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Is Your Brand Flabby? 4 Secrets To Get It Back In Shape!
By: Ted Curtin
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For people, it’s easy. With the nice weather, you might go for an early morning bike ride, a trip to the gym, an evening run, or even a nice long swim to stay in shape and feel great. But what are you doing about your brand? Chances are your brand needs some exercise as well.

Just like you, your brand could use a fitness routine to stay fit and healthy. It’s not hard to do, you don’t even need to break a sweat, but you need a plan and you have to stick with it. Here are four key elements of any effective fitness plan:

In “brand-speak” we would refer to this as adaptability. Markets shift, technology changes, and consumer needs’ evolve. If you can't easily explain the value your brand provides to your target customer, you risk losing relevance. It’s important to be aware of these changes and social media is one of the easiest ways for your brand to stay in touch with customers’ needs. Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube are just a few of the more popular channels that you can use to listen to your customers and engage your audience. If you ignore your customers’ changing needs, they will eventually ignore your brand.

How strong is your Value Proposition? Here’s where you might need to dig deep, add more weight to the bar, and push a little harder to make it through that last set. Most likely at one point your brands purpose and value were clearly defined.  It made sense to both your customers and your employees.  But when you don’t stay focused your brand becomes weak. It loses its competitive edge, points of differentiation, and your once-well-positioned brand becomes less memorable.  When that happens, your product or service becomes more like a commodity where the only thing left to fight for is price.

In his first best-selling book Built to Last, Jim Collins examines successful habits of visionary companies, or, more specifically, the differences between companies that dominate as market leaders in a particular segment and similar companies that don’t. Having and proclaiming big goals is part of it. Building a nurturing culture for leaders at all levels is critical too, but the key to endurance in the brand marathon is to continue providing relevance and value to your customers. It’s part of the meaningful story you want to create because great stories can live forever.

Think of it as a food pyramid for your brand. Just like your body needs variety from the different food groups, your brand also needs a healthy balance of Authenticity, Value, Accessibility, and Service. Any one of these alone won’t help, but together they’re a powerful combination that will leave your brand fit and healthy.

So get moving and get your brand back in shape!

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About the Author
Ted Curtin is a recognized strategic marketing leader with over 22 years experience covering online and offline marketing channels. Follow him on Twitter or at TedCurtin.com
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