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10 Must-Ask Questions for Brand Evolution

Strong brands are built for the long haul. But in today’s fast-paced, multi-channel marketing environment, they also need to be built to seize opportunities. In other words: To simply survive and, especially, to thrive, leading brands are constantly evolving.

But how do you evolve your brand? And how often?


Building a strong brand is anything but easy – download our Brand Toolbox to assist you with the process.


Following are our 10 brand-related questions that every company should ask annually in service of driving marketing results and avoiding ever having to play “catch up” again.

The questions are divided into two sections: Brand Foundation and Aggressive Brand Growth. Both sets of questions should be asked – even if you are certain that no changes need to be made to your brand foundation (brand platform, brand identity and brand experience).

Brand Foundation Questions

These questions address the core elements of your brand – brand platform, brand identity and brand experience.

  1. What, if any, evolutionary shifts do we need to make in our brand purpose, positioning, promise, value proposition, story and vision to ensure that our brand remains relevant to our audiences?
  2. Has our brand identity (look and feel, tone, style and personality) become outdated? If so, in what way do these need to be refreshed?
  3. Have our major brand touchpoints (website, collateral, presentations, tradeshow materials, etc.) become outdated? If so, what evolutionary shifts do we need to consider?
  4. Is our brand message still consistent across all the marketing channels in which we are now participating? This is especially important in today’s marketing environment where it’s too easy to get caught in adding every new and trendy marketing channel to your mix without first carefully considering its unique purpose, characteristics and relevance to your brand message.
  5. How does our brand experience compare to that of our competitors and industry leading brands? To answer this question, conduct competitive/comparative audit and consider marketing best practices for each major touchpoint. For your website, for example, evaluate effectiveness and aesthetic value of design, quality and relevancy of content, usefulness of features and functionality, ease of navigation, SEO goals, responsiveness, and calls to action. Don’t forget the in-person brand experience – whether it’s in your offices, at your customers’ place of business, tradeshows and conferences, or networking events.

Aggressive Brand Growth Questions

Now that you’ve examined the foundation of you brand, take a look at what evolutionary shifts might be required to achieve existing or new goals and to attain even better results in the coming year.

  1. What are our goals for the upcoming year, and are there aspects of our brand communications that are downright contradictory or even slightly out of alignment with what we want to achieve? For example, imagine your primary goal is to reposition your brand and communicate that your company is the leading innovator in its category. If your website is not mobile compatible, its design is dated and its content hasn’t been updated since 2008, your brand will come across as behind the times – a perceptions that contradicts the message you want to communicate.
  2. What marketing channels served our brand best last year and what evolutionary shifts do we need to make to ensure even better results in achieving our goals? This assumes that any issues raised in questions #1 through #5 have been addressed. In other words, it’s about the continuous improvement of an already strong brand.
  3. What new marketing channels would be an ideal addition to our brand communications mix in the coming year? What channels will our customers be using, or using more?
  4. For each channel identified in #8: How should we represent our brand in this environment? Consider what’s unique about each new channel and how you’ll need to flex your brand to best leverage it.
  5. For each channel identified in #8: What additions or evolutionary shifts need to be made to our content strategy?

While it’s easy to see the value of asking these 10 brand-related questions annually, the reality is that many organizations neglect to answer a single one. As a result, brands not only stagnate and lose their relevance, but they also lose out on significant ROI – both because they are not agile enough to jump on opportunities as they arise and also because they aren’t setting themselves up to build on success or learn from failure through a re-evaluation process.

This has never been truer than it is today – an era when change happens at lightening speed and brands must continually adapt.

It’s often a good idea to work with an outside expert who can bring an objective perspective on where a brand is today and where it needs to be, quite literally, tomorrow. But whether you tap into outside expertise or tackle our 10 must-ask questions internally, once you do begin to evolve your brand annually, you’ll never find your company playing marketing catch up again.

To engage us in helping you evolve your brand, please call 410-732-8379 or email brand@substance151.com.

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