A new year means new ideas, new challenges and new business opportunities. It also means there’s a new opportunity to reassess your current branding situation and see if you can create a new image that’s bigger and better than your brand in 2016.

While you know your brand better than anyone, here’s a checklist of things to look for and adjust in the coming year. Take a look at the suggestions and then at your own brand — how can you amp things up for 2017?

Your Color Palette

If your brand is already established then you first need to ask yourself: do I want to completely reinvent my brand, or do I want to take it to the next level? Alternatively, do I want to change it at all?

If you want to reinvent your brand completely, start with a color change. This symbolizes a new beginning in the eyes of the consumer and your color identity is one of the most prominent identifiers you can have. Most brands stick to one to three different primary colors and two to three secondary colors. Just remember — pick colors that make sense for your brand.

Your Logo(s)

If you only want to adjust your brand slightly, consider a logo change. You may not need to change your colour palette or go all out with a design change. Sometimes just a subtle shift or reimagining can be all a consumer needs to recognize that your branding is new and improved.

As a note — don’t be afraid to pay for a logo design! Even if you have to spend some bigger bucks, remember that your logo is a semi-permanent identifier and will always be what people think of first when they think of your brand.

Your Brand Copy

Branding isn’t all visual — it also has to do with your overall brand attitude. How do you showcase that attitude? Through your copy. Sometimes if you really want to adjust your brand and take your business in a new direction, you’ll have to tweak your copy slightly.

Think about a total brand identity change that moves a classic brand into a new era. Should their copy stay the same? No. When your brand image changes, your brand copy has to change too.

Trimming the Fat

Sometimes we get stuck in our old ways and don’t notice that branding trends have changed while they’ve stayed the same. A few branding tends have died out recent and trimming the fat might be a good idea:

  • Detailed Layouts — Minimalism is in and complex layouts are out. This also means getting rid of background images that aren’t worth keeping around.
  • Vanity Shots — While one headshot on your About Me page as part of your bio might make sense, don’t overload your profiles and website with images that are essentially for vanity.
  • Signatures and Catch Phrases — While email signatures and cheesy stock phrases may have been a great idea 10 years ago, now it’s a little dated.

Most importantly, examine your brand with a critical lens and don’t forget to ask yourself two important questions: What can I do to better my brand? How can my brand better appeal to my audience?