Do you love your branding? Or do you find yourself longing for a change?
If your branding isn’t working for you anymore, you might be planning a complete rebrand. But a rebrand is a big job. It can be expensive too and you might not need all that work. A brand refresh could be what you need instead to get back on track.
A rebrand or a refresh?
Firstly, what’s the difference between a rebrand and a brand refresh?
A rebrand changes your whole branding; it’s an extensive process, like knocking down your house and building a new one.
A brand refresh, on the other hand, builds on and refines what you already have. Like redecorating or renovating your home. It’s recognisably the same house, only a better version.
And how do you know whether you need a full rebrand or a brand refresh? There are a few clear signs that you need a rebrand; do you agree with any of these statements?
- I properly hate my branding and it means I don’t feel good promoting my business.
- I got a trendy logo designed but now it looks unfashionable and out of date.
- My business has changed dramatically (like providing totally different services/products or serving a different audience) and my branding doesn’t fit anymore.
If you do, it’s likely you do need a rebrand. That often starts with a whole new logo and visual identity and then a new approach to your marketing, but can also include things like renaming the business.
But if you’re simply bored of your branding, or your marketing isn’t working as well as it used to, refreshing your branding can help you – and your customers – fall in love with it again. Or if your business has simply evolved, for example by adding new services or products complementary to your original offering, or refining your niche, a refresh means your branding can evolve too, so that it still fits what you do and appeals to your target market.
Let me show you:
I first worked with Yva at Boost Business Support several years ago on a brand refresh. She had designed her own logo and had already built up some recognition within the local area so starting from scratch with a whole new logo wasn’t necessary. But with a few tweaks to the logo and an updated website she got an identity that had more personality and both she and her clients loved.
But earlier this year, it was time to make a bigger change. The direction of the business had changed and Boost Business Support became Content Boost so a whole new brand was needed:
How to refresh your branding in 3 steps
Now that you’ve decided to update your branding, there are 3 aspects to think about:
1. Your positioning
It’s always good to start with the foundations and your positioning is key to figuring out the direction your branding needs to take.
- Has your audience changed?
- Have your products or services changed?
If you answer yes to either of those, you might need to adjust things like your strapline, your tone and your messaging. And if you’re a solopreneur this can also affect your job title, or how you refer to yourself/your role.
For example, I’ve evolved my job title a few times over the years:
- Graphic Designer – this was too vague to be very helpful.
- Designer, Illustrator & Animator – a bit more specific but there was way too much going on there.
- Designer & Illustrator – after I stopped offering animation services.
- Branding & Web Designer – now it refers specifically to my two core services.
I’ve also gone from not using a strapline to using “Branding & web design for small businesses”. Sure it’s not terribly catchy, but it says what I do and who I do it for and I think it’s better than when I didn’t have one at all.
2. Your visual identity
Now it’s time to look at your visual identity. This is primarily your logo, but also includes things like the colours and fonts you use, plus any supporting graphics you use, like patterns, photos, icons etc.
Do you need to tweak your logo? This can be subtle changes, like Santander has done recently, refining the icon and updating from an old-fashioned looking font to a nice clean, contemporary one. Or it could involve bigger changes like Starbucks’ last evolution, where the text was dropped from around the icon, giving the mermaid more prominence. Or ebay, who kept the same distinctive colour palette but dropped the messy text arrangement:
I’ve done this too. A few years ago I cleaned up my logo by dropping the gradient in the icon and moving to a slightly brighter teal. Plus a new font that was easier to read gave my logo a fresher look:
Also consider if you need to change your brand fonts or colours, or add new ones. And for each of your supporting graphics, do they need to be kept, updated or dropped altogether? And do you need new headshots or product photos taken?
3. Your marketing
And finally, look at your marketing. If your logo has changed, you’ll need to start updating your branded materials, like business cards and flyers. Next time you order a reprint, make sure you’re using the new version of your graphics.
Take a look at your website. The changes there could be as simple as updating to your new logo, colours and strapline. Or you could take the opportunity to rework important landing pages, like your homepage or product sales pages. Why not try updating your main call to action, or try a new lead magnet to see if that generates more leads.
And don’t forget about things like your social media graphics too.
While rebranding opens up a whole load of exciting possibilities for your business, sometimes you just don’t need to go through that process. With a brand refresh, you might end up changing a lot of things on this list, or maybe you just tweak a few. A wee bit of TLC can bring your business’ identity up to date, reigniting your enthusiasm and your customers’ interest.
And if you need to refresh your branding – or even if you decide a full rebrand would be better – I’d love to work with you. Get in touch for a chat about how we can show the world how awesome your business it.
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