Does Your Brand Need a Refresh?

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

Many organizations are spooked by the wave of public critique that often follows high-profile rebrands, but it’s worth remembering that most businesses successfully execute a rebrand with little fanfare and settle into a second skin quickly. You’re not required to wipe the slate entirely clean. Sometimes a refresh of your brand—one in which its best qualities are preserved, cleaned up, and revised—can be exactly what you need.

Unsure if your company is due for a rebrand or 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 your company’s mission has pivoted. Your brand needs to speak the language of your new values to inspire your customers and 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 logo 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. Your identity is the first encounter many people will have with your brand, and it should be remarkable and memorable. If it’s not, it’s probably time for a refresh. 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 marked by a single brand identity. But take a look at your identity and ask yourself: Does this look and feel like a brand that resonates with my audience today? Does it look and feel like a brand that will resonate with my audience tomorrow? Do the colors feel appropriate for my brand’s personality? Does the typeface feel carefully selected, and does the logo appear to be well crafted? Look to competitors in your industry and beyond 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 that has turned over, or maybe your logo and messaging is being utilized at-will by the entire staff. Over time, brands amass a library of subtle variations 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. At the same time, you may also opt to re-evaluate your brand portfolio and shift to a family of brands. Either way, a rebrand or refresh may be in your best interest.

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

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

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