We’ve been thinking about change around here lately. Maybe it’s the end of summer approaching and knowing the year has entered its second half, headed towards the finish line. In truth, a bit of panic sets in. You know the holidays will be here in the blink of an eye, and you feel time slipping through your fingers. You start reviewing what you’ve tackled and “bucket-listing” things you still want to accomplish. You ask if you’ve done anything relevant with your brand this year. Have you moved or are you in that same place? Have you taken on that change-agent potential you were hired to show?
We recently wrote about “passing halftime,” which addressed changes over a year-long period from the customer standpoint. But what about from your personal standpoint? How do you know it’s truly time to make that change within your company?
Consider these questions:
1. Is Everyone On the Same Page?
If you huddled in a room with your President, VP of Sales, CFO, and various Brand / Product Managers, would you all describe what the business organization does in the same way? Oftentimes, you’re so certain of your own answer, you’re surprised that others don’t have the same one. When we work with companies to develop their brand foundation, it’s as much about internal alignment as other criteria. Sure, we help to develop a dialect that delivers a consistent message to your customers, but we also challenge, and ultimately ensure, that all your internal stakeholders are rallying around the same foundational beliefs and goals. After all, if you don’t know who you are, how can you convey that to anyone else?
2. Are You Keeping Your Brand a Secret?
Let’s look at this from another angle. Sometimes everyone’s ideas and goals are aligned. Excellent! Now how are you doing communicating that foundation and those common beliefs to your customers? Sometimes we see that many of the right pieces are in place internally, which is truly impressive. But if the knowledge stays within the walls of your company and no one has developed or initiated tools with which to project that out, then it doesn’t do you much good. When you establish that your belief system is the right one, but you’re not communicating it in a relevant and meaningful way to customers, the result can be just as detrimental.
3. Are You Clinging to the Past?
We are in the space age of manufacturing. Many customers are making beautiful and innovative products. We work with lots of companies who have a rich heritage and even a family history. We’re big believers in preserving qualities of value. But sometimes customers have a hard time separating history from actual brand equity. It can be hard to let go of tradition. That’s why we use a filter to measure the value of elements of your image, such as your brand identity. A dated look can do you more harm than good, but you don’t need to throw out the baby with the bathwater. Sometimes all you need is a refresh, not an overhaul, to bring that value back and establish relevancy, retaining valuable authenticity. So when you examine your brand, really assess whether you’re holding onto something for a valid reason, or whether it’s history for sentimentality’s sake.
While these three questions aren’t the only ways to know if change is in order, they’re a good starting point. We encourage you to dig deep and find your inner change-agent. Put yourself, and your colleagues to the test. Be relevant and be great. Now is always a good time for progress.