Does Your Brand Need a Refresh?
It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day or running your business and neglect your branding. You put a lot of effort into developing your brand identity, but just like your website, it is not a set-it-and-forget-it element of your business. (Do you know any parts of your business that truly work that way?)
It’s kind of like painting your house. The new paint looks fresh and clean. But how long does that freshness last? When do you need to update it with the next new coat of paint? You look at your house every day. Will you notice when the luster wears off?
How do you know when it’s time for a brand refresh? Ask yourself these five questions:
1. Is your brand identity visually inconsistent?
Wherever your brand appears, in print or online, even on t-shirts, it should look the same. It should be rendered in the same way with a consistent color palette. The visual consistency is part of what helps people identify your brand and connect with your business. Over time and without strong guidelines and strict enforcement, your brand starts to lose that visual consistency. The font may vary between mediums or the primary color could be off.
2. Are your services noticeably different from your competitors?
You may not be the only business in town that builds treehouses, but a strong brand identity requires that your company stand out in some way from the competition. Consumers have several choices in the marketplace. What will make them choose your company over the others? If the answer to that question is not clear, it may be time to refresh your brand.
3. Does your brand align with your values?
It’s easy to get off course as you’re growing your business and focusing on increasing revenue. Maybe you established your brand on a value of long-term relationships, but then you got really good at selling one-off services. The disconnect between your brand that promotes the value of long-term relationships and your marketing efforts that pitch quick deals will eventually slow business growth.
4. Are the multiple divisions of your company tied together with branding
Growing a business with multiple departments or coordinated divisions of services takes dedication and focus. You may wake up one day and realize your branding does not accurately reflect the relationships among various parts of your business. You must first draft an organizational chart that defines the relationship between those various parts. Then, it is time to refresh your branding to reinforce those relationships for your team as well as your customers.
5. Are your customers confused about your offerings?
If you get a lot of calls and emails asking for clarification, your branding needs to be refreshed. Brand visuals need to reinforce your business values and suggest the type of services and products you offer. Your treehouse building business does not have time for too many inquiries about buying shrubs and bushes, for example. Refreshing your branding can help eliminate customer confusion and simplify your marketing efforts.
Branding is as fluid as your business itself. It needs to flex and bend with changes in your offerings, your customer base, and your industry. A solid branding system will allow some flexibility, but beyond a certain point, it’s time for a refresh. Your current brand might be able to absorb a few new product or service launches. Or, it may remain solid for several years, depending on how your company grows during that time. Keeping up-to-date with your branding will make your marketing efforts easier and more effective.