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You'll need 20/20 vision to tackle 2021

Nick Hall By Nick Hall

I remember being 16 and my best friend told me how his driving instructor had slapped him upside the head and told him to “look way down the fucking road’. Apparently he was only looking as far as the front of the car while driving, which led to an experience less concerned with going anywhere in particular and more with avoiding whatever was directly ahead.

Sounds like a great analogy for 2020, right? Frightened customers, stressed employees and ad hoc health regulations had most business owners improvising on a daily basis, while any long-term aspirations quietly took a seat at the back of the bus.

No one can be blamed for shifting on the fly to stay alive under present conditions, but care must be taken to not lose sight of who you are and what you stand for while you’re busy doing it.

As we collectively roll off the couch and into a new year, returning to some semblance of sustainability is going to mean making sure that your brand has a seat at the table as you plan and project for the coming months.

One way to ensure that your brand has a strong enough voice is to have a crystal clear and immutable set of brand descriptions that can be used to enrich everything from your marketing message to new product/service designs, and the customer/employee experience. Here at Human we call them Brand Essentials, and as you might imagine they go much deeper and wider than your run-of-the-mill Brand Identity Guidelines and list of core values (integrity, teamwork, innovation and accountability, am I right?).

Of course business has needed to be the dominant voice this past year, but keeping an eye on your brand while adapting and evolving will help you rise out of this mess without having lost all sense of who you really are and what you really stand for. That will make recovery less traumatic and more productive for you overall.

If a year from now all that’s left to describe your business is what you sell and how much it costs, you will have some hard work to do if you want to return to being seen as something other than a commodity. An ounce of prevention really is worth a pound of cure here.

Contact Nick to learn more about this unique program and how it can revitalize both your business and your brand. You can also learn more about our Maker's Mark program here.

In the meantime, stay safe, be human and watch where you’re going.

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