It’s a new year, time for a change. I’m meeting a young friend for coffee. Well, we are friends but today he is the advisor. As brand coach developing and maintaining a business brand is constantly at the forefront of my mind. Mostly for others though, but today it’s about my own brand. It’s time for a redesign, relaunch, reinvention, call it what you want, my brand needs a revamp. I know what I want but my mind seems clogged, struggling to find exactly the right words and pictures for pinpointing my ideas. I feel uncomfortable in my skin, my thoughts slightly chaotic and disrupted.
As graphic designer my friend has a certain framework from which he operates and sees things. But he has other skills as well. He knows how to listen, ask the right questions and give feedback to me on my own ideas. And maybe the most important, he knows how to get rid of clutter. My four page working document becomes one, short and sweet, to the point.
A new year has new challenges for most of us and perhaps you are under construction as well. Maybe all you need this year is a feedback partner who can mirror your thoughts and help you declutter. And if you are in process of developing or relaunching a brand, the following tips may also be helpful:

•Developing the look and feel of a brand takes time. Be patient. You will get there.
•Research brands you like, how does it look and what does it say?
•What is your unique selling proposition (talents, skills, passion)?
•Who are your target audience? What is their need? How can you assist?
•Keep it simple and narrow down.
•Even though you have the wisdom that comes with age, you can learn much from the younger generation. They may even know more than you, ask them.
•Even though you have expertise in a certain area, it does not mean you know everything.
•You can be excellent in generating your own new ideas, but it helps when someone else listens and gives feedback on your thoughts.
It’s a new year, take that leap of faith, break the mold. Reconstruct!

Liesl Cronje
Brand architect to students, mold breakers and entrepreneurs