Starting the Year Strong

Jan 5, 2022

What do you hope for your brand this year? Chances are growth is somewhere near the top of your list. 

Strategic brands are successful ones. It is essential to strategize to meet your brand growth aspirations. In this blog, I’m sharing my strategies to start the year strong for your brand along with some practical tips that have helped me >> 

Don’t start the year with resolutions, start the year by gathering information.

It’s so tempting to jump straight to the goals – the fun stuff! But equally important is gathering the necessary information to look forward. (Looking back in order to move forward.) What’s your budget? What are your big events? What are your constraints? What shifts is your organization looking at this year? All your answers to these questions and ones unique to your org impact your goals. You can’t set goals until you understand the environment in which you’ll be operating. 

I recommend gathering some of this information prior to a workshop session with your team. These are good questions to ask your team in advance via a survey, so folks have time to reflect. 

From there, make a big list of what you want to achieve. 

Make space to dream big. This is a really important part of the process. Brainstorming and asking “What if?” is a powerful exercise, and a way to see whether your values and priorities are aligning. 

I love doing these exercises on a whiteboard, whether IRL or virtually a la Miro or Mindmeister. Whatever your format, ensure there is unrestricted space for team members to contribute. This is not the time for: “We tried that before, 3 years ago, and it didn’t work …” 

Create your goals 

Knowing your environment and brainstorming the big picture, create your tangible goals. It’s cheesy, but SMART goals are always a good place to start (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound). Additionally, it can help to look at goals from the previous year so you’re not starting from scratch.  

Define your strategy 

Goals are the finish line; strategy is how you get there. Defining strategy is key to creating a successful brand. Here’s a helpful workshop format to help you facilitate this discussion: 

  • Stop / Start / Continue sections
    • In light of our goals, what do we need to stop doing? Start doing? Continue?
  • Create a Parking Lot 
    • Create a space for good ideas that aren’t quite ready for to a label yet. 

Once you’ve reflected on these, narrow down your strategies in alignment with your goals. 

Define strategy performance metrics 

Ensure you close the loop with performance metrics for each strategy and goal. These are key so you can continue to optimize and pivot when necessary. Sometimes we can get so tied to a strategy that we miss it’s overall purpose. These metrics will help keep the end goal top of mind and allow you to be nimble.  

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Make this year the year of unlimited brand growth! If you’re looking for a deep-dive process to creating a strategic brand, check out the Flourish Mastercourse. 

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