You remember that day clearly – new logo, new website, new business cards, and new marketing materials. You were on top of the world, and it felt great. Your dream launched, and you were off and running. Great, now that’s checked off the list! A refresh of your brand is years away. Right?
I’m here to tell you… branding is an ongoing process. What? I can hear you now, “I have so much work to do for my dream clients.” If you stop branding, you risk becoming stagnant, and that’s the worst place for your brand.
First, let’s separate a brand refresh from an overhaul. An overhaul starts with a logo redesign and encompasses changing everything with your logo on it. Yes, everything. Having two logos will confuse potential dream clients. Not good.
Four signs of when you need a brand overhaul include the following:
- You have new products or services, and the company name or tagline doesn’t reflect the additional options for clients.
- A product or service has been discontinued or has changed. And the name and tagline don’t reflect the offering.
- Your audience has changed. This can be a new or different demographic or a generational shift. Either way, you have to keep up and make sure you’re resonating with the intended audience.
- Styles have changed. The same business card for the past ten years is a definite sign. Just like fashion, design styles change, and your brand will need to change with the times.
Overhauling your brand too often can be confusing for clients. Consistency provides recognition, comfort, and trust. It helps you build a relationship with your clients. Overhaul when it’s needed and don’t be afraid to make that change. The reward can be significant.
If you’re not overhauling, then what? Another approach tends to be more of an evolution. Here, the logo remains mostly or entirely the same. If the logo is tweaked, it could be something so small, you barely noticed. Then, everything else around the brand will pivot.
What does that look like?
When your brand launched, you had everything in place – stationary, business cards, PowerPoint templates, signage, website, and the list goes on and on. Around 12 to 36 months later, you’re going to need to reorder materials. Or, if you’ve been sailing along beautifully, it’s time to stop, evaluate, and review.
Do you and your dream clients still love the look? Does it look current? Check out the big brands. Everything from fashion, food, or electronics can be an inspiration. Is your brand performing how it should? If not, time to refresh!
Brands have personality. It’s the visual design along with the way the voice sounds that makes the end-user have a specific emotion about that brand. What feeling are you trying to evoke, and what emotion do your clients feel? If you’re not close to your goal… it’s time to refresh.
There should be some design element that is consistent online and offline. Maybe it’s a series of bars down the side, stars in a certain pattern, or swoops. The color combination and color tones are easily identifiable.
The tone and voice should be consistent, as well. Just as the look can change, the way the brand sounds with content and the written text can evolve. For example, shifting from a very corporate tone to one that is conversational would be noticeable.
As your business starts to flourish, its personality will too. Hang on; it can be an exciting journey. Besides, who doesn’t like new marketing materials?
So, where do you get started with a brand refresh? Anywhere you want to! You could start with the item you need most or the most crucial item you use to reach your dream client. Be sure to prioritize the list and build a refresh plan. Check out these brands that got it right.
What about the stuff in the middle? Again, branding is a continuous process. Every client touchpoint is a branding opportunity. Make sure the brand shows up the way it should as new touchpoints occur or things change.
There are so many touchpoints that should be branded but get forgotten. A few include the way you answer the phone, respond to e-mails, contracts, social media, and develop autoresponders. As your business expands beyond a handful of team members, these touchpoints grow too. Everyone must be on-brand.
If you’re not on brand, then you’re off, and your audience will notice. Brand on my friend.
Do you struggle with branding your business? Outsourcing to a professional could be an option for you.
Leave me a comment and let me know what phase your business is in right now.
Ready, Set, Grow!
All my best,