08 Jan 2020 Vision: The Path Ahead
Four Ways to Navigate Your Brand Forward in the Midst of Uncertainty
Brands spent the past five years investing heavily in their “2020 Vision,” the optimistic master plan that promised to jumpstart growth and prosperity in the new decade. Instead, the year long associated with total clarity brought a global pandemic, record unemployment, social unrest, and a national conversation about racial injustice. We are forced to reckon with unforeseen instability and ambiguity, but that doesn’t mean your brand’s progress needs to come to a halt. With 2020 in the rearview, I discussed four ways to remain productive and regain control of your brand while flying blind.
No. 1 Control the Controllables
If you’re like me, you took advantage of days cooped up in quarantine to tidy up your home and get rid of clutter. Your brand is no different. Now is the perfect opportunity to go inside and get your “brand house” in order, cleaning up and refreshing anything overlooked or overdue — take time to refine your logo, update your color palette, refresh your brand guidelines, and organize your assets and image library. Communicate with your team to clarify brand language and align on your brand purpose and elevator pitch.
No. 2 Accelerate Digital Transformation
While the present moment presents clear limitations in the physical world, things aren’t so bleak online. Multi-billion dollar companies and small businesses alike have the unique opportunity to make significant gains in the digital space. If you haven’t already, you need to prioritize making sure your brand is as digitally transformed as humanly possible. This means refining your digital tool box and getting the most out of virtual platforms like Mural, Zoom, MixMax, and Typeform. There’s no going back to an analogue world, so adapt or get left behind.
No. 3 Step Back and Get a Better View
Last year we saw national protests unfold alongside a growing dialogue about systemic racism and injustice. People of color raised concerns about the prevalence of racial bias and discrimination at home, school, and in the workplace. The world is changing––now is the time to listen. Google your way around the universe, reading, reflecting, and developing a broad understanding of injustice. Consider how you fit into these conversations as a brand; how you can improve your workplace culture through sensitivity training, raise awareness, and promote diversity and inclusion internally.
No. 4 Pull in New Perspectives
Recently, close friend and creative thought leader Libby Delana asked me to send her four things I was reading or watching that might broaden her perspective. Exercises like Libby’s are a reminder of our capacity to remain engaged from home. To go one step further, network one ring outside of your normal circle. When I tried this method, I discussed a potential creative collaboration with a Chicago-based artist and communications professional. By opening up your aperture and bringing new people and ideas into the fold, you’ll step outside your comfort zone to expand what’s possible.