By Jessica Alex
It's that time of the year where most of us are excited for the new. For many of us it represents fresh starts, and new ways that we can improve ourselves. But what about our businesses? Maybe 2023 didn't give you your desired results, or you're always looking for ways to level up. 2024 is a new year for new opportunities, and in this post I'm going to share how you can hit the ground running and make it a successful year for your brand.
Here are eight ways that you can help make 2024 your brand’s best year yet:
1. Create a community feeling.
Some of your biggest and favourite brands have done a great job of this. For instance, Harley-Davidson has long been known for building a strong community.
Harley-Davidson bike owners are provided with "access to group rides and events, roadside assistance coverage, magazines and newsletters." (Source)
It’s not just about the sale, they offer up ways to nurture their clients even after the purchase. Clients are able to connect with likeminded people and create bonds, and this is part of building up brand loyalty for Harley-Davidson.
Brands such as Patagonia have not only created a community but also have made their customers the hero.
In 2024, don’t sleep on building a sense of community.
2. Establish your brand story and stick to it.
In a presentation last fall, I spoke about Why Your Brand Needs A Story. There are several stories that your brand can tell, and one of those very important stories is your brand story. People want to know WHY you do what you do.
Take time to craft and master your founder or origin story. Why did you start your business? What obstacle did you have to overcome? What are your goals and values? What problem(s) are you solving? What’s your ultimate mission?
Why is your brand story so important? According to a Headstream survey, when people love and connect to your brand, “55% are more likely to buy the product in the future, 44% will share the story, and 15% will buy the product immediately.” That’s some pretty powerful stuff!
3. Consistency is key
I know you’ve heard this one before. Often in the context of “post on social media everyday.” However, that’s not the type of consistency I’m taking about. Of course it’s important not to post and then ghost for months, but the consistency I am talking about goes beyond your posting schedule. Consistency also refers to how you show up. It also refers to your branding, both with your visuals and communication style. Last but not least, it also refers to the quality you produce: the quality of customer service you provide, as well as how great your product or service actually is.
4. Keep it real – but also professional.
Authenticity and transparency are common words we hear… but on a very important side note, remember that you are running a business so you still need to be strategic in how you communicate with the public. By being transparent you will be showing up as your conscious and wellness consumers would expect you to, and by maintaining that professional touch, you will show them that you're the real deal.
5. In-person events are back – and experiences are in.
Whether it’s a pop-up, in-store events, a meet & greet, or workshop, invite people out and make it an experience. One that your customers and clients are eager to share with their family, friends, and followers. Write this down: How you make people feel will make you more memorable.
Providing your customers with unforgettable, positive experiences will help with making 2024 your most successful year yet.
6. Stand out (aka differentiation).
What brand doesn’t want to stand out? Yet, you often see brands doing or saying the same thing –– following what they believe is a ‘tried and true’ formula. That might get you a few clients here and there, but if you are really trying to stand out, you have to differentiate yourself from the rest. There are many ways in doing this, including (but not limited to) the colours and fonts you use, the stories you tell, the tone of voice you use, the flavours or scents you use, the target problem you solve, and last, but certainly not least, the experience you’re giving your audience and consumers.
7. Take calculated risks.
“Playing it safe” often keeps you stuck and stagnant. Some of the most successful brands you can think of did something bold and went against the grain at some point in their journey. The brands that are continuously thinking outside of the box are able to keep their brands alive and well. An example of a brand that became stagnant and had to close its doors is Blockbuster. I’ve used Blockbuster as an example before –– for why it’s important to know your competition, but it’s also about staying ahead of the curve or doing something different then you’ve become accustomed to. Even if Blockbuster didn’t partner with Netflix, imagine if they decided to take a chance and do something different, something that even the most popular futurist wouldn’t have seen coming, perhaps they would still be around and thriving. Make bold and big moves and be ready when an opportunity presents itself.
8. Stop interrupting people.
Social media is flooded with a lot of…nonsense. There, I said it. Don’t be the brand that falls into that category. People should feel glad that they came across your post or ad. Be the brand that is solving problems or even (strategically) entertaining your audience while they are along for the ride. Whatever you are posting should be with intention. It’s no longer about throwing random things at the wall and hoping something will stick. Know your audience and communicate with them in a way that they would want to be communicated with.
Which of these tips are you going to put into practice this year? Hopefully all of the above, but either way I would love to hear from you in the comments below!