In an attempt to stay relevant in these modern times, and to respond to the ever-changing customer demands, many businesses have refreshed their brands into something more suitable for contemporary consumers.
But what exactly is a brand refresh? Is it different from rebranding? How do youif know you need it? How do you get started?
In this article, we will discuss everything you need to know about giving your brand new life, how to get started, and each step along the way!
What is a Brand Refresh?
A brand refresh is the process of giving your business a makeover in terms of design and tone while maintaining a visual connection to how its identity was seen before.
This means updating your brand voice, visual branding, and customer service to make your business more suitable for its current audience.
Brand Refresh vs. Rebranding
Many people use the terms brand refresh and rebranding interchangeably. Although they may have a lot in common, there’s a big difference between these two terms.
Think of a brand refresh asshopping for a whole new wardrobe and getting a haircut to make you more relevant to your modern customers.
Rebranding, on the other hand, is like undergoing plastic surgery. It involves tearing down your previous identity and starting from scratch.
It doesn’t just involve updating your logo or using a new color palette.It’s taking your business in a new direction by updating your vision and mission, and then transforming your image to reflect these changes.
Why Do Businesses Need to Refresh their Brands?
When you don’t evolve with your industry or respond to your customer demands, you will no longer feel relevant or competitive to your audience.
If we’re being honest, nobody wants to do business with a company that looks outdated and feels like it’s way behind the curve.
So, to prevent losing your customers to other brands, you need to undergo a brand refresh.
Refreshing your brand is your strategy to appeal to modern consumers and to reconnect and keep your customer base from switching to another company.
It’s your way of telling them that you’re on top of your game and that you only have the best to offer your customers. An upgraded logo could also be the stimulator you need to succeed.
How Do I Know If I Need a Brand Refresh?
It’s time to get in touch with your feelings. And, more important, it’s time to get in touch with your target audience’s feelings.
It’s time for a brand refresh, if you feel:
- Your messaging no longer reflects what you have to offer
- Your logo and color scheme are outdated
- You can’t reach the right audience anymore
- Your business is no longer growing
How to Kickstart a Successful Brand Refresh?
Before you start redesigning your logo, changing your brand messaging, and updating your product offering, here are the first crucial steps you need to take to guarantee a successful brand refresh:
Conduct a Brand Audit
A brand audit allows you to evaluate your brand’s strengths, weaknesses, and current position in the market.
This step is necessary to help you recognize areas in which you are lacking, find new ways to stay relevant, create opportunities for improvement, and determine how you can strengthen your image to move forward.
When doing a brand audit, there are three areas you need to cover:
- Internal branding: Brand values, company culture, and mission vision
- External branding: Logo, online and offline marketing materials, other visuals, messaging
- Customer experience or product offering: Customer service, product appearance, product-related service, and customer benefit
Here’s how to conduct a brand audit:
- Refer to your marketing plan and identify what your mission, vision, unique selling proposition, brand promise, and values are. Doing this will help clarify what you think your brand is. Then, compare this to what people think of your brand.
If they don’t match, then this gives you an idea that you need to refresh your brand in a way that it can effectively communicate and reflect who you are as a company, what you have to offer, and what you do differently.
- Assess your logo, business cards, print advertisements, and other external marketing materials, and then compare them to your online presence, including your website, digital ads, social media pages, and email marketing messages.
Are they consistent in terms of color, design, tone of voice, and other design elements? If they’re not consistent, then this tells you that you need to realign both your offline and online marketing materials.
- Use website analytics to assess where the traffic to your site is coming from if your website is attracting the right audience if users leave right away after landing on your site, and your conversion rate.
The data you gather will tell you what you need to improve on or the changes you need to make to have more desirable results.
- Use social media analytics to assess how your social media marketing is working. Are you able to attract the right audience? Are they engaging with your brand? What are they saying about you?
- Get customer feedback by conducting a survey. Ask them how they feel about your brand, areas they think you should improve on in terms of design, service, or products, would they recommend you to their friends and family?
Use this to gain an insight into what your customers truly think about your brand and use it to guide your brand refresh process.
- Survey people in your target audience who aren’t your customer yet to measure your brand awareness.
- Survey your employees if they truly know the values, mission, and vision of your brand. If they don’t understand your business to the core, then they can’t provide a customer service experience that’s consistent with your brand identity.
- Evaluate your competitors’ online and offline marketing materials, logo, website, etc. Compare it to yours. This can be an eye-opening moment for you.
- Review the results and use the data you’ve gathered to guide your brand refresh strategy.
Conduct Thorough Research
Now that you know your strengths, weaknesses, and what you need to improve on, it’s time to conduct thorough research on industry trends, customer preference, design elements, and product offerings your target audience is most responsive to.
Researching these things will give you an idea of what changes you want to implement in your visual identity, brand voice, and product offering.
When redesigning your visuals, it’s important to consider the current design trends and what your audience prefers.
It is also important to remember that the design, although new, should not alter your brand identity in any way.
According to Reboot, using a signature color can boost brand recognition by 80%. So, when upgrading your new logo and other visuals, consider using a signature color to make your brand still feel familiar despite its new look.
You should also consider its scalability.
The same applies to your brand messaging and brand voice. You want to make sure that your brand voice and messaging resonates with your target audience and are compatible with each other.
It should align with your brand identity and with your visuals. It’s also important that your brand voice is clear and consistent across all your content online, as well as your offline marketing materials.
You also want to research your competitors to know what they’re doing differently, so you can differentiate yourself and find a way to stand-out.
After you’ve completed auditing your brand and researching what changes to implement and how to implement them, let’s now move on to the following steps you need to take to guarantee a successful brand refresh.
Steps You Need to Take To Guarantee a Successful Brand Refresh this 2021
Step #1. Create a New Brand Messaging
Now that you’ve completed your brand audit and you’ve done you’re researching, it’s time to start making some changes! The first thing you’re going to do is to create a new brand messaging or update your existing one.
Brand messaging is the way you communicate your personality and UVP to your target audience. Your brand messaging should speak directly to your target audience and reach them on an emotional and rational level.
This means it should resonate with their needs, wants, and desires, making them want to buy your products and services.
Here are some examples of strong brand messaging that resonates:
- Nike: Just do it.
- Subway: Eat fresh.
- Walmart: Save money. Live better.
- Levis: Quality never goes out of style.
According to HavasGroup, 77% of consumers tend to buy from brands that share the same value as they do. So, you also want a way to convey your values in your brand voice and your messaging.
Step #2. Create a New Brand Guide
According to Lucidpress, the consistent presentation of a brand offline and online can boost revenue by 33%.
This is why you need to create a consistent brand experience across all touchpoints, from your physical store, website, social media pages, flyers, digital ads, packaging, and even customer service.
To be able to do this, you need to create a new brand guideline or update your existing one.
Your brand guideline should contain the following:
- Overview of your brand’s history, values, personality, mission, and vision
- Brand messaging and tone of voice
- Details about your logo, like where and how to use it, its size, margins, colors, and positioning
- Details about your color palette, like the primary and secondary color to be used as well as the color breakdowns for print, screen, and web
- Details about your font style, like the default font styles for web use and print
- Your image style that works well with your brand identity
- Details about how your letterhead design should be used for standard company literature
- Business card layout and design
Having a brand guide is important because it informs your employees, vendors, and partners about your company’s design standards.
This in turn helps your content creators, marketing team, advertising team, and customer service team to communicate a consistent message to your audience verbally and non-verbally.
Once you’ve created your brand guideline, it’s time to enforce it and make sure it’s displayed consistently across all media.
Step #3. Create a New Logo
Now that you’ve completed your brand guide, it’s time to use it to align your visual identity and create a new logo. You can try creating your own but it’s best to employ an expert to handle this aspect of your brand refresh process.
You can show them your brand guideline so they can use it as a guide when making an effective logo for your business.
Step #4. Reveal Your Brand Refresh
One of the most nerve-wracking stages of the brand refresh journey is the unveiling or the reveal of your brand’s “makeover” to the public. But to guarantee its success, you need to be very strategic about it.
The best way to reveal your brand refresh is to launch a new product or service along with it. This way, people will associate your updated logo with that product or service, making it more memorable.
You also want to create some noise on social media regarding your product launch and reveal. You can do this by creating a hashtag, rolling out some teaser videos, do a contest, tap into an influencer.
This will help create hype leading to your product launch and brand refresh reveal. During this time, you want to keep tabs on your social mentions and the conversations around your product launch and new logo reveal.
During the reveal, you should be ready to talk about the reason behind the upgrade. A good place to start is what inspired the change. Be authentic and phrase your explanation in a way that will resonate with your customers.
According to Stackla, 86% of consumers consider brand authenticity as a major key factor in helping them decide whether they like a brand and if they should support it or not.
Just a heads up, not everyone will like your new “look”, which is why it’s nerve-wracking. But this is completely normal.
Unless there’s anything offensive or off about it, people will love it eventually just like when Instagram updated their logo!
Step #5. Do Another Audit
Now that you have a new logo, brand messaging, and have created a brand guideline, it’s time to do an internal and external audit to make sure that you and everyone using your logo is on the same page and are following the guidelines.
It’s also important to review if these changes have been applied to your internal and external communications.
Is your new logo reflected in all emails, PPT, and proposals? How about in your packaging, web pages, flyers, proposals, and social media pages?
Are You Ready for a Brand Refresh?
A brand refresh is a great way to reconnect with your customer base, reach the right audience, and stand out from your competitors without having to overhaul your entire brand identity.
Remember, the goal of refreshing your brand is to give it a fresh, new look to suit modern consumers while maintaining its heritage, values, and history.
About the Author!
Shay Berman is the founder and president of Digital Resource, a full-service digital marketing agency located in South Florida. Shay’s clear-cut approach to internet marketing has driven his clients’ businesses to new heights and landed Digital Resource on the Inc. 500 list of America’s fastest-growing private companies in America for two consecutive years. Digital Resource provides custom solutions in social media marketing, search engine optimization, responsive website design, digital advertising, and more.