Does your branding feel dated or look like something that popped out of 1999? Are there shadows and 3D effects, or fonts that are no longer legible? If you answered yes, your brand may be showing signs that it needs a face-lift.
Branding is the process of defining, conveying and maintaining your business’ core value and differentiators. It’s about representing who you are, what you stand for and how you want your customers to perceive you. The business logo is only one of the elements your customers identify as branding. Assets like imagery, website, social presence, printed media and Merchandise play a large role in brand recall and equity.
It is essential when deciding to re-brand that you consider how well known your brand is and how the change will affect your target audience. When making changes, it’s important that you don’t lose yourself in the process. Think of it like a personal makeover, a better haircut, up-to-date outfit, and new shoes can transform how a person is perceived.
A brand refresh needs to honour the historical visual connection, but with an up-to-date and new vibrant look that satisfies the expectations of your modern buyers. Ultimately, a brand refresh not only tells your audience that you’re modern and relevant, it also shows that you’re connected to your customer’s preferences. Nobody wants to be associated with a tired and weathered brand.
However, with change comes some risk and responsibility, and at times, even the biggest companies miss the mark. What a better way to learn the do’s and don’ts of rebranding than from those who already have.
A great example of a successful re-brand is Microsoft.
Over the years, Microsoft’s branding has evolved to reflect the aesthetics that appeal best to their customers. As simple graphics, colour, and clarity have become more appealing to people within the modern marketplace, Microsoft have made the necessary change to keep pace with companies like Apple and Adobe. The part I love most, which would have been a big decision for the marketing team, are the window squares in the form of four-square tiles. This is what I call the ‘golden thread’.
A ‘Golden thread’ is an element that is used across multiples sections of branding that tie everything together. This element not only keeps the look and feel of a business’ branding consistent, but also acts like a secondary logo where customers see this element and instantly recognise it as part of the brand.
Now you ask yourself: ‘How do I re-brand without losing my identity or loyal customers?’.
Here are 5 easy steps
- Know what your business stands for. Most importantly, know your current and potential customers. By completing some market research, you will have a better understanding of how to engage, trends and market expectations.
- Narrow your focus to what matters. Analyse your existing brand and pin point what needs improving. Is your colour scheme giving the wrong vibes? Is your font becoming harder to read? Does your imagery look dull and pixelated? Do you need to add an element to be the new golden thread?
- Which materials need re-branding? . Aside from the master logo, this list can include materials such as: Brand Guidelines, Stationary, Signage, Brochures/Flyers, Branded Merchandise & Appeal, Social Media Platforms etc. It is very important to keep your new branding uniform across all platforms and asset classes.
- Engage a team of professionals. If you don’t have a team of professionals on hand, consider hiring a marketing agency to help give you that 360 degree perspective. The right modern marketing agency will ensure that that your new branding will meet business, audience and market objectives.
- Deliver the Change. Now is the time to launch your new brand in a coordinated and purposeful manner. In many ways, the brand activation step is the most important. Crushing steps 1-4 means little, if activation becomes a “face-plant”. Consulting with a modern marketing agency is a must and can save you a lot of time and money.
You don’t always have to completely rebrand your business in order make your presence felt. Sometimes small changes can go a long way, depending on the market-place. Making the right, small design will be valued and appreciated. In saying that if your brand is on life support, a total re-brand maybe the only option.
Use this 5 steps guide, as a resource to help identify where your brand is in it’s lifecycle. If you want to have a chat about any of these topics or to get the ball rolling on your re-branding; email us @ firstname.lastname@example.org