With 2020 behind us, 2021 is an opportunity to refresh and reset—especially when it comes to your brand. It’s a time to grow your brand, strengthen it, and make sure that it consistently shows off its best features.

Here are 4 steps you can take right now to strengthen your brand in 2021. Think of them as your branding resolutions.

1. Do a competitive audit. Make time to sit down and look at what similar brands are doing and saying in their marketing, in their retail locations, on their websites. It’ll help you figure out what differentiates your brand from theirs, letting you carve out your own unique space in the competitive landscape. That differentiator, that unique space—focus on it relentlessly in your advertising to really stand out from the competition. 

2. Double-check your touchpoints. When customers experience your brand, what are the touchpoints they interact with? Social posts and comments, email newsletters and websites, office visits and calls, return policies and FAQs—brainstorm all the possible customer touchpoints your company and brand have, and find at least one way to live the brand in each of those touchpoints. This could mean adding more of your brand’s personality to the language on your website, or making sure employees sign off on customer emails in a particular way.

3. Make sure your brand looks good in public. Consistency in your visual identity is a simple way to help your brand stand out no matter where it shows up. Are your ads all using the same logo, the same fonts, and similar language? If they are, people will learn to recognize you (and learn to look for you). Keeping your visual ID consistent gets easier when you…

4. Create or update your brand guidelines. If your brand guidelines aren’t up to date—or if they don’t exist at all—you’re risking an inconsistent brand image. Potential clients and consumers won’t get an accurate picture of what makes your brand stand apart. Strong brand guidelines not only help you achieve consistency—a key part of increasing reach—but they help people reference your brand accurately and consistently, too. And it’s not just about logo use. Make sure your brand guidelines include your brand’s overall story, what sets your brand apart, and acceptable brand language.