown, full of weeds and what could be a grand entrance, failed to make a good first impression.
Do your customers see this or any other signage such as logos, business cards? What about your desk – is that reflecting your brand qualities? Do you have brand consistency across your website and other social media sites? You also are a walking talking business card for your brand – what does your dress or image say about you?
Take an inventory of all your various communication pieces and PR materials. Look at brochures, proposals, newsletters, press clippings, photographs, advertisements, anything at all that is either hard copy or on your website or social media sites. What does that information across the board reveal? Is there a consistent feel or philosophy of your brand coming across? Do your key messages and values consistently shine through?
Google yourself. Are you first on the page when people search? What other websites do you appear on and do you want to be on those? Have you checked images lately – are they looking good? With your analytics what information can you extract that will aid the audit of your business or personal brand. What blogs do people read? What links seem to get the most attention? Scan your social media and again look at what gets likes and comments.
Once you have a basic understanding of where your brand is situated now, you can craft a strategic brand and communications campaign to take you to that next level of brand success.
If you would like to know a bit more about personal branding, download my free video series, your NOOK, LOOK, HOOK, 3 Steps to Build a Stand out Personal Brand.
Sue Currie is a speaker and the author of IMPRESSario, Present and Promote the Star Within You. She is recognised as a leading authority on personal branding to boost image, profile, brand and business. Through her image management and profile building programs, workshops, consulting and keynote presentations, Sue helps businesses and entrepreneurs position and present an influential professional brand.