Brands don’t take care of themselves. They need attention, correction, and lots of love, to survive. From your visual elements (like logos and advertising), to your messaging, and all the way down to how your employees answer their telephones and reply to email messages, your brand is constantly being evaluated and judged by your customers and clients. Ensuring that the brand you’ve built continues to perform well for you and your business requires a solid maintenance plan.
Think of it like buying a new car. (Of course, good brands last much longer than most cars, but stay with me here). You know up front that it will need maintenance over the years—and that some day it may become a classic, especially if well cared for. If you don’t maintain it well, it will give you trouble, and will eventually fall apart. Your brand needs tire rotations and a new set of brakes every so often too. Consider these tips when developing a “maintenance plan” for your brand.
- 1,500 Mile Service: After launching a new brand, bring it into the garage after a few months and see how all the new parts are performing. Is there anything that needs adjustment? Refine those little things now before you waste time and money promoting something that’s not working.
- Inspect Tires Every 6,000 Miles: Take the time on a regular basis to evaluate your audiences to asses their current and future needs. If one of your strategies is looking a little worn, replace it. While you’re at it, balance it out by implementing a new strategy which targets a new audience as well.
- Change the Brakes: Don’t let a weak set of brakes land you in trouble. If something is not working, fix it. This sometimes means you need to make a drastic change in your core visuals or messaging. It hurts, but it happens. Evaluate any weaknesses thoroughly, and fix them, pronto, so you don’t whizz by opportunities that you should have been poised to capture.
- When you Need a New Transmission: Even if you’ve planned well from the start, sometimes your business changes so significantly over the years that your brand no longer fits. If you reach this point, it’s time to rework the brand, and maybe even rebrand the company from scratch (which doesn’t have to mean completely abandoning the old brand). Don’t go it alone. Seek the resources of a professional agency or branding consultant to lead the way.