Thanks to Marie Kondo, the decluttering phenomenon has spread across the country. People swear by it, insisting there is something completely refreshing and empowering about the idea. As a small business owner that helps companies develop their brands, I thought it would be interesting to look at this approach from a marketing perspective. As it turns out, there are a lot of concepts of the “KonMari” method that can be applied to branding. Here are some of the ideas that I was inspired by:
Visualizing the Destination
One of the common mistakes businesses make is not establishing their mission, vision, and values early on. I always tell my clients that those serve as their north star so without them, it is easy to get lost along the way. True mission statements are bold and inspiring, answering the question of what your business wants to become. That’s where branding really begins.
Declutter by Category
Marie Kondo suggests decluttering specific categories in a specific order. Applying that method, here is my approach:
Using your mission, vision, and values as a guide, I suggest “tidying” these categories:
- Who is my ideal audience? Do I have data to back this up?
- Are my current marketing efforts targeting this audience?
- Am I determining what marketing channels to use by the demographics of this audience?
- Am I leveraging the targeting capabilities of these channels to identify quality leads?
Before making any significant marketing decisions, you should not only narrow down who your audience is but where and how to target them in your advertising. For instance, instead of being on 9 social media platforms, choose 2-3 where your audience is most active, and focus your efforts there.
Visual Brand: Visuals make a huge impact in shaping your brand perception. Having inconsistent or unclear graphic elements will devalue your brand, confuse your audience, and decrease brand awareness. Gather every version of your logo or any other brand marks you have. Take the time to simplify and choose only a few elements to use in your marketing. Use visuals that are clear, memorable, and versatile. I also suggest that businesses simplify their color palette and overall brand aesthetic to create a cohesive visual identity.
One thing you can do on Instagram is use the archive feature to hide posts that are not on brand but you don’t want to delete. Select the photo, click on the 3 dots in the top right corner, and click ‘Archive.’ You can always add these posts back later on.
Brand Messaging: From ad copy to email newsletters, your brand message should consistently communicate your core values, speak to your audience, and represent your brand personality. Many times, brands try to say too much in their content instead of keeping messaging around a powerful, cohesive brand message. I encourage all of our clients to take the time to find their brand’s voice and refine their message.
Nostalgia is not your Friend
A common pain point I see with clients is that they hold onto certain aspects of their branding and marketing because “it has always been that way.” As customers and markets change, it is important to refresh your marketing strategies as well. With our digital marketing packages, we include a website revamp every 3 years. If your visuals are dated or you are no longer reaching your target audience, it may be time to rethink.
And Finally… Only keep things that “Spark Joy”
There is a reason this particular KonMarie concept resonates with so many people. (The #sparkjoy hashtag has over 200,000 mentions on Instagram alone!) For brands, it is about connection. Presenting a clear, consistent brand message to the right audience, on the right channel, at the right time leads to real connections that inspire loyalty.