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10 New Year's Resolutions for Your Brand in 2011

by Paul Williams  |  
December 31, 2010

There's only one more week left in 2010. The seasons quickly change from present wrapping to year-end wrap-up to resolution season. While many of us may create personal resolutions, what commitments are we thinking about for our business or brand?

To get started on your brand resolutions, here are 10 ideas by Shawn Parr of the design/innovation firm Bulldog Drummond.

10 Things to Try In 2011

  1. Be Courageous Often

    Take bold steps to stand out from the crowd. Reflect on 2010, and look at what you did well and what you could have done differently. Take courageous steps to help your brand stand out in 2011.

  2. Revisit and Refine Your Purpose

    Take the time to look back at your mission and vision, and ask if you were living it in 2010. Look for places to bring it to life with your team, explore whether you needto refine it. Remember: The words aren't set in stone. If they're not resonating, rewrite and revise!

  3. Shut up and Listen

    There's a lot to learn if you just take the time to listen. Make sure you ask your team for feedback, ideas, and suggestions. Listen to your consumers, and pay attention to research. Listen to what they have to say, and act on what you've heard. Honest, unfiltered feedback is fuel for change.

  4. Who's Your Enemy?

    An enemy gives you and your brand something to push against---something to challenge. An enemy inspires passion! This year define a clear enemy and rally your team. It could be a competitor, a trend, or an element of your culture. No matter what it is, create a plan to beat it, share the mission with your team, and go forth!

  5. Set Some Big Goals

    Set at least one wild and audacious goal for 2011---something you've never tried before. Outline the goal, share it with your team, and challenge them to play their part in achieve it. Just don't forget to celebrate the small victories and successes on the journey.

  6. Create a Passionate and Engaged Team

    Your greatest resource is your team. This year, weed out the people who aren't engaged and don't contribute. Replace them with active, passionate and energized people who will make a true difference to the rest of your team and your brand.

  7. Inject Fun Into the Everyday

    One of the best motivators for your team is a great work environment. This year, start doing small things that make your employees happy. A monthly massage for a team who've put in hours of extra energy, a weekly cookie pot-luck. Small gestures or events can make a big difference. And the benefits won't just stop with your team, they will show through everything that your brand does. Happy people equals happy brand.

  8. Plan for Learning

    This year, make a commitment to ensure your company is continually learning and is inspired by the world at large. Create a program that allows your team to take classes. Host a "learning lunch" monthly with guest speakers. Injecting new thinking in your organization will energize your team and, ultimately, benefit your brand.

  9. Make Friends With Other Brands

    Partner brands can be your best ally---whether they're in your space or not. This year, chart a "circle of love" identifying brands with similar values that you'd like to partner with in 2011. Set one member of your team with a each potential relationship, and have them explore how to collaborate. You'll be surprised by the results, even in the initial conversations you'll have about your own brand.

  10. Say Thank You and Show You Really Mean It

    And, lastly, do what your mother told you! Thanking people goes a long way to creating valued and appreciated fans - internally and externally. This year, find new ways to show you appreciate your team, your customers and your partners, in ways that truly make a difference in their lives. You'll be surprised and delighted by the results.

Shawn Parr is the CEO of Bulldog Drummond, a design and innovation consultancy headquartered in San Diego, Cal. Clients include Starbucks, Pepsi, Jack in the Box, Adidas, MTV, Nestle, Pinkberry, Virgin, Disney, Nike, and American Eagle Outfitters.

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Hi there!

I'm Paul Williams... guest writer on Daily Fix and founder of Idea Sandbox.

I'm a professional problem solver. Through brainstorm facilitation I help people create remarkable ideas to grow their business. As one client put it, “Idea Sandbox turns brains into idea machines.”

Prior to launching Idea Sandbox in 2005, I spent 15 years building marketing, branding, and customer-experience strategy for The Disney Company, the Aramark Corporation, and Starbucks Coffee Company.

I founded Idea Sandbox driven by my passion to help others create remarkable ideas. I blend the skills and lessons I have learned to build a sandbox---an idea sandbox.

You can reach me on Twitter via @IdeaSandbox.

Through Idea Sandbox, I have helped solve challenges, grow brands, think-up remarkable ideas, and create innovation for companies including: Starbucks Coffee Company, Starbucks Coffee International, Panera Bread Company, Seattle’s Best Coffee, Woodhouse Day Spas, The Microsoft Corporation, and Wells Fargo Mortgage.

I am a writer, speaker, columnist, and brainstormer living just outside Washington DC, in Alexandria, Virginia.

If you like what you've read here, you can find more of my thoughts at my Idea Sandbox blog.

I always welcome comments and reactions to what I've written. I'm on Twitter: @IdeaSandbox

Nice to meet you,


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  • by Nancy Boyd Fri Dec 31, 2010 via blog

    This is just about the best list of goals I've seen, because they go right to the heart of what makes any business connect with others where it matters most. I might add that a worthy adversary is your best friend, because it gives you an edge against which to sharpen yourself.

    Often that can be a former client that just didn't work out; those situation tell you quite clearly what needs to change in leadership, customer relations, expectations, process management, or just plain old communications.

    Thanks for offering these gems! I'm taking them to heart.

  • by Brandon Cox Fri Dec 31, 2010 via blog

    Funny how many of those would have been laughed at a decade ago. It's a new age.

  • by Jef Menguin Sun Jan 2, 2011 via blog

    Thank you very much for sharing your ten resolutions. I scan through them and I thought I should do them too.

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