One of the pillars of good branding is consistency. Consistency makes your brand stick in the minds of your audience. The more consistent you are with your brand message and image, the more recognizable and memorable your brand becomes. When you are consistent, you develop a reputation for being reliable. However, we need to be careful we don’t let the reliability of our brands allow them to get boring. Sure, reliability and consistency are the foundations of successful branding, but let’s face it, if that’s all you have going for your brand it’s about as exciting as an old shoe. If you really want to entice your audience you are going to have to trade in those clunky loafers for some sexy sandals.
Here are some of my tips for putting some spice in the soul of your brand:
1. Rock the POC (Pop of Color). This is a little phrase coined by the cute Hollywood stylist, Brad Goreski. The idea is to top-off an otherwise predictable ensemble with something bright and eye catching, to give the outfit not only some pizazz, but also make a unique and bold statement. Is there something in your brand you can make pop, something unexpected? If you are normally reserved, can you slip a colorful phrase into your copy? Or you could literally do a POC in your outfit, perhaps throw on a bright red belt or a chartreuse cami under your blazer. Not only will you make a statement, you just might have fun in the process.
2. Buy a copy of Cosmo Magazine. (or any other publication you wouldn’t normally read) Ok, so it’s not the Harvard Review, but that’s the point. You are trying to shake things up. A magazine like Cosmo often has provocative and funny articles from which you can get great marketing ideas. Reading something a little titillating may be just the thing you need to get your brand groove on.
3. Date a much younger man or woman. Technically, you don’t have to actually date them, but if you can hang out with some people much younger than you are, you will no doubt gain some fresh perspectives. For example, I recently learned from my 10 year old that TK can mean “totally know.” Who knew?! Not only can you learn more slang, but all that youthful vibrancy can re-energize your brand. A great example of someone who leverages collaborations with much younger artists is Tony Bennett. He is wonderful in his own right, but by mixing it up with the likes of Christina Aguilera he taps into a totally new audience.
4. Revive your platform shoes. Everyone from Snookie to Kim Kardashian is doing it. No, not that! They are wearing platform high heels. If you’ve been around long enough you may remember the first time platform shoes were popular. It’s not a shock trends recycle. What is important to remember about the return of a trend is it rarely comes back exactly as the original. The trend is usually re-interpreted to make it relevant. The Metropolitan Opera does this all the time. They take operas written hundreds of years ago and stages them in a modern context. Neither the story nor the music changes, rather it is the presentation that changes. What facet of your brand can you reinvent to make it more current? Do you need to update your modes of communication? Are you behind on the cool technologies that could bring your brand into the 21st Century?
5. Travel to an exotic destination. There is nothing like getting out of your normal environment to open up your mind to new possibilities. Every time I travel I come back with a new idea or a new way of looking at things. Don’t worry if you can’t actually get on a plane and fly off to Tahiti. You can let your imagination travel by doing simple things like exploring a new part of town or visiting an interesting boutique. If you live near a city you could probably even find an ethnic grocery store to peruse, just anything to wake up your creativity. Even if you live in a rural area, you still have access to the internet where you can “explore” exotic destinations online. Just bust that routine.
Hopefully, you find some of these tips helpful, interesting, compelling, exciting, funny, or hell even arousing! I just hope they put a little pep in your step and get you thinking about how to rejuvenate your brand. As the saying goes, if you do what you’ve always done, you will get what you’ve always had. That may be fine for some people, but if you are strong woman entrepreneur looking for ways to keep your brand identity current and compelling, you are going to have to do more than wear your slippers to the mall.