Cellphone photo, taken at my local supermarket

Lots of companies have great brand stories they tell. The problem is, they don’t always match. For example, have you ever noticed that a press release may contain one way of discussing what a company does, while the website says something different? Or an old tagline still accompanies a new logo? These are all examples of poorly aligned brand stories.

If this sounds like your brand don’t fret — there are things you can do. Here are four quick steps you can take to realign your brand story like a brand chiropractor!

Step 1: Gather your messages — Find all that stuff floating around. Your press releases, collateral, website copy, presentations (don’t forget the speaker’s notes), advertisements, mailers, email copy — everything you can get your hands on.

Step 2: Categorize and grade — Put all the like messages together and begin to give each a simple letter grade — A, B, C, D and F — just like in high school. Give higher grades to those messages and communications that are the closest to what your brand story should be. Make notes about what needs to be tweaked for the B and C grades.

Step 3: Assess and template — Look at the messages that received the highest grades, and your notes about changes. Assemble the best of the best and turn these into templates for communications of each type. For example, good email copy and direct mail copy can be saved and used for future campaigns.

Step 4: Purge and protect — Dump all the messages that simply don;t reflect your brand story any longer. I mean it! I give you permission to get rid of the ridiculous boilerplate at the bottom of your press release that names every single division and product you make. Whoosh! Gone. Now, in order to stop a repeat performance, it’s time to remove old messages and replace them with the new messages. get everyone in your organizations — especially those guys in sales — to dump old collateral, email templates and presentations. Then replace them with your new versions.

This is not an easy endeavor. We charge big bucks to help a client walk through a similar process. But I promise, when you are done, you will feel the weight of old, stale messages lifted from your brand stories.

And you will be able to make lemonade from your lemons.