Effective branding is your best business advantage creating a bond between you and everyone you contact: customers, employees and even competitors. Authentic brands reflect the true character of the people behind their business, inspire loyalty and ignite sales.

Consider these 13 branding ideas for a great re-fresh to your brand.

1. Identify a brand champion: Minding your brand is a continuing task that needs to be championed by an individual or a committee within your organization. It’s best to select someone at the highest level who can provide effective brand leadership.

2. Take inventory: Looking realistically at your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats will help you identify where to focus energy and resources. You can’t get to where you want to be without knowing where you are.

3. Know thy customer: Every audience has hot buttons. Knowing who you’re targeting will give you the edge on how to communicate with them effectively.

4. Define your USPs: Purchasing decisions are often made on subtle differences. Be bold. Stand for something and you will stand apart from the competition. Clearly communicating your Unique Selling Principles makes you memorable and successful.

5. Set priorities: Make a comprehensive scope of work and then identify the items that will get you closer to your goals quickly. Picking low-hanging fruit first yields tangible results that keep you motivated.

6. Dedicate a realistic budget: It doesn’t have to be large, it just has to be clear. Set your expectations in alignment with your budget and you will create a paradigm of success that you can build on by reinvesting gains for even better results.

7. Ignite a passion project: Passion is contagious. Do something special that you can build momentum around. The process will invigorate your company spirit and infuse your organization with renewed energy.

8. Be brilliant: Like revealing the beauty of a gemstone, brilliance requires faceted cutting away of what’s obstructing your view. Brilliance is achieved through vision and expertise. The results are irresistable.

9. Watch your language: Is everyone speaking the same language? Make sure that the names of your products, modules and services are consistent. With reliable language it’s easier to improve communications.

10. Freshen your website: The speed of change on the internet is instantaneous. By the time you have finished updating your website it’s already time to do it again. Visit your own site often. Look at competitors. Keep it dynamic.

11. Listen up: Survey your customers, employees and management. What people think about your company is the ultimate truth. After all, your brand is defined by their perception. Correcting flaws and false beliefs is essential in managing your brand.

12. Set brand standards: Simple guidelines are the basis for consistent brand communications. Having standards for logos, lockups, layouts, fonts, colors, infographics, text and imagery together in one place creates an essential reference point.

13. Print a new brochure: Printed materials have tactile impact that demonstrates commitment on your part. More importantly, the process of creating a brochure requires consensus on visual tone and written content, forming the foundation for related communications.

Simple, bold communication wrapped around an authentic brand platform yields loyal customers, dedicated employees and jealous competitors. It does require resources, but when well executed, the return on investment is well worth it.

Call us to discuss your brand and set your strategy. 213.599.7949