How to use the challenges of 2021 to refresh your brand for 2022

2021 was a challenging year for brands – even well-established ones. The coronavirus pandemic led the charge, but Brexit wreaked its own havoc too. This lethal combination of events made it harder for businesses and organisations to scale their brands by winning more customers.

How to use the challenges of 2021 to refresh your brand for 2022
Giles Taylor writes for W/Brand Design Blog
Giles Taylor, April 05, 2022

With that in mind, how can you refresh your brand in 2022 by learning from last year’s challenges?

Here are some do’s and don’ts you can use to create a roadmap for the year ahead and stand out from the competition.

Do make your brand visible

In these difficult times it’s tempting to hunker down until the storm has passed. But going dark isn’t the solution – because, while you’re waiting, your competitors will be figuring out how to use the crisis to their advantage.

Instead of hiding, refresh your brand using positive messaging that shows you understand the challenges of 2021 but have exciting plans for 2022. Plans that will undoubtedly help your target audience and make their lives easier rather than harder.

If you’re stuck for ideas, look at what other brands are doing and use their marketing strategies as inspiration to help you build a successful strategy for the challenges that lie ahead.

Do master email marketing

Even if budget is limited, email is a simple and effective way to reach prospects. Something as simple as a follow-up message will refresh your audience’s memory and make them more inclined to buy from you when they have a requirement.

If you’re serious about refreshing your brand in 2022, don’t forget about your existing customers. Sending an order confirmation, for example, will show you care and limit the chances of them jumping ship to a competitor.

Overall, email marketing is a simple and effective way to win new business and retain customers (although you will need to invest in a high-quality data list if you don’t yet have a database of emailable contacts).

Do personalise your brand

To cut costs businesses and organisations have had to reduce their workforce – with many ex-employees opting to set up their own businesses instead of seeking full-time employment. The result? More competition for brands like yours and even more choice for your target audience.

As part of your brand refresh strategy for 2022 think about how you’re going to stand out from the crowd. Could video marketing be the answer? That way you could personalise your message and forge stronger connections with your audience.

People prefer to digest video content than read a blog or article. So, if you really want to overcome the challenges of last year, invest in basic equipment, create a video content plan, and start filming.

Don’t copy your competitors

In these challenging times brands want to appear sympathetic to their customers’ plights. As such, 2021 saw a slew of messages and images centred around people trapped at home. Every company cared. And each one had a solution carefully tailored to make their audience’s lives that little bit easier.

In the end, these messages blurred into one and became so much white noise. Everyone was saying the same thing and so no particular message stood out. If you’re serious about refreshing your brand in 2022, make sure your content is authentic and nothing like your competitors.

Don’t talk about the pandemic or Brexit. Or, if you do, find your own unique spin on the topic that’ll grab your audience’s attention and make them more likely to call when the time comes. That way your messaging won’t become lost in the melee of so-so marketing content unimaginatively churned out by your rivals.

Don’t focus too much on the past

The global pandemic is far from over. But do you really want to keep reminding your customers about how terrible things were in 2021? Why not give your brand a boost instead by looking ahead and anticipating how things could look post-pandemic.

By focussing on the future, you’ll elevate your business to a higher level by injecting a note of positivity into your messaging. You’ll also establish yourselves as thought leaders in your sector – meaning serious business owners will make you their first port of call.

Make preparing for tomorrow part of your 2022 brand refresh strategy and you’ll be able to overcome past and present challenges while also upping your brand game.

Don’t underestimate the power of trends 

2021 was a challenging year but could you have better weathered the storm by understanding newly emerging trends and using them advantageously? That’s not to suggest jumping on the proverbial bandwagon for the sake of it is wise. The trend itself must create a segue between your brand and its customers – else it will add no value for either party. 

But harnessing the power of a brand-new trend before it catches fire could see your business leading the pack and carving out a reputation as a trendsetter rather than a meek follower which apes the activities of others.

As part of your 2022 brand refresh strategy take care to audit your existing marketing activities too. Are they still on trend or have your tactics become passe – to the extent they’re devaluing the power of your messaging and losing you business?

The next step

Turning the challenges of 2021 into profitable positives in 2022 will be no mean feat for your business. And the consequences of a bad brand refresh could set your organisation or business back months. Wouldn’t you rather have an experienced agency in your corner that can solve these problems by creating a solution designed to help you reach your marketing goals.

Contact us to learn more and refresh your brand the right way in 2022. We’d love to help you get ahead of the curve and achieve your strategic aims.

Giles Taylor writes for W/Brand Design Blog

Giles Taylor

Giles is the founder and creative director for W/Brand. A graphic designer from Reading in Berkshire, UK, he's a dad with two wonderful children who enjoys walking and playing the guitar.  

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