New year, with plenty of the old you?

Jan 4, 2022

It’s the same at this time of the year, every year: all the adverts crying out ‘New Year: New You’.

But at TPW, we don’t think you should throw out all your you-ness just because the calendar has flipped over a year. Sure, a few new goals, some updated dreams, a finessed focus, a resolution or two. We’re totally on board with using the New Year as a springboard for great things. But is it realistic – or even necessary – to totally reinvent?

This applies to your brand, too. Sometimes it can be tempting to change tack quickly to promote an updated version of your business, when actually this can risk alienating your followers (aka your existing clients) who buy into the attributes that have made you brilliant before.

So, when it comes to your content, how can you update your ideas and language to freshen up without throwing the baby out with the bathwater?

Where have you been?

Your company has a past, whether that’s a linear story or a squiggly whirl of trial and error. Everyone loves an origin story and that’s as true of your company as it is of Wolverine. Proudly communicating where you’ve been will allow you to craft the story of what makes your company unique. 

TPW tip: Unless there are solid reasons why you want to disassociate, try not to ditch your heritage in one fell swoop. Better to cherry pick the best bits of your past, and inject them with some fresh ideas and thinking.

Who are you now?

What kind of company are you right now? Looking back, is there anything different about how your business is run now than in the past? Any changes you’ve made that you’re particularly proud of? Any works-in-progress that are going to be hard-won successes when you deliver on them? All of these things make your company’s present more tangible and real to your customers. And for your employees, they make it clear why they come to work every day and where they fit in.

Communicating values fits here too, so that everyone who does business with you can understand what you stand for. Values are behind why we all do what we do, so make sure yours are communicated boldly and clearly. 

TPW tip: But beware: don’t just say you value things like integrity; let your content illustrate how you’re walking the walk. Bring integrity to life with everyday stories about….people (not products or services).

Where are you going?

It’s likely that your company has a strong set of goals and a strategic vision, not just for the next year but for the longer term. But are you communicating these goals to your staff and customers?

Perhaps you’re aiming to be carbon-neutral by a certain date. Or you have a new Diversity and Inclusion strategy that will be your focus for the foreseeable. Communication here is key. 

TPW tip: With so many businesses talking about such hot topics right now, your content needs to be colourful, candid and creative. And there should never be any room for mere lip service on these issues. 

The why, not the what…

Every piece of communication to your employees and customers should reflect the story, values and goals your business has. Your website, newsletters, blogs, social media posts, annual report, adverts, podcasts, emails, verbal updates, award acceptance speeches and internal employee updates – every time you communicate there’s an opportunity to tell your audience who you are, what you stand for and what you hope to achieve in the future. And most importantly, the subtext of this is: what this means for your clients.

Author and self-proclaimed optimist Simon Sinek famously said “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.” There will be plenty of other companies out there doing something similar to you, but nobody with your story.

As we hurtle into 2022, your business doesn’t need to subscribe to the ‘New Year: New You’ school of thought. Instead, embrace your heritage and what you’re proud of from your past – and liven things up a little with some fresh ideas and imaginative storytelling. Ta dah!

About the author

Tessa Head of Content

Tessa Parry-Wingfield, TPW Founder & Head of Content

Writer

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