There comes a time in the life of many of companies and organisations to carry out a brand refresh, but how do you know when that time is? Even the most successful, established companies update their branding from time to time as their market, their products, and style trends fluctuate. A flourishing business in the present moment is no excuse for getting too comfortable with the status quo.
First what’s the difference – do you refresh or rebrand?
It’s important first to distinguish a brand refresh from a fully-fledged rebrand. You don’t always need to start from scratch developing an entirely new name and new logo as you would do in a rebrand. Think of a brand refresh as more of a facelift, leveraging existing brand equity while expanding the look, feel and messaging with fresh treatments and positioning. While sometimes a brand update impacts the logo, other times it doesn’t; it may just involve looking for ways to explore new type treatments, colour palette expansion, photography styles, messaging and other brand elements.
Here are five thoughts on why it might be time to start thinking about a brand refresh to better define your firms positioning:
1. Your business has grown and evolved
You’re preparing for growth, or your business might have been bought out, maybe you’ve acquired another firm. If you’re expecting to see your business increase in the near future, either because of marketing efforts, a new product line, or a merger, it’s a good time to reassess your brand and be sure that it has what it takes to carry our business proudly in to the next phase.
2. Your products or services have changed.
Is your brand messaging or company name for that matter an accurate reflection of who you are and what you offer today, or does it reflect an out-dated value proposition? To use that classic example: when Apple began to transition from just a computer company to a digital lifestyle brand, the company switched from the name “Apple Computers” to simply “Apple” in order to more clearly articular their current offerings – now look at what it’s achieved, a must have technology brand whether you want it or not.
3. You’re not reaching your target audience
With the advent of smart technology and the ever-present social media, you might no longer be reaching the people you want because your target market has shifted or aged since your initial branding efforts, or maybe you’ve decided that your products are services are best aimed at a broader or narrower segment of the population. Regardless, a brand refresh will allow you to reach exactly the people you want.
4. Your identity and brand assets are out-dated.
Your logo might have been perfect before the advent of the digital age, but now, it’s anything but sharp, and your businesses image is suffering as a result. Take an honest look at your visual branding and assess whether it’s moving you forward or holding you back. Ask your customers, ask your staff and colleagues.
5. Your current branding is inconsistent.
Maybe you use one version of your logo on your website and another on your business cards and brochures. And all the taglines – you’ve got loads all saying and being used differently. This abundance of options isn’t an asset when it comes to helping your visual positioning, and is likely confusing your audience, or at least leading them to dismiss you when they can’t easily understand what you offer.
To be clear, we’re not advocating that you develop a new logo every five years just for the sake of doing so, then again many design firms would love you to do that. All decisions should be rooted in a comprehensive brand strategy, and a rebranding effort will look slightly different for every organization. It might call for some tweaks to your logo, an updated colour palette, or it might encompass a complete overhaul of not only your visual assets, but also your entire brand identity.
But don’t forget… whether it’s just a few tweaks to your colour palette, or a total overhaul, be sure you have a strong marketing strategy so that your newly refreshed brand will be effective in reaching your audience, informing them of what you do, and bringing in revenue.
So, with all that said… when was the last time you looked critically at your brand, and the visual assets you use?
If your branding isn’t quite saying the right thing about your business, get in touch with us for a chat about a brand refresh, rebranding or starting from scratch!