Congratulations! For your company, 2014 was a banner year. From revenue and profits to number of employees and offerings, growth was the theme. The company is set up for continued success in 2015 and beyond… if you can continue making the right choices, specifically when it comes to your brand.
For companies that are coming off of a year in which they experienced their first true taste of success, the following year’s brand strategy actions and decisions can go a long way to determining how far the company can capitalize and continue to grow. One factor in this is understanding the power of your brand.
This growth has almost certainly increased your brand awareness and impacted your brand positioning. A company on the rise is likely to pique a heightened interest among its target audience compared to a company that has seen a growth plateau. Now, the challenge is to continue to increase your brand awareness and evolve your brand positioning with the goal of building a brand while not forgetting what got it to this point.
Long-lasting, successful brands are built on a foundation of meaningful brand strategy, one that provides a strong framework for what the brand is and what it represents. A successful brand strategy serves as a roadmap for where a brand should go in the future, and how to take it there, without wasting time or money going down the wrong path.
Additionally, strong brands know the benefit of not only focusing on externally-facing touch points, but also putting in the time and resources necessary to build brand awareness and strengthen the brand with internal audiences. For an employee of a growing company, the feeling of ownership and pride for the brand is a valuable asset to have for motivation and self-satisfaction in their role within the company.
Because your company has experienced success, there is a good chance that your brand is in a strong place and has some of the tools in place that can continue its success, so a complete brand strategy overhaul is likely unnecessary. However, the market is constantly evolving, and the risk of complacency for a growing company can quickly halt any momentum gained in the past. A company’s brand positioning needs to evolve as it does, following the growth from where the brand is today to where it wants to be tomorrow.
Before you begin to create your brand strategy, you should take stock of where you are. You will have many questions regarding your business on a number of important topics, including whether you are communicating the right thing to your target audiences, what brands in your portfolio hold the most potential for continued growth, and whether a rebrand would be a successful step to take. When faced with organizing and recognizing where you are as a brand, it is a good idea to bring in a third party to handle the research and analysis, who can provide objective results that cannot be reached when the work is done internally.
There are a few areas where many growing companies can find benefit in setting a strategy of evolution, including product and service lines, social media strategies, and how you position your company to your consumers. The main focus should be on ensuring that your brand can adapt and excel in an ever-changing business environment, without compromising your core characteristics.
Set yourself up for future growth – plan and strategize with the mindset that your past success was just the beginning and soon, your brand equity will carry enough weight to begin driving a portion of your business.