By Emily Soccorsy and Justin Foster
We both love mornings. They bring with them the promise of the day, the hope of a new habit or opportunity. And great coffee.
So if today were the day you set aside to immediately improve your brand, what would you do? Drawing a blank? Have no fear, here are 5 things you can do right now.
Share from the soul. If you are already engaging on social, stop talking about things you really do not care about. Stop sharing for the sake of sharing. Give yourself a day away from RTs or reposts. Come up with one idea that makes you feel something, then share that. Give yourself permission to share something that frightens you a bit – or feels vulnerable. In a world of social pretense and CGI’ed polish, being raw and real is a huge brand advantage.
Burn your dress code. Let your employees wear what they want and speak according to their personality. This will quickly inject a burst of originality into your culture. It’s normal to feel fear in the face of this advice, but people who feel they are able to express themselves at work are much more likely to be engaged in the work they do. This goes for you too. Remember this: “business casual” is typically just code for “be safely boring.”
Infuse some art. If you are a human who enjoys drawing pictures or have been accused of doodling during meetings, stop and pay attention to your art. Then think about the ways you could add this art or art inspired by it, to your brand. What do we mean? Could there be a hand-drawn element posted to your website, to explain a service or product? Could all of these doodles become a one-time or series of blog posts? Could that little doodle evolve into a powerful graphic that explains your philosophy of beliefs as an organization?
Start a new conversation. Send a “Conversation Starter” out to your customers that can be converted to content. Example: Ask them what is one thing you are working on that will change the world? Then ask how you can support them in their efforts. This will spark a bunch of conversations, provide acres of content and help remind your customers that you are their partner in whatever movement they are starting.
Ask a simple question. Ask your employees One Simple Question. Rather than extensive employee surveys, one simple question can stir change, remind your employees of their value and reinforce that you are a 21st century leader. For example, ask them this question: What is one thing you would change if you were the CEO (or owner)? Then listen to the responses. Set aside time to read through them and ponder them without judgement or response from you. After a good amount of musing time takes place, thank them for their responses and work to select one or two you can implement or openly discuss.
Becoming a modern brand has a thousand moving parts. It is a mysterious blend of practical habits, savvy strategy and unexplainable magic. It can be crazy overwhelming. It can feel impossible. But hopefully, these 5 things show you how simple activities can immediately impact your brand and remind you how much control you have over your brand – and that some actions simply require leadership.
Emily Soccorsy + Justin Foster are cofounders of the intrinsic branding practice known as Root + River. Together with their defiantly different clients, they uncover then articulate the foundational elements of the brand. Then, they provide brand strategy and brand coaching as the brand is rolled out internally and externally. Obsessive about language and differentiation, Emily + Justin are also authors and speakers. Follow @rootandriver @fosterthinking and @emilyatlarge.