Does Your Brand Need a Refresh?

A brand is more than just a representation; it’s the bones that drive the collective perception of your organization, and deciding when it’s time to make a change is no easy task. Customers, employees, stakeholders, and the general public can become very attached to a brand, so the decision to refresh your visual identity, key messaging, or the whole package should be a strategically planned process.

Many organizations are spooked by the wave of public critique that so often follows high-profile rebrands, but it’s worth remembering most businesses successfully execute a rebrand with little fanfare and settle into a beautiful new second skin very quickly. Also consider that it’s not always a requirement to wipe the slate totally clean; sometimes a refresh of your brand in which its best qualities are preserved, cleaned up, and revised can be exactly what you need.

Unsure if your company or product is due for a rebrand or brand refresh? Here are some situations that may indicate it’s time.

Your vision has changed, or your mission has evolved.

Perhaps you’ve gone through a period of fast growth, or the mission your company was founded on has pivoted or evolved into something bigger. Your brand needs to speak the language of your values to your customers and inspire employees to believe. Does your identity clearly speak to where you are headed? Does it feel aspirational? Does your messaging convey your mission with pinpoint accuracy? If not, it might be time to evolve.

Your identity is not a differentiator.

If you look at your visual identity next to your competitors and feel you’re simply falling in line with the status quo, that’s probably what your customers see, too: another good-enough option, the same as all the others. Your identity should be remarkable and memorable. it’s the first encounter many will have with your brand. Don’t be afraid to push the boundaries of your industry and leave a lasting first impression.

Your visual identity feels dated.

This can be one of the hardest indicators to accept, especially for companies with a long history and a single brand identity since birth. But take a look at your brand and ask yourself: does this look and feel like a brand for today? Does it look and feel like a brand for tomorrow? Do these colors feel fresh and inviting, does this typeface feel appropriate and carefully selected, and does this logo look well-crafted and stylish? Look to leaders in your industry and far outside that boundary to determine if you are leading the pack or sitting too comfortably in the past.

Your brand has become fractured, complex, or mismanaged.

As time goes on, it’s natural that many hands will touch your brand. Perhaps you have an in-house design team, or maybe your logo and messaging is being utilized at-will by the entire staff. Over time, that tends to build a massive library of slight variations in practice and style that can be difficult to control. One of the benefits of doing a rebrand or refresh is that you can start anew and commit to a set of agreed-upon brand standards, which are employed company-wide to ensure consistency and accuracy whenever your brand elements are reproduced.

You are struggling to fit all of your services under your current brand umbrella.

As you grow, you may naturally expand your service offerings. Sometimes, it can feel a bit uncomfortable to cram such a diverse catalog of services under the same brand, especially if the services become more diverse or more loosely related. Look at your brand as a family and ask yourself if your identity needs to be structured to more clearly express unique service branches or sub-brands. This can be done through language and visual cues such as color and hierarchy.

You are trying to reach a new audience, or your audience has changed.

Has your audience aged or otherwise evolved? Or perhaps you are trying to reach a new demographic that has long been elusive. Does your brand speak to that audience? Is the language nuanced to appeal to the audience you are aspiring to connect with? If not, it’s time to reassess.

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