A question we hear from clients or prospects is “When is the right time to change your brand identity and how obvious should those changes be?”
There’s no scientific formula to determine when your brand needs a change, but there are some things you can look out for—indicators that change may be a good thing.
For example, how long has your logo design been in existence? If it’s been more than 10 years and appears dated in font or style, you may want to consider giving your brand a boost. Plus, if you find yourself saying “the logo just doesn’t feel like us anymore – we’ve changed and grown,” it may be the perfect time to make a change. As your business grows and the needs of your customers change, a fresh brand may reflect a fresh and up-to-date image of your company. It’s not just reassuring to existing customers that your business is in good standing, it’s attractive to potential customers.
Other indicators may include:
- Are you offering new products or services?
- Have you merged with another company or has there been a change in leadership?
- Have you had any bad press?
If you’re reading this and thinking, “Yup, it may be time for a new brand,” remember, don’t dive in too quickly. There are some crucial elements you should include in the rebranding process.
Taking a close look at your brand from a visual and conceptual perspective is a must. Understanding how your business is perceived both by your leadership and staff as well as customers/prospects in terms of your products and company differentiators is essential. By conducting research, you’ll gain a more thorough understanding of how the market views your organization and uncover what actual differentiators you may have. A full understanding of your company will help build a powerful brand that is both credible and authentic.
If you want to look, sound and feel different than your competitors, you need to know what they’re up to—and be ready to be different. By taking a closer look at your competition, you’ll be able to better develop the key messaging that stands out and is carried throughout your marketing efforts.
Brand Positioning & Buyer Persona
The next step is crafting your messaging to reach your target audience. Your messages should be compelling, striking your audience on both a rational and emotional level. Speaking of that target audience—do you even know who it is and/or what is important to them? Now’s the time to develop your buyer persona, find their pain points and speak directly to them.
Your visual identity—from your logo, color palette, styles, photos, fonts and textures act as the foundation to the “feel” of your brand. Sometimes a logo refresh is all that’s necessary. It’s important to look at your current logo and brand from all sides – the good, the bad and the ugly. Understanding who you truly are, and what you are trying to become, is a critical first in finding a brand that fits.
Once you’ve rebranded your business, you’ll want to take inventory of each and every item that bears your logo. Letterhead, business cards, trade show materials, signage, website, etc.—any way your company communicates to your internal and external audience should be examined. Every piece should be updated with your new look. While it may be tempting to use the old brand pieces to not waste money, be careful about creating market confusion and sending mixed messages about your brand. Have a strategy and timeline in place prior to launch to phase out older materials such as vehicle signage, etc.
To generate excitement and build momentum for the new brand, think of a creative way to communicate to employees, existing clients and potential clients the inspiration behind the change, some details about the process and the overall essence of the new brand. GRIT strongly recommends launching the brand internally first with the “why” behind the change before reaching out to customers and prospects. This will ensure everyone is speaking with one voice and the message being carried is consistent.
To undergo a rebrand is a huge decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly. It should be a calculated decision with purpose. Our team here at GRIT can provide professional advice and conduct a brand audit to give you an outside view of your business and an analysis of your overall brand image. And if you should find you’re ready for change—we’re here for that too! Contact us today!