When you’ve spent years carving a space for your business in the market, it can be so frustrating to see your competition gaining on you. Your team has worked really hard to find the right audience and the right ways to reach them, but what used to work well isn’t bringing as much success as it used to. It feels like a waste of hard work to throw all of your current branding and practices away.
Luckily, you don’t have to start over. You can evaluate the effectiveness of your brand strategy and make necessary changes to keep up with the times without tossing out all of your previous efforts. Times evolve, and what worked before needs to change to work for tomorrow. It likely makes sense for you to build on what you’ve already built up.
That’s where a brand refresh comes in handy. Rather than starting from scratch, a brand refresh allows you to build upon the foundation you’ve already established. By analyzing past successes and failures, you can identify what has worked in the past and what needs to change.
Let’s take a look at two examples of successful brand refreshes for two clients of ours to see how we helped them build on their previous branding. By effectively implementing your brand refresh, updating visual elements and design, and communicating the changes to stakeholders, you can ensure a seamless transition and set your brand up for future success.
Assessing the Effectiveness of Your Brand Strategy Is Crucial for Success in Today’s Evolving Market
If you are considering making changes to your brand or rebranding, the first thing you need to do is assess it as it is right now. First things first: What do you feel still resonates with your audience? Evaluate the current impact and perception of your brand in the market. This process doesn’t have to be just discovering bad things; don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater.
What needs to change? What is no longer accurate, needs to be changed completely, or just needs some slight adjustments? Do you have new products that need to be better integrated into your messaging? Is your website’s site map confusing or overcrowded because of the growth of your business? It’s no one’s fault; it’s just that everything from messaging strategies, products, pain points for your target audience, and more transform over time and may no longer mesh with your brand.
Consider that needing to refresh your brand indicates the growth and expansion of your business. You may have started out with a leaner business and expanded your offerings, your reach, or your presence. Consider refreshing your brand as a celebration of your business’s growth.
Discover The Advantages Of Refreshing Your Brand And Brand Strategy To Stay Relevant And Attract New Customers
What is a brand refresh? A brand refresh is a strategic set of updates to a brand's identity to realign with the current marketplace. A brand refresh can help increase brand recognition and expand your reach. How? Great question. First, it can help differentiate your business from competitors. Whether you emphasize your greater benefits or outstanding customer service, distinguishing your business is always a winning strategy.
A brand refresh can also gain you more brand recognition and market share in a saturated market. When you put a fresh spin on your messaging or even your brand colors, it can make your brand more memorable and appealing.
It can also help customers perceive you as current, cutting-edge, and relevant, which in turn can give customers another good reason to choose your business and keep coming back.
But you still might be asking, why do a brand refresh? With a brand refresh, you can continue to build on existing efforts without starting from scratch. For example, you could refine your brand story, making it even more engaging and authentic. If you’ve gone through an acquisition or merger, you can use a brand refresh to bring everything together into a coherent brand with a single identity.
You can maximize previous investments and expand into your future potential. For example, refreshing your brand enables you to shape clients’ views of the business, enhancing the emotions and connections they have. You can generate some enthusiasm and intrigue, increasing engagement and loyalty among current customers and employees.
You can use your valuable experience and insight to discern what will work best in the future. If you implement new strategies or enter new markets, updating your brand ensures consistency with the new direction. Additionally, a brand's online presence is crucial in today's digital world. A brand makeover may help you optimize your digital assets and increase your online presence.
Brand Refresh Checklist: Uncover The Key Points Of The Process Involved In Revitalizing Your Brand For Future Success
Conducting a Brand Audit
The first stop on your brand refresh checklist should be a brand audit. A brand audit takes a detailed look at your brand’s current strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities. It should look at your internal branding, which is culture and guiding principles; external branding, which is anything from your logo to brochures to your social media presence; and customer experience, which is how customers feel when they interact with your business.
You should discover or re-discover what’s important to your audience and the pain points you need to solve for them.
Defining Your Brand Identity and Values
Evaluate your brand's mission, vision, and values to align with your target audience and market trends. Do you need to redefine your positioning to align with your business and audience now? It’s critical to stay current and relevant, so a tweak to your guiding principles as your audience and organization evolve will aid in your positioning and messaging.
Connect Your Brand Story To The Visuals And Brand Components
Once you’ve updated your mission, vision, and values, you must update your brand story to match your updated principles. Brands that feel connected to your mission, values, and vision are going to be the most successful. You need a brand that feels authentic to you and your customers. Having a story that is illustrated through your logo, mark, and brand visuals sets you up for success.
Communicating Your Brand Refresh To Key Stakeholders
When you want to effectively communicate your brand refresh to employees, customers, and other key stakeholders, you first have to get your senior team on board. Ensure they’re engaged, and that will work its way down. You don’t always have to include everyone in the conversation to start with, however. More cooks in the kitchen aren’t always helpful — consider who is critical in the brand refresh conversations and who needs to be included in the progress and updates for successful rebranding. Your communications team, for example, will be a critical part of ensuring the success of this endeavor through various communication plans and messaging frameworks.
Rolling Out A New Brand
Learn how to effectively execute your brand refresh and ensure a seamless transition for your audience. You may consider redesigning your SEO or refreshing your website to reflect the changes in your brand as well. A website refresh can also be a powerful way to improve the user experience of your business, one of the critical aspects considered above as a part of a brand refresh.
Building on Strong Foundations: Brand Refresh Examples Examples
It can be hard to let go of the branding you’ve worked so hard to develop. Whether you’re on the marketing team or the president/CEO, your brand can start to feel like part of your identity. A brand refresh lets you build on what you have already created and breathe new life into it. Here are a few brand refresh examples of businesses that kicked off their brand redesign with an updated logo. As you will see, even just small things, such as updating your logo, can make a world of difference. This is what people know you by, and when you give it a touch-up, the consumer market will feel that you are keeping up with the times and know what is going on in the world.
CCC/Christ Community Church of the Nazarene:
The original coloring of the logo and the shape of the mark (circle) was a nod to the church calendar and liturgical seasons. Keeping the idea of cyclical growth was important, and the subtlety of the cross included in the mark reinforces their mission.
In this brand refresh example, we took nods from the stained glass window feature in their gathering space, keeping the idea of cyclical growth was important, and the subtlety of the cross included in the mark reinforces their mission. We kept the idea of colors associated with the seasons of the church — and used this in applications they could use in other materials and graphics when the season comes around.
Dakota Storage Buildings
Dakota has been providing storage buildings for customers for years. They have an unmatched commitment to the quality and craftsmanship of their products. Over time, their brand wasn’t accurately representing their contemporary approach to their quality standards.
They had great recognition in their market, and they had developed some good brand awareness. So we decided to keep their mark’s core elements there but modernize them to feel accurate for now.
We smoothed out the lines, curves, and shapes used in the mark. We also simplified the elements used for a clean approach and updated the font pairing to feel sophisticated, refined, and approachable.
The First Steps To A Future of Growth
In order to be successful, your brand needs to be adaptable. However, changing your brand just for the sake of change can alienate your audience rather than strengthen their connection to your business. A well-executed refresh should respond to changing customer needs and tastes to keep your brand relevant. It should make your brand more engaging and improve your user experience.
Research into your customers’ current attitudes and perceptions of your brand is always a good place to start. If your brand just feels a little stale and outdated, a refresh can easily breathe new life into your business. A brand refresh should be just as thorough as the original brand development; it shouldn’t be rushed or haphazard. It should be a thorough, well-thought-out roadmap to the future success of your business.
To guide you through this process, download the Playbook: Building a Winning Brand Strategy. This playbook provides valuable insights and guidance on how to navigate the brand refresh process successfully. Don't let your competition gain on you; take the necessary steps to refresh and revitalize your brand today.