I’ve spent the last week reflecting on the health of my own personal brand – at work, in my relationships and health-wise.
How am I doing? How do I look? How effective am I? Have I actually grown my brand or am I slowly losing relevance?
It sounds like heavy stuff but really, it’s just part of the constant maintenance that we all require and regrettably, often neglect.
Some people make resolutions, others create change.
I recently purchased a self-help book, “Stop Stuffing Around”. I’ve always considered myself pretty good at critiquing the brands of others. Now here was this confronting book with poorly set type, staring me down and asking me in a none-too-subtle way how my brand was performing! Was I walking the talk or simply floating through life, content that my brand would simply take care of itself?
As it turns out, my carpet was totally juxtaposed to my curtains. My brand was saying one thing and doing something entirely different. Nothing was in alignment.
This shot me between the eyes and got me thinking – how many Websites are actually in alignment with the values, principles and/or messages they want to project?
As far as I can tell, the answer is not many.
The internet, social media and real-time, peer reviews have ensured that any gaps between the ‘promise’ and the ‘deliverable’ are highlighted, commented on and ultimately, remembered. I think that even the Jurassic Gerry Harvey would now concede that point.
What does this all mean for your brand? Simple – ‘be honest’.
- Be honest with yourself and be honest with your consumer.
- If you’re a brand that claims to be ‘leading’ or ‘premium’ or ‘quality’ etc., behave like it, look like it and live it.
- If you claim to ‘stand out from the crowd’, bloody well stand out!
- If you profess to be refined, classic, premium and timeless, don’t fill your site with enough tacky content to fill a Princes Fiona style glory box.
- If your business is about listening and engaging with your audience, make sure that you embrace Social Media, blogs, forums and feedback. It’s really simple stuff.
- Ask yourself, ‘If your website could talk, what would it say?’
As for my brand, I’m looking at installing blinds. Curtains aren’t working for me.
Image credit Marc Wathieu on Flickr