What are you taking into 2021?

As the Keel Beauty Pop-up comes to a close, we’re focusing on what we know best, helping business find ways to navigate through change. Helping businesses stay true to their core values and purpose through uncertainty.

This time of year – especially this year – feels like the ideal time for a clearout. Time to pull everything out into the light and get rid of those old ideas or outdated ways of working that are holding you back on your brand journey. To help you make a start, we’ve done a quick inventory and here are our worst offenders.

Take a seat Marie Kondo, Keel have got this one…

Time to let go of: Consumer-first vs Brand-out

You have probably been part of discussions like this one. And the intention is often good. Businesses should be aware of the needs of their consumers. As marketeers, we absolutely should look to solve problems, not just sell products. The challenge with seeing ‘consumer-first’ and ‘brand-out’ as opposing approaches is that it suggests that your brand is not something your consumers want or need.

Try this instead:

What if we looked at it another way? What if you asked – “what does this say about our brand and will consumers value this?” Okay, it’s not as catchy as a straight either/or, but the answers to this question will tell you much more about your product, campaigns, and activity.

Time to let go of: Disruptive

This is one of those words that snuck into brand conversations and took hold. It is a fantastically emotive word. It promises attention and virality and the clean fresh air found outside the sea of sameness. But that’s where its value ends. It has no nuance; it isn’t strategic; and it doesn’t help with the ‘why’ or ‘how’. And at the risk of oversimplifying, ask yourself, are you craving more disruption right now?

Try this instead:

Distinctive. Look at the kind of brand you are; how you want people to feel about your brand; and how you can show people that’s what you deliver. Is it an action? Is it a provocative message or an unconventional image? Then work on what it would take to really get noticed. Media spend, a partnership, placement?

Time to let go of: How you’ve always done it

One of the difficult things about keeping anything moving over the last 10 months has been realising that the models and processes that had been serving brands well just couldn’t keep up with the new circumstances. Now is the time to identify what you have in place that can help you work into another uncertain year and what simply can’t.

Try this instead:

There’s always a temptation to look backwards and say “What worked well?” or “What could have been better?” We’re suggesting something different. What if we looked forward? We’re not saying you need to make predictions of what will happen or how you’ll get through the next six months. Our suggestion is this: Imagine a date six months from now. How is your brand communicating? How do your team feel when they’re working together and with partners? Are you nearer a particular goal? Is your purpose more keenly felt by your audiences? From there, you’ll have a more productive lens to look at how you’re working to see what will help you get there. You may not feel able to plan for the unexpected that next year may bring, but you can certainly be prepared for it. If you’re facing challenges in 2021 that you’d like a fresh perspective on, get in touch with a member of the Keel team. We’re here to help businesses navigate through brand transformation and create content to build deeper connections with their audiences.