What are your brand resolutions for 2019?

March 5, 2019

Start 2019 with resolve!

While most businesses do some form of strategic planning, many fail to include branding in the mix. 

So I like to use the beginning of the year to ask my clients to come up with a few brand resolutions.

Just like personal New Year’s resolutions, like quitting smoking, or spending more time with family, brand resolutions should be aspirational and focus on important issues that will really make a difference. Just like quitting smoking makes a big difference in one’s personal life.

Why New Year’s resolutions fail

What does a brand resolution look like?

Since brand strategy is an exercise in discovery, knowing what you aspire to achieve from a brand standpoint may not be immediately apparent. So you might want to start with asking some pointed questions:

  • Where did we come up short last year?
  • What communication problems did we have with stakeholders?
  • How does our own perception of who we are differ from our customers’ perception?

These are whole-of-business questions, but problems with branding often lie at the heart of the answers.

Maybe you need a fresh campaign, or clearer messaging. Maybe some of your employees aren’t on board with your philosophy. Maybe you’re even in the wrong business.

Businesses that don’t do brand strategy are at risk of diverging from their core business, of chasing trends or short-term opportunities that threaten the long-term health of the enterprise. Or maybe your business has the opposite problem and is too rigid, stuck in the past, failing to innovate and adapt to a changing ecosystem.  

Ideally, of course, you include branding in your general strategic planning. But if you don’t, brand resolutions are quick and easy way to diagnose key deficiencies and motivate your team to improve.

Some examples of brand resolutions are:

  • Survey our customers after every transaction
  • Become known as an environmentally conscious company
  • Publish a monthly newsletter
  • Institute reforms to increase employee retention

So challenge your team or marketing department to come up with 3-5 brand resolutions for 2019. Post them on your calendar or desk or wall and track your progress over the year.

You can even encourage your team to share their personal resolutions. One of the biggest reasons people fail to keep resolutions is lack of motivation and support. So you can support each other’s personal resolutions while working on your common business ones.

Top personal New Year’s resolutions


This will help keep you focused and, when all goes well, give you a sense of achievement so that you can focus on bigger, more ambitious resolutions this time next year.

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Darren Taylor

MD & Head of Strategy and Research

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