That heading is actually a little misleading, because during an effective brand development you should be conscious of what the next steps will be – and how significant they might need to be. The difference is that once the planning work has been completed you move from thinking about those steps to activating them.
The key point is that looking at your brand will usually involve change; brand implementation is often about change management. During the re-branding process, you might have flagged with staff some areas that will need looking at it, but when the next phase begins you must talk about specifics, which can be a little more daunting.
There are four areas of your operations you need to review. I haven’t included communications in this list.
The first is your product range and/or your services. Go through everything that you make and sell and see whether it fits your desired image. Be honest, and be willing to be bold. It’s hard to stop making something that makes you money, but if it’s no longer right for the new you, it might no longer have a place. Of course, there’s always the option of a sub-brand. I’ve written about that before.
The second area is what I call your tangibles. By that I mean all the things that your customers and staff can see and touch every day. What does your shop or office look like? How do your staff dress? What about your packaging? Do they reflect the you that you want to be?
Related Article: How staff can build your brand
Linked to this are your behaviours and your procedures – in essence your culture. Is the way you do things in line with your brand? This applies to behind-the-scenes activities as well as those in public view. Your staff can’t portray the image of a modern business if much of their working day involves archaic practices. Many of the things you need to look at might be minor, but if you do enough of them – and for the right reasons – the impact can be significant.
Related Article: Can you build brand culture?
And the fourth issue is your staff themselves. What sort of help do they need to ensure they all fit the brand? You’re not trying to create a collection of group-speak robots, but you can’t afford to have people acting in a way that makes a lie of your brand image. Be prepared to talk with individuals about the value to everyone of getting things right.
A final comment about my use of “confirmed” in the heading. Not every brand development session leads to a complete change of direction. Sometimes you’re still on track but just need some tweaks. But even in these situations you need to review the four areas I’ve highlighted to make sure they are in line with the brand.
Have any questions regarding your brand or brand implementation? Feel free to send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org