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The Healthy Brand Check-Up
By: Janet Kalandranis
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It’s a new year with a whole new checklist of brand goals. Things that carry over from last year and new intentions that brands want to achieve. But it’s important for all brands, especially small businesses, to take a step back, take a moment to breathe, and make sure that the brand basics are in check. It’s like a yearly physical for a brand, a timed mile that it must achieve. Before those crazy goals are kicked into high gear, make sure the following have been checked and approved:

Money, Cash, Dollars, Cents: It’s the basis of any brand and for small businesses it’s important that each year a full check on financials is completed. This will enable the brand to understand where it stands today and more fully create goals based around actual dollars. In addition, there are various brand stages — growth, maintenance, mature — and the business should know where it stands each year. This helps identify what strategies and goals to initiate and what the end result of each should be.

The Uh-Ohs: No one ignores snowy roads because it’s a risk. Brands need to do the same; open eyes and fully investigate what is considered a risk for the business. By understanding the risks, brands are better able to plan against initiatives. In addition, there are many new laws that went into effect on Jan. 1 so it’s important to know if these play any part in achieving a goal. Risk assessments also allow brands to determine where they will put all their chips and bring about an honest conversation around weighing what could be a great gain and what may push the brand into retirement.

I’s and O’s: With the start of a new year, challenge the status quo with inventory and operations. Are there ways for the brand to streamline operations? What does inventory look like today? What should it look like tomorrow? By understanding where the brand is today, new processes and goals can be set for how to become more profitable and efficient in the future. It’s all about I’s and O’s.

Strategerism: It sounds fancier this way. Part of the yearly check-up should be to look further out than the next 12 months, and more importantly, to not get stuck in the day-to-day. Brand owners need to be working on the long-term vision of the company and understand where they want it to go and how to get there, successfully.

It’s a new year for brands so make it the best one yet. One that is planned, one that is strategic, and one that is healthy.

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About the Author
Janet Kalandranis is here to give you all the little brand thoughts that run through her head with a little dash of spice. Find her online here.
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