The following answers are provided by members of Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched BusinessCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.
1. Let Someone Else Do the Looking
It’s really difficult to see something you are passionate about objectively. The best way to get a fresh view on your brand is to seek the perspectives of those outside of your industry. It’s key that you avoid relying on the opinion of the people in your immediate network who may soften their opinions or share your bias. – Rakia Reynolds, Skai Blue Media
2. Go Back to the First Client
If you’re still working with or in touch with your first clients or customers, get in touch and ask them about your brand. How did it appear in the beginning? How has it shifted over time? What’s been a great change? What’s not so great? Someone who has seen the longevity of your business and evolution of your brand will have a different perspective from the outside. – Kelly Azevedo, She’s Got Systems
3. Order Your Own Product
I’ll admit it, I watched “The Intern.” In the film there is a scene where the founder of the company (Anne Hathaway) orders her own product to see how it will be delivered in the mail (Spoiler alert: it didn’t arrive looking great). This experience gave Anne a fresh perspective of how customers viewed her brand. Ordering your own product allows you to see your brand with fresh eyes. – Brett Farmiloe, Markitors
4. Create a New Story
It’s hard to see your brand with fresh eyes. Take a step back and think of a new story you can tell prospects on what your brand is about and how it’s innovative in helping customers solve issues, achieve success, or some other value proposition. People love to hear success stories, so create a new story around a success you’ve achieved lately that’s indicative of your full potential. – Nicole Munoz, Start Ranking Now
5. Get Diverse Perspectives
Beyond getting a fresh pair of eyes and feedback, you should aim to get a patchwork of different perspectives about your brand. For instance, boomers might resonate with your branding, but it could be turning off millennials. I’ve found that the best and most unique ideas often come from the most varied perspectives. – Elle Kaplan, LexION Capital
6. Go on Social Media and See What People Are Saying
Nothing lays bare the real truth about what people think about a brand more than social media. Go on social media and see how people let loose on their feelings. It could be a real eye opener and offer a new way to look at your brand. – Drew Hendricks, Buttercup
7. Break It Down
Being in the luxury field, our branding at Mobiado needed to express the spirit of the brand. It was necessary for every aspect of the brand to have a reason or story behind it. To be objective, I would look at every piece of the branding puzzle individually (logo, website, packaging, etc.). If the purpose did not complement our spirit, I would implement the change needed to enhance our overall brand image. – Peter Bonac, Bonac Innovation Corp.
8. Step Away
The best way to gain a fresh new perspective of your company is to physically step away. Spending time away from your business gives you a chance to completely forgo responsibilities. Take a few days off. When you come back you’ll be able to look at your business from a different perspective, and you’ll most likely be looking at it through your customer’s eyes. – Patrick Barnhill, Specialist ID, Inc.
9. Get Expert Audits
There’s no possible way for you to see your brand with fresh eyes. You’re too close to it. Instead, bring in branding and marketing experts to perform audits for you, and in the audits make sure that they are providing pros, cons and recommendations for improvement. Have customers do the same in a simpler survey format and give them incentives. You’ll surely have a fresh perspective then. – Anshey Bhatia, Verbal+Visual
10. Survey People
One of the best tools we’ve used at Motivational Press to add new products and services, gauge our customer service effectiveness, and quantify our overall customer experience in surveys. We survey our clients annually and do market research surveys quarterly to evaluate trends in the industry. We like Surveymonkey for conducting the surveys and commonly pay for them to source the respondents. – Justin Sachs, Motivational Press