December 15, 2021 | Branding
When people come to us, they often wonder if they should rebrand. Maybe they need to refresh their current brand? Or is that all a mistake and they should remain with their existing brand?
Some of this is just semantics, but some of it is an important strategy.
Why you should remain consistent with your brand
There is good reason to be wary of changing your brand too frequently.
Consistency is essential in branding. It usually takes multiple touchpoints for someone to recognize and trust your brand. Once you are remembered and trustworthy, you can begin the sales process. Face it; you’re not going to make a sale if people don’t fully understand who you are, what you do, or they don’t trust you.
You may be tired of seeing the same colors and fonts, but your prospects are probably not as bored of it as you are.
Even as you work to maintain consistency, remember that all brands are constantly evolving.
When a company locks down its visual identity with an in-depth brand standards guide, they are like a wooden pier on a beach. What’s happening around them is constantly changing while they appear entirely fixed. But likely, their brand is slowly eroding and eventually susceptible to severe damage with the right conditions.
Allowing some amount of flexibility or growth will result in a stronger brand. This is like how steel-framed skyscrapers allow some movement to prevent them from entirely breaking.
Every strong, growing brand will go through change and enhancements over time.
Even the lengthiest style guides can’t account for every situation. And they probably shouldn’t.
You’ll want to use styles and formats that feel up-to-date while always keeping a connection with consistent brand standards.
For example, you may need to create a version of your logo that fits a new technology. A common issue arises when your logo is very horizontal, and then you have to make a square or round version for the profile picture on social media.
However, there are times when you want to be more intentional about pivoting from your current brand.
Rebrand or refresh?
When you want to make a more significant change, it’s time to rebrand or at least refresh your current brand. There are many reasons for redoing your brand.
Rebranding usually means a radical departure from your current brand. It signals that something significant has changed in your business. Rebrands often include an entirely new name.
Rebranding has risks because you’ll need to educate people about your new identity. You may lose brand equity in the process. That is why a proper rebrand is only recommended when the positive outcomes from a better-aligned brand outweigh the potential cost of the work and the loss in equity.
BEFORE AND AFTER
A brand refresh usually means that the core pillars of your brand remain unchanged but that there are parts of your brand that need a redesign, realignment, or redo. You might need to redesign your visual identity to feel current and fresh. Or, you may need to rewrite your messaging or tagline to express what you are offering.
It’s a spectrum from refreshing to redesigning to rebranding. And it doesn’t matter what you call it.
BEFORE AND AFTER
Successful ways to refresh or rebuild your brand
The amount of change you make should be connected to how much your current brand feels ‘off’ from where it should be.
For example, if your business name no longer represents what you do, you probably need a completely new brand. This radical change will require a new logo, domain name for your website, registering new social media handles, and updating business listings. This expense and effort are probably worth it because having a name that misrepresents your core products or services is likely confusing prospects and limiting your business growth.
A well-executed rebranding or refresh often connects the new brand with the old one. Some successful ways to do this include:
- Redesign your logo using the same concept but refining the design.
- Redesign your logo using a new graphic symbol but keeping the old color.
- Using the old font for the new name.
Your brand is a reflection of your business. When it feels outdated, poorly designed, or off-target it isn’t easy to feel proud. It limits your growth because it’s unattractive to prospects, or your embarrassment about it is holding you back from doing the marketing you should be doing.