Everything is in constant change. Nothing is static. Every minute we make decisions that modify our paths and shape our surroundings.
In every aspect of life you have to be constantly optimizing, changing and evolving. From cutting your hair and buying a new pair of shoes, to breaking bad habits and learning new skills… in my case right now, Sketch. For a lot of people the meaning of life is to become the best version of ourselves (whatever “best” means to you), and this can only be achieved by improving everyday.
This also applies to your brand and business. From updating your company’s mission, to tweaking your marketing strategy, if you don’t befriend change, your company is going to be left behind, forgotten and, in many cases, broke. The companies that are thriving are the ones that embrace technology, trends and new ways of thinking.
So, how do you keep your business up to date? Here are some tips that can help you improve your brand, your marketing efforts and customer relations.
1. EVALUATE YOUR WEBSITE:
In many cases, your website is the first channel of communication between your brand and your customer. Having a good platform and design shows people that you are on top of your game.
My tips to you:
• If your site is not responsive, please do everyone a favor and drop a bomb on it. In a world where approximately 44% of the population has an smart phone or tablet, your site is junk if it is designed for desktop only.
• If your website is more than three or four years old, hire an expert to optimize your design, platform and/or code: Web and design trends change everyday, and a website that looked amazing four years ago, might be slow and look outdated today.
• Make sure your site is user-friendly and glitch-free: Navigating through a site where you don’t know where to click is just sad, and it’s even worse if the site just doesn’t work.
2. REDESIGN OR TWEAK YOUR LOGO:
A logo should be timeless. In fact, I’m against creating logos that favor design trends or weird in-vogue typography. However, once in a while changing some details or redesigning it altogether can keep your brand looking fresh and contemporary.
Rockstar designer, and partner at Pentagram, Paula Scher has said that she has redesigned a lot of well-known logos and the change has been so subtle that people didn’t notice the difference. In fact, most logos go through slight modifications that design muggles don’t perceive but that help the brand stay current.
You can see these little changes in the way the Starbucks logo has evolved through time:
And yes, a logo can also have a major change, like the recent Instagram or Airbnb redesign:
My tips to you:
• Evaluate your logo’s typography: A change in your logo’s typography is subtle and can make a big difference in the way people perceive your brand.
• Analyze your logo and market: Hire a designer to study your current branding and how it holds up against your competition.
3. KEEP AN EYE ON YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA ACCOUNTS:
Social media has changed the marketing and advertising game, it has modified the way we interact with our customers, and it is, not only more efficient than traditional advertisement, but also way cheaper.
My tips to you:
• Feed your feed: A friend of mine once said that she doesn’t hire a service if their Facebook business page doesn’t have recent posts. This was an amazing insight that blew my mind and that sounds right in today’s society. If you abandon your social media feeds, people might see your brand as lazy and careless. And yes, most companies, business owners and entrepreneurs don’t have the budget to hire a Community Manager, or the time and motivation to do it themselves, but at least try posting once or twice a month.
• Choose your Social Media accounts wisely: Your business doesn’t have to be active on every platform. Choose the network that works best for your target audience, and keep in mind that a Facebook user is completely different from an Instagram user. You can learn more about each platform and their demographics in this article.
• Be consistent with your graphics: Communication is a 360 degree experience for your audience, that includes your social media platforms. Make sure you’re using the same fonts, colors, imagery and overall design quality along your accounts and marketing materials.
4. EXAMINE YOUR AUDIENCE:
Knowing your audience is one of the most important aspects of your business. You need to be able to step in their shoes: know who they are, what they like, what keeps them awake at night, their fears and dreams.
• My tips to you:
• Discover who your audience really is: There’s a big difference between our real and ideal customers. Find out who is really promoting and buying your products, and keep in mind that your audience might be different as time goes by.
• Create value: I love Gary Vaynerchuk. He is just a cool dude that gives intelligent advice for free. He believes that brands and individuals need to create value and develop a good communication with their audience. The days of taking are over: show your audience a little appreciation, let them know that you are listening, share your knowledge. Word of mouth, at the end of the day, is still the most powerful form of marketing.
Working on your brand is a never ending process. Do you have other tips to add to this list?