12 Most Creative Ways to Reinvent Your Brand in the New Year

12 Most Creative Ways to Reinvent Your Brand in the New Year

Have you ever stood amidst the popping champagne corks and the falling confetti and wondered, “Why do people get so worked up about the New Year, anyway?” It’s because the New Year brings new opportunities. It’s a time of fresh starts. It’s a time when many make resolutions to do better or to turn over new and exciting leaves in their personal and work lives.

As many organizations struggle to build strong, powerful, and consistent brands, why not make 2014 ‘the year of your brand’? To help you start anew, here are 12 of the most creative ways to reinvent your brand in the new year.

1. Rebrand

While this may not take the cake as the most creative option, definitely the most drastic brand-driven move in the new year is to literally start anew with your brand. Take note, the easy way out is to take a blank piece of paper and start making stuff up. Pull your team together and start answering — more clearly and concisely than ever before — what makes up your brand’s DNA.

2. Refocus your team

Far too often the focus of our branding efforts is external rather than internal. Don’t forget that your team members are often critical brand touchpoints themselves. Do they know how to talk about your brand? What words are important? Have they ever been given a brand brief? Why not change that in the New Year?

3. Customer survey

Switching gears from internal to external, how often do you ask your customers what they think about your brand? Tools like SurveyMonkey have taken the cost barriers out of market research for even the smallest businesses. There’s literally no reason not to do it.

4. Utilize some new touchpoints

This could be a fun internal/external activity. Ask your team and maybe even your customers to identify or vote on an underutilized touchpoint (think boxes, receipts, etc.) for you to give an ‘Extreme Brand Makeover’ to.

5. Plant the flag on a new social platform

Find a new megaphone to get the word out. Why wouldn’t your business launch an Instagram account? Even if your product isn’t visually engaging, their easy-to-apply effects can make your wares into works of art.

6. Read Primal Branding

I’m not on Patrick Hanlon’s payroll. For real! But his book, Primal Branding, is simply the sharpest, most focused read on the abstract topic of brand-building.

7. Steal something from the big boys

The Internet has broken down many cost barriers from quick and easy printing to online video. If you see an idea you like by a national brand, keep an open mind and ask yourself why something similar wouldn’t work for you.

8. Create and share valuable content

You’ve heard it before but the social web has made all of us potential publishers. What are you producing? Chances are your brand is really great at something — you may even be an expert. What are you publishing online to tell the world? Are you creating how-to videos? Are your writing an eBook? For your brand’s sake, you should be.

9. Take a deeper dive into your web analytics

By now even the least technically savvy execs like the idea of all of the stuff they can measure online but how much of that are you actually doing anything with? Why not pull your web analytics from the last year and come up with three actionable changes you can implement as a result of this intel to better your brand.

10. Find your voice

Have you ever noticed that the best brands have a distinct voice? Volkswagen has always been playful, from Lemon to Little Vader. Ford trucks are tough. Do you have a voice? Or do your committees sand out the rough edges before you make it to market? Chances are your brand has an attitude. Work on finding it in the New Year.

11. Do something unexpected

I was going to say, “do something fun” or “do something crazy” but to the last point about finding your voice, not every brand is particularly fun or crazy. But you can be unexpected. Find something outrageous to blow your customers away, like an unexpected touchpoint or event.

12. Branding isn’t always a big thing

Sometimes it’s simply a state of mind. In some organizations, remembering you have a brand can be a step in the right direction. Boiling down your company’s ethos into a touchstone that can inform everything from big promotions to how your front line team members talk about your brand is critical. Remember, everyone on your team is a potential brand builder.

What’s your resolution for the ‘brand’ new year? Is this the year your brand grows even bigger? Do you have a new social initiative planned? Or is this simply a time to get back to basics with some consistency across your brand touchpoints?

Whatever your resolution, best of luck in 2014!

Featured image licensed via Big Stock Photos

Nick Westergaard


Nick Westergaard is a Brand-Driven Blogger, Consultant, and Speaker. He is Vice President at Westergaard, a second-generation brand strategy firm in the Midwest that builds strong brands and activates them across essential media touchpoints. He blogs about building brand-driven communities with social media at NickWestergaard.com. He's also the author of the free eBook, Google+ 101.

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I especially agree with #11. Doing something unexpected (whether its a viewpoint, packaging of the overall brand, or just simply in the manner you serve your audience) is a surefire way to cut through the clutter, make noise, and get noticed! 

Fantastic advice, Nick. I'm sharing this post now. 

PegFitzpatrick moderator

Really great advice! I will be doing this " Take a deeper dive into your web analytics" as I am a new blogger and haven't hit that yet. And I am always a fan of the doing something unexpected!

Also adding Primal Branding to my reading list.


I am pushing everyone to take #2 to an extreme. Here is a question for all business owners with multiple employees to consider:

"If I HAD to fire someone tomorrow, who would it be? Why?"

Responses to this question are always interesting, and often helpful.


I am putting Primalbranding on my read list! This type of thinking is a major influence on my marketing ideas. It sounds like a helpful book.

PaulBiedermann moderator

Wow! Super post, Nick! Businesses should take heed of this article because there are so many things to start doing right NOW that so many businesses are not. But the New Year does somehow give new hope to fresh challenges (or, at least, new hope that old challenges will finally be addressed!). Rebranding is a great place to start if required (be honest!) and with that, numbers 10 and 11 are key: finding the special “you” and how to make your voice heard — now more critical than ever.


I am definitely focusing on #4, #5 and #8 Nick. The kicker is time-slicing to the extreme to give the appropriate attention to each of them. We do feel we are positioned for an exciting year in 2012, though. Hoping that Pulse Analytics is coming to clients near you ;)


@PegFitzpatrick The analytics one is something I'm trying to do more as a blogger as well. It gives you great insight on how to focus your brand and your content.

Primal Branding is a great read. I promise I don't get any % of sales :)

Thanks for reading, commenting, and moderating #12Most!


@jpJeremy #2 is HUGE. There could be a whole post about that one alone ... [scribbles down idea in Evernote]. Seriously though, people ignore their own internal teams all of the time. Case in point - a few weeks back we were working with a client on new messaging for 2012 and as the leaders of the business units spoke it was revealed that all had disparate ideas on *who* they are as a business. Digging deeper showed that all employees were similarly confused. You have to build a strong brand for your internal people as much as your external. Often internal team members become some of the more visible brand touchpoints for current customers, etc.

Thanks for reading and for commenting!


@susansilver Great! It's a wonderful read and definitely worth your time. I know I sound like Hanlon's publisher sometimes because I shill it to aggressively but it's one of the best books on branding I've ever read. Enjoy! And thanks for commenting.


@PaulBiedermann Thanks Paul! You hit the nail on the head. There are many branding initiatives that businesses should take charge and start doing and the New Year provides a great opportunity to do just that. I too have a soft spot for #10 and #11 — especially (as a copywriter at heart) the part about finding your own, unique voice. Cheers! And (though a bit early) — Happy New Year!


@dbvickery Awesome! You hit the nail on the head with time slicing — especially at smaller organizations. For me I wanted to blog more in 2011 so last year at this time I made a #52PostResolution and worked to blog once each week. A year later I am proud to say I got it done and then some. Time is key. Setting achievable goals is critical.

Can't wait to hear more about Pulse Analytics in 2012. Thanks for reading and for the comment.