Spring clean your brand

Does the concept of spring cleaning make you wish for winter and the guiltless lazy hours spent in full view of rooms bursting at the seams with clutter or are you like I am; unaccustomed to the cluttering instinct of hibernation and your cupboards almost as minimally stocked as Old Mother Hubbard’s?

Although I am the antithesis of a hoarder, and Shakers would be well-pleased with my almost-religious abhorrence of wasted storage on useless emotionally-burdened knickknacks and whatnots; I accept that we all need the annual housekeeping ritual of spring cleaning to press the refresh button on our lives.

And whilst I know there is nothing fresh about using the onset of spring as a metaphor for anything from a new diet to a new career, I am going to fall knowingly into the cliché trap, and use this, rather desperate analogy to tell you why your brand needs as much good housekeeping as your home does.

Once upon a time a brand was born, deemed the fairest in the land, it was revered and kept safely in a proverbial tower guarded by a purposeful CI manual and its keepers. A CI manual, which now, alas, after many wanton princes and evildoers have come searching, lies like Sleeping Beauty, ignorant of the plagiarism that has beset its once pure fairytale.

(OK, maybe that’s a bit melodramatic but this is fun so tolerate my literary indulgence.)

Channel your Cinderella, for who in this vast kingdom is more accustomed to the duties of sweeping away dust and cobwebs and washing clean the windows, and putting up with bitchy naysayers than she is? Her irritating positive attitude and seemingly duck-back resilience to the thankless monotony of housekeeping is exactly what you will need when tackling the task of spring cleaning your brand.

  • No. 1: Put on the apron and roll up your sleeves. Dependent on when last you braved the marketing archives, audited your active communication tools and lined up your troops for inspection, this could take anything from a spring breeze to a month long hurricane.
  • No. 2: Do a good job and accept that as a brand manager, the responsibility for the situation you are faced with is yours alone or at very least in part. Don’t opt for the easy fixes, go all out to put that just-cleaned freshness into your brand.
  • No. 3: Empower your CI manual. If you haven’t got one – shame on you! If you do and it is an ignored relic of days with bigger budgets, blow off the dust and give it its life back. Better yet; take this opportunity to ensure it is as comprehensive as it needs to be.
  • No. 4: Don’t expect recognition or appreciation. It’s your job.
  • No. 5: Dream big! While on your hands and knees surrounded by the crumpled surplus of campaigns gone by and the threatening depression of just how off the path your brand has strayed; look into the future and imagine the possibilities for your brand. Challenge yourself to do the same housekeeping exercise in your mind; sweep away the traditional and safe approaches you have lazily begun to rely on, wash clean the defeatist surrender of budget restraints and the economic hangover, and polish your creativity and courage. And don’t sit waiting for a prince with blow-dried hair in tight pants to come knocking; gate crash the ball!