Brand building is rooted in momentum and purposeful growth. Such growth, if it’s to be holistic, involves more than rushing ahead with the winds of hustle. It develops by looking back in reflection, as well.
What is reflection?
Reflection is defined as the act of casting back light or heat, an image or representation. Additionally, its meaning expands to carefully considering, meditating or observing. Brand building encompasses both definitions.
How reflection shines in brand building
When brands acknowledge audience input and pain points, they cast back a light of human understanding. This isn’t optional idealism. Audiences are keenly aware when they’re left in the dark. Often, they respond by pulling away from brands exhibiting a closed communication style. Secondly, by carefully considering and addressing brand and audience needs, brands are more attuned toward relevant solutions.
- Deeper level of learning
- Enhanced critical thinking
- Greater awareness (of self and others)
- Improved confidence and compassion
- Increased integrity
- More thoughtful responses
The layers of reflection
A dry well can’t refresh anyone. Practice reflection in your own life so you’re bringing the best of who you are to each moment.
Personally, I believe enhanced creativity is a benefit of self-reflection, as well. The more I explore ideas from various angles and depths, the more I achieve boundary-smashing originality and innovation.
- Team reflection
Research through the Harvard Business School in 2014 concluded that the art of reflection encourages better job performance. Leadership expert and author, Alaina Love, uses that research alongside her own to demonstrate that leaders who include reflection time in their workweek are better at navigating challenges and leveraging their knowledge.
Love provides four steps for leaders to leverage reflection benefits with their team:
- Designate “reflection time” in the workweek.
- Choose the right location, such as spaces with exposure to nature or good views with natural light.
- Structure the process by sharing insights toward the end of the meeting.
- Incorporate proven techniques, such as incorporating hand-written notes and sketching.
- Brand reflection
When your brand development and marketing projects evaluate the brand, competitors, industry and non-industry successes and target audiences, you develop a 360-degree perspective for brand building. Achieving this perspective as a brand comes from seeing your world through the lens of your target audience and mirroring it back through promotions.
There’s power in having a sharp team with all of its productivity lined up for brand-building opportunities when they happen. There’s also power in reflecting upon what you’ve accomplished, what you’ve learned, what your customers need and how you want to grow as a brand. Why hustle for the sake of hustle? Start making time for reflection. Start making time for what matters most.