The ball dropped.  Horns blew.  Strangers kissed.  And, by now, personal promises of self-improvement have been made and broken.

Perhaps the holidays, known for their decadent feasts and sweet treats, are not the best time to make dietary declarations.  And maybe, just maybe, the period when the country is in the grip of a polar vortex is not the best time to commit to getting more active, right?  So get under that afghan, cozy up to a tin of snickerdoodles and binge watch Bates Hotel.  There’s always next year.

However, in business, you can’t afford to be so complacent because, if you’re not moving forward, you’re falling behind the competition.  Below are five recommended brand resolutions that, when kept, can increase your business’s competitive edge and improve your bottom line.

I will have a responsive, mobile friendly website that’s optimized for search, and generates leads.

When was the last time your website was updated?  If you had to think about it, it’s been too long.  Have you viewed it on your smart phone?  Since 2013, more adults are accessing the internet via their smartphone than desktop.   Have you googled your industry?  Are you on page one or page 101?  Is your site contemporary?  Is the navigation user-friendly?  Is the content correct?  Does it contain information that people will want to share? Is there a compelling call-to-action that will make your phones ring?

I will employ social media to engage with my customers and boost my brand’s visibility.

According to Small Business Trends, 68% of US adults use Facebook.  28% use Instagram.  25% use LinkedIn. 21% use Twitter. So you can save your excuses about not having time or not knowing how. Guess what, you don’t know how to make sushi either but that doesn’t stop you from hitting that Tuna Tokyo Buffet every Tuesday.

I will implement a customer experience (CX) measurement and management program.

Is your knowledge of your customer service reliant upon the handful of completed “How’s Our Service?” cards turned in by irate customers or by your new cashier’s aunt who raved about the way her niece made change?  Guess what? The true insight is held by the people who haven’t been asked.  They hold the key to why they come to you and not your competition.  They can inform you of improvements you could make to turn them from satisfied (yawn) customers to raving fans.  Also, making your employees aware that their service performance is being monitored – even when you aren’t around – can greatly improve their service delivery.

I will provide brand delivery training for my employees.

Why hire someone, whether it’s a bookkeeper or janitor, and then not train them to be a brand ambassador?  With proper, yet brief, training, every person in your organization should be able to effectively tell your brand’s story and understand your service standards and their importance to your brand’s success.

I will motivate my team members with promotions and incentives.

It’s true that you catch more flies with honey than vinegar.  However, giving everyone trophies for participating doesn’t motivate anyone.  Creating a sales contest with realistic goals and desirable prizes can incite a little friendly competition between departments or offices, add a little fun to the workplace, and, best of all, increase sales.

What is Electrum Branding’s resolution for 2017?  To help your business keep your resolutions so that 2017 is a successful year for us all!