It happens to every growing company and, in truth, it’s not a bad problem to have. At some point your company will need to refresh its branding and, knowing that rebranding is an investment, how can you know when the time is right?
"Branding: The marketing practice of creating a name, symbol, or design that identifies and differentiates a product or business from other products or businesses." – entrepreneur.com
5 Reasons to Consider a Branding Refresh
1) You’ve Been Receiving Feedback That Your Company Branding Is Stale Or Out-Of-Date
You’ve been in business for a while now and although things are going great, you’ve started to receive feedback from clients or customers that, although they love your services, an element of your branding is lacking…something. First off, take this as a compliment. Even if it comes in the form of a snarky comment from a competitor, take this as a compliment. You’ve accomplished a stellar reputation and people know your services are to be trusted even if your brand appearance is in need of an update. If you find yourself in this position, don’t panic, every growing company will encounter this at some point, even several times. All it identifies is that your business is growing and you’re probably in need of a branding refresh to continue that growth. In a time when businesses are facing as many challenges as they are, you’re doing things right!
Note: The key here is to identify consistent and constructive feedback as other kinds are best taken with a grain of salt. Likewise, you can pick up cues from facial expressions and reactions during meetings, conferences, when giving your business card out, etc. (e.g., Your audience didn’t seem as impressed with a PowerPoint slide until after you’d spent time speaking to the content. In other words, your PowerPoint branding didn’t grab their attention, but luckily your carefully constructed content made up for it.)
"It's not just about being 'pretty;' it's about appeal, professionalism, and appearing organized. If your company branding appears disheveled, that's the impression you're communicating to potential clients..."
2) Your Competitor’s Branding Is Impressive
Competition keeps branding fresh because it forces companies to get an edge. One of the most powerful ways to get an edge is to refine, fine tune, or refresh company branding. Impressive branding will win new customers and increase sales. One the flip side, existing customers expect you to keep up with the times, but how long they wait for you to catch up is anyone’s guess. Always remember that a brand that appears impressive can also be misconstrued as being impressive, so if you’re seeing your competition win more customers as of late with mediocre service offerings, it might just be time to refresh your branding. You’ll need to be prepared when their consumers catch on that it was all just smoke and mirrors.
Note: To put it simply, for new customers: Professional Branding = Brand Trust. It’s up to you to follow through with stellar services once you’ve grabbed their attention with the "pretty" branding. The illustration below provides a little more insight. You can also learn more here.
"Increased Effort + Consistency + Attractiveness = Increased Consumer Trust, Followers, & New Business Opportunities"
3) Your Visual Brand Identity Doesn’t Appear To Match Your Brand Reputation
Your company reputation is part of your overall brand – what you live and breathe as a company - and if you already have an amazing brand reputation, it’s not hard to sync up your visual brand identity, but it does take time and careful planning. But why should you worry about it – you’re business is doing fine, right? The answer is simple - it’s what your customers expect. With all of the information sharing and competition, your existing customers are used to seeing companies in a state of constant competition (whether they realize it or not). The companies that “keep up” with the trends, with their brand image, and who work to spread their message in new and innovative ways, are the ones that will continue to win the business.
If you find yourself in a situation where your company reputation has overtaken your visual brand identity (i.e., your reputation is amazing but your branding is stale), the trick is to not let these components of your brand stay out of sync for too long. When you have the benefit of a stellar reputation, it can mean that you may not immediately feel the effects of what happens when your visual brand is lacking. Staying in tune with your competition and revisiting your branding periodically should allow you to create an action plan before your business feels any impact.
“Your customer’s expect you to keep up with the times. In a way, it confirms that your business is still relevant and up to the challenge of new demands.”
4) You’re Expanding Your Horizons
Congratulations! You’re a growing and expanding business! Whether you’re expanding by opening a new location, offering new services, or adding employees; you’re likely in need of a brand refresh. Why? Because any time a business expands, it means that new information is generated that needs to be shared with customers, clients, business partners, etc. The fastest way to share new information is through your branding. Your website, printed materials, promotional emails, capabilities presentations, business cards, logo, etc. are all likely in need of an update with any business expansion. If you’re already making updates, it’s worth spending the time to decide whether your overall branding is still working for you or against you. If sales have dropped or you’re noticing unusual trends emerging with no obvious direct contributors, then it may be due to outdated branding. Take this opportunity to make the maximum impact with a branding refresh that boosts your business in the biggest way possible.
5) You’re Beginning To Lose Business
Last, but not least, you’re beginning to lose business. This is the hardest to come back from as it starts a process that can become expensive to rectify, but it is possible. If you find yourself here, it may take more time to recover than it would have in the above mentioned indicators. A branding refresh may be needed, or you may want to rebrand entirely. At this point, it may be best to consult with a professional on whether branding is a factor and, if so, for a strategic marketing plan for moving forward. Be sure to share all of your pain points with your consultant, even if the downturn was due to internal issues, there is always a way to minimize the damage. It just takes open and honest communication with a consultant you can trust.
Written by: Crystal Davies, Owner, Davies Designs Studio
Crystal Davies is a Brand Consultant and Owner of Davies Designs Studio. Her passion is using her 10+ years experience in corporate marketing and branding to help her clients design visions become reality.
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