Do You Need To Change Your Brand? (Part Two)

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Maybe the most obvious reason to freshen up your brand is that at present there is nothing memorable about it. That’s not to say that it needs to be outrageous but having an element that has some sort of appeal for its visual style or message will make you stick in people’s heads.

Philip Hansen, Creative Director

IS IT TIME TO MAKE SOME BIG CHANGES?

In recent years, branding has become worthy of the mainstream media and like most things in the news these days, perceived disasters and mistakes are considered better stories than the successes. You only have to look at this BBC article to see how branding is viewed; although note that they don’t mention their own branding controversy where they apparently spent £1.8m of licence fee payer’s money on a change of logo! These types of story have built up a perception that branding is a waste of time, money and energy. So does this mean that you should just save yourself some money and ignore your branding or try to do it all in-house with people who have no expertise in the area? Absolutely not! As we started looking at in Part One, there are often very good reasons to take a look at your brand:

There are new avenues the business wants to explore

Similar to the issue of your brand being outdated for your company or your clients, you should take a look at your brand if you know in advance that things are about to change. One benefit of moving your brand along at the same time as you are changing your business is that you can tweak things as you go along rather than making drastic changes. You can plan subtle shifts as you slowly introduce new products or services. Another advantage is that you can see how things are resonating with your client base at a slower pace so you can make amendments as necessary rather than completely overhaul your branding in one go every few weeks because it might not be working.

One benefit of moving your brand along at the same time as you are changing your business is that you can tweak things as you go along rather than making drastic changes.

You may have a bad reputation / perception

This is a tricky one for a lot of people as they sometimes feel that there is something dishonest in changing your identity in response to a bad reputation. They argue that you are trying to hide who you are and hoping that nobody notices. But what if you are a company who has learned from its mistakes and wants to let people know that you are better equipped to serve their needs? Perhaps your bad reputation was undeserved in the first place. A new brand image can let your customers know that you are not the same company who made mistakes in the past and that they should give you another chance.

It is inconsistent

Sometimes as brands develop, especially in their early stages, they can develop different elements that might not sit together. Some may appear modern where others are quite traditional for example. Perhaps the message that your logo conveys goes against that of your strapline. Brands need to be authentic but also consistent as they can often create confusion for consumers. Sure, most people won’t notice or care that the colour psychology behind your logo suggests intensity and aggression if you’re trying to convey peace and relaxation but if you are trying to sell a high end product with a name that suggests good quality, people will be put off if your tone of voice or choice of photography suggests something more entry level. All of your branding elements need to be pushing the same message and values.

Your competitors have moved ahead of you

If your competitors are moving ahead of you it’s possible that part of the reason is that they are conveying their message to your potential customers better than you are conveying yours. We see all the time that people will often make buying decisions based on something other than the lowest price so clearly telling people why they should be coming to you is imperative. A brand refresh can be the quickest way to do that.

If your competitors are moving ahead of you it’s possible that part of the reason is that they are conveying their message to your potential customers better than you are conveying yours.

There is nothing recognisable or memorable about it

Maybe the most obvious reason to freshen up your brand is that at present there is nothing memorable about it. That’s not to say that it needs to be outrageous but having an element that has some sort of appeal for its visual style or message will make you stick in people’s heads. People tend to make snap judgments about a brand so giving them something that stands out can make the difference between them deciding to carry on considering your services or moving on to your competitors.