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How well did you protect your brand this year?

Did your marketing efforts pay off in 2023? Maybe you blew it out of the water, doubled your revenue, made several trending hashtags, and got your brand name added to the dictionary. Maybe there wasn’t always the time or resources you needed to make every project a 10 out of 10. Either way, it’s the right time to check in on your marketing and test if any corners were cut too deep.

So, to see how well you faced this year’s challenges and how much you preserved your brand identity, Mustang Marketing has a few questions you can ask yourself.

Did you stay consistent in your branding?

Sticking to identifiable style, voice, and messaging helps your audience feel like they know you. They know what it means when they see your logo, and they are more easily reminded of your services by similar imagery.

If you let your consistency slip, that’s something to tighten up for next year. Consider developing a BrandMap or editorial style guide to coordinate different elements and to help ensure that no matter who is working on a piece of collateral, brand guidelines are clear.

What story do your web analytics tell?

A thorough review of your page visitors, page views, and metrics like conversion and bounce rate is worth performing on a regular basis. These numbers can tell you a lot about how your audiences are engaging with your content. From there, you can determine where traffic is coming from, identify what is successfully resonating, and can continue to build upon what works to help create targeted, effective messaging and content for your audiences. 

Did you maintain or boost your social media presence?  

Caring about likes, clicks and followers isn’t shallow — in this day and age, it’s strategic. Most customers check online before purchasing, and social media lets you put your best face forward. Consider where your audiences are scrolling … is it Facebook? Instagram? LinkedIn? Letting your profiles or website collect dust can be a turnoff for audiences looking to establish trust and connection. Refreshing your content and ensuring details are current and accurate is always a tried and true method for building brand loyalty.

Compare your numbers before and after you implemented your current marketing plans. See which types of posts did exceptionally well. In the future, try to commit to a regular update schedule, and routinely review post success to analyze the high engagement content.

Did you stick to your original plan?

As we say often, the best marketing is strategic, fun and creative. Developing a thoughtful plan helps you ensure your marketing is reaching the intended audiences. Did you follow initial recommendations loosely or try each one as expected?

Whether you hit the quantifiable targets you set or missed them, you gained usable knowledge. Naturally, the real year is unpredictable, and you may have to adapt or re-strategize. But if you had to course-correct that makes it doubly important to check what elements of your plan fit, what can be retried and what can be reworked. 

Have you pushed outside your comfort zone?

In stressful times it’s tempting to fall back on old habits and faithful marketing tactics, and that’s certainly better than abandoning your brand entirely. However, pushing your brand forward requires creativity and expanding on the brand capital you have built. If you want to see where improved marketing can take you, partnering with experts like Mustang will help you develop above-and-beyond brand quality and return on investment.  

What’s next?

As you put the finishing touches on your end-of-year reports and develop new goals, learn from experience. Staying consistent, testing, and reviewing your efforts, keeping up your public presence, and following a thoughtful plan are key to defending your brand. For help taking it to the next level, contact Mustang to plot out an even better 2024.