I love spring cleaning. So much so, that I typically do summer, fall, winter and spring cleaning. I know everyone’s not wired like me, but even if you’re not a natural organizer there is something therapeutic about clearing away the clutter in your closet or garage.
When I don’t stay on top of it, I am amazed by how quickly “stuff” can pile up. Adding a few new items here and there creates layers and piles. And as the layers increase, my productivity decreases.
There is a direct application here for brand marketers: stay diligent in clearing away the clutter in your brand communications. It is a remarkably simple discipline that will pay big dividends in your marketing effectiveness.
Here are four basic steps to decluttering your brand communications:
Take Inventory. On at least an annual basis, hit the pause button and collect an inventory of your current, customer-facing, brand communications: websites, advertising campaigns, direct marketing materials, email campaigns, social media, collateral, point-of-sale displays, etc.
Review The Work. Print out a representative sampling of these materials and create a temporary display. Pin them on the wall, spread them out on a conference table – find a space where you can literally step back and take it all in at once.
Assess Your Positioning. Take an honest assessment of your communications: Is it visually consistent? Is the language cohesive? Are the messages primarily addressing customer needs? Does it support your overarching brand promise? Is there a clear CTA (call to action) that a prospect or customer can quickly and easily understand?
Clear Out Your Clutter. No matter how diligent you are in keeping your brand clutter-free, extraneous stuff still sneaks in. Protect the space needed for your brand to be more powerful and effective by kicking the clutter to the curb. Realign messages and campaigns that are out of sync, or remove them all together.
If we’re honest in our assessment, our hoarding tendencies aren’t hard to find. But remember, when it comes to brand strategy, more is not more.
You only have one chance to make a first impression. And subsequent impressions are formed in seconds. If your brand is suffering from clutter, those precious impressions will be lost. You can’t afford to put this off. Start with these easy (and free) steps and see what a difference it can make.