We Will Steer Our Brands into 2021 by Keeping It Simple
Here’s an obvious statement: This has been a tough year for everyone.
I’ve spent time reaching out to fellow communications colleagues, asking where they are turning for inspiration, and hearing from many that they are just tired. Yes.
After months of crisis communications, we’ve settled into a comfortable discomfort of not knowing what comes next. What comes next in public health, but also, what comes next for businesses as we change courses and head into the new year. That's a tricky place to find inspiration. How will we steer our brands into 2021?
How About by Simplifying?
When searching for inspiration on new ways to communicate with customers and provide value, I’m a firm believer in going back to core values, mission and purpose, and finding new ways to build on those. I clear out any clutter that has crept in and strip away anything that is NOT a priority. The past months have had us running in different directions, sticking our fingers in the dam. That may have "fuzzied" the clarity we’ve established for our brands. Steer your brand into 2021 by keeping it simple. Make it easier on yourself and your customers by simplifying your message and your delivery and letting your essential brand shine through. That’s where your value lies.
Go Back to Brand Basics
Here's what we're doing: Data tells us what our customers need from us. We’ve aligned our messaging around the four key priorities that rise to the top and resonate with our brand. Those topics are relevant yet timeless, broad yet offer specific takeaways, and they exemplify the value we bring. We’ve set goals (and a scorecard) for ourselves as to how and when we are going to deliver on those four key priorities every month. We’re building programs, sponsorships, social media, website content, email communications, videos, blogs, and even a brand-new magazine around those beacons. This is how we're driving that value home to our current customers and to those we want to attract.
Use data to identify your priorities, build content around your value proposition and track your progress on your deliverables. Brand 101.
We’re not adding just to add. We’re keeping it simple and streamlined yet delivering it on many platforms in different ways. Did you catch that we’re launching a new magazine in early 2021? Clearly that’s not such a “simple” project, but the messaging that has evolved out of our simplified approach has enabled us to shape style and content that perfectly align to our brand. When the first issue launches, I will breathe a sigh of relief, not only that our pandemic project is off the ground, but also because I have such a clear picture of where it’s going and how it’s going to deliver value.
Steering our brand into 2021 involves learning lessons from 2020. Our business has changed, as it has for almost everyone. The needs of our customers have also changed, but the reasons our customers came to us in the first place have not. They are counting on us to listen and respond in ways that ring true to the brand they know and love, and to help them navigate business in the coming year. My advice: Keep it simple. Keep it true.