Brand Strategy: Start Small and Finish Strong in 2024

Resolutions get run into the ground this time of year. We’re awash in promises to change or improve, to do more of some things and less of others. And that’s good. A bit of honest introspection can be the first domino in a sequence of change that leads to satisfying improvement.

Before you presume I’m suggesting you apply the resolution mindset to your 2024 business goals, however, allow me to make a finer point: small changes can yield big results.

One of my favorite concepts is the Japanese idea of kaizen (kai-zen). Roughly translated to English, it means “small change.” It essentially asserts that if you ultimately want to realize big results, start with small steps. You don’t challenge yourself to complete a marathon this year by trying to knock out five miles tomorrow. You start nice and slow with a near-term attainable goal. A walk around the block turns into a jog around the neighborhood. Eventually, you start to run, log your first mile, and keep going. By year’s end you have a shot at completing 26.2.

What does this kind of measured, modest approach to improvement have to do with your business goals for 2024? Naturally, you want better performance, a wider profit margin, and all that wonderful stuff. You’ve probably even jotted it all down on a sticky note and stuck it above the monitor on which you’re reading this very blog. But as a goal, it’s too abstract and too amorphous to be actionable.

How about we break it down into something more comprehensible and attainable?

Make this the year you start locking down some smart, accessible marketing initiatives as the first step toward achieving the improved outreach and awareness every inspired business decision-maker should be seeking. Before you try to fire up your sales team, before you throw all your weight behind developing new products or services, before you get granular hoping to reveal new efficiencies, consider whether or not your organization is capturing all the attention it can, via all the right channels, to reach the right audiences.

  • Is your online presence optimized for user experience and intuitive navigation?
  • Does your advertising reach the right people and truly inspire action?
  • Does your branding truly tell your story?

Pick just one and find out. Small steps.

Let’s take a look at what your organization is doing in terms of marketing as it heads into 2024. Is it finally time for that branding refresh you’ve been talking about for the past five or ten years? Will updating your website’s navigability and searchability deliver more visits, clicks, and conversions?

It doesn’t have to be everything. It doesn’t have to be all at once. But let’s get started and see just how strong we can make your 2024.

Catherine Lindner is Street Level Studio’s Strategy Director.