Take Stock of Your Brand – A Brand Inventory Checklist to Keep You Aligned

You’re probably thinking, “Are you crazy? Of course, I know my brand!”, but if sales are not where you want them, your growth keeps stalling or things are just feeling a little stale – it’s time to get to know your brand, again.

Even if you have a well established vibe, branding is not a set it and forget it thing. It’s who you are and what your company stands for, so it’s going to be fluid and it will change over time.

Like setting aside time to reconnect with yourself, make sure you’re checking in on your brand from time to time to ensure that what you are putting out there is still truly in alignment with who you have become and where your business is going.

When you started your business, you set about creating a brand, whether it was intentional or not. You had something to share with the world – a new product, a new take on an old product or a service that improved something or made life easier. You may have even thought a lot about your purpose and what you wanted to achieve that was bigger than yourself and building a profitable company. But over time, things change and take a new shape. Your business adapts to the world around it, adds new products, services and hires others who all participate in shaping your business. At some point, a crystal clear brand may have gotten away from you. Don’t fret, this is completely normal and it’s why we suggest regularly taking stock of your brand. 

A yearly check in to determine where your business is at, where it is growing and how it impacts the world around you is something all entrepreneurs should carve out time to do, and what better time than as you near the end of the year.

If your business is one that is very busy at this time of year, the downtime in the first few weeks of January might be a better time, but only you know when you will have the clarity of mind to dive deep into your purpose and discover new paths forward for you and your team. The timeline isn’t important, your headspace is what really matters, so check in on yourself when it will be most fruitful for you.



1. WHY is your business important to you? Your team? Your customers? 

This is what you will always come back to as your purpose

2. What solutions do you provide and what are the emotional needs driving those who buy from you? What is your brand value? 

The sum of this information combined is what you need to communicate through your brand – nothing else. Keep it simple!

3. Is there something, other than making money, that is the purpose of your company?

Again, this will feed your soul, keep your team motivated and be what draws your ideal customer to you

4. What are you NOT about? 

Sometimes the most clarity comes from determining what your business and brand are NOT about. These are things to avoid and establishes the “rule book” on what you won’t participate in when working with customers, marketing your company and interacting with your team

5. What unique position is your company/industry in to impact the world around you? 

Financial contributions, raising awareness, improving sustainability, participating in resolving social issues, improving health and quality of life are all great examples of ways that a business can positively affect the world around you, effectively elevating your company from the others in your industry.

No matter what you do, your products and services are part of an industry and that industry is affected by society. 

  • Are you a company that can provide financial support to others? 

  • Can you raise awareness about a particular issue or something underrepresented? 

  • Can you make your products and services have less impact on the environment? 

  • Can you help directly with a social issue like hiring from various underrepresented groups? 

  • Or maybe you can raise awareness? 

  • Are you in the position to help people improve their health and the quality of their life?

This builds the part of your brand that has nothing to do with what people pay for and everything to do with what they buy in to when they do business with you. This MATTERS more and more as the prime buying generations shift and Millennials and Gen Z become your target audience

6. Who is your customer? Both the one you have and the one you want (if they are not the same)

*This includes specifics like age, gender and income, but more importantly what are their values? What matters to them and what do they care about (see previous question for hints)

Customer personas will dictate a LOT of details in everything you do. Get clear on this, share it with your team and always think WWOCD – what would our customer do, want, need, prefer…

7. Where will you find these customers? Is what you’re doing to find and attract them now successful? Are there other options you haven’t explored? 

Your customer persona will dictate this too. So will time, testing and experience. Be open minded, try new things, talk to your customers and do the research – come up with a few ideas and run tests until you find what works. Then keep adding small pieces that matter

8. Who do you look up to? What are they doing these days? Can you use some of that in your own brand?

Look to your competitors and the key associations, leaders and influencers in your industry for this info

9. Does how your brand looks align with what matters behind the scenes? Are you saying and showing what you are truly about and what your customers are looking for?

Check your logo, name, website, social media, brand voice, imagery, video, content topics and pretty much everything you are putting in front of prospective customers to ensure that they align with your target customers needs and what truly matters to them, and to your business 

You know who you are and who you are selling to, now figure out what all of that LOOKS like. If you have a socially conscious brand, polish is NOT for you. Be unique, be authentic and always go back to your brand values to ensure everything is in alignment

10. How can you inject more authenticity in your brand? 

BE YOURSELF, let your team be themselves, let your customers show you who they are.

Allow and encourage content from all of your stakeholders. Get everyone involved, yourself included. Entrepreneurs are either behind the scenes types, or all about them types and the truth is, your audience wants to see you, but not only you. Share the spotlight but don’t forget to also step into it when it really matters. Encourage your customers to interact with your company online, share user generated content and refer you like crazy!

11. Have you done any research into these topics? Talked to your customers? Asked your team for feedback?

Communication is the key to uncovering what you need to do and where you need to go

12. What are your competitors up to? Are there new ones or any who have slipped off? Why would a customer trust you over your competitors? 

Develop and revisit a SWOT analysis at least twice a year to ensure you’re on top of what the advantages are of working with you over your competitors, chart changes in your brand and theirs and look for indicators of shifts happening such as SEO rankings changes, large social growth, etc.

Feel free to bookmark this checklist to help guide your Brand Inventory.

Whether you are newly starting a business, or feel you could use an injection of new energy, it’s always a great time to take stock of your brand and figure out where you can better align with yourself, your team and your customers to bring your purpose to life and grow your business in the ways that matter most to you.

Now you have the answers to all of these questions, how do you turn it into something actionable?

Ask yourself if any of the concrete elements of your brand need updating? If so, find the appropriate professional to help you.

Consider what layers you can peel back. Create a set of ideas and information you want to share with your customers. Find 6-12 major topics that relate to your solutions, your team and your impact on the world around you. These are your themes for social media, web content, blogs, newsletters and all communications for the year

Update your vision, mission and impact statements

Rally the troops. Share your new goals and direction with your team and any other important stakeholders such as your marketing agency


Get in front of the camera. Involve your team and engage your customers as well

Quite often just taking the time to really think through where you are and where you’re going will get you on the right track to getting realigned. This information informs your decisions, goals and plans for the year. If you get stuck while making any choices or decisions, you can always go back to how you’ve defined your brand in the most recent iteration for guidance on how to fulfill your needs and maintain what your customers have come to expect of you.

Remember to stay true to yourself. Flexibility is great, but so is integrity if you want your brand to mean something over the long haul. 

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