Coke, GE, Apple, Google – giant corporations with brands valued in the many billions. CSR, TrainingPros, Hire Profile, Pleat Street – smaller firms with brands that are priceless in their markets. While all of the companies mentioned as examples know the importance of displaying and employing their brand elements very consistently, they all share something else. They understand how important it can be to refresh their brands.
A brand refresh is when a company takes a critical look at all of its brand elements – logo(s), typography, color palette, tagline(s), key messages, statements, advertising choices, etc. – and decide to tweak one or more of those elements in order to have an improved market impact. For the bigger companies mentioned, the drivers might be to appeal to a different or broader target market. They may have shed product lines and be more refined or are trying to leave behind an outdated image.
For the smaller companies, a brand refresh might be necessary because their elements had been cobbled together in the past, and their brand had simply evolved. They might not have a cohesive guide resulting in marketing efforts that were haphazard or expensive to produce each time. They might be struggling with how to define their company’s key marketing elements and realize that their brand is equally hard to define or it doesn’t resonate at all with their target audiences.
So when would a company most need to refresh their brand – what are those critical milestones?
Someone – an outside vendor, a new employee, a prospective client, an investor – asks to see your brand guide, and you freeze and stall. The absence of a brand guide which documents your brand elements mentioned above is a perfect time to review and define the image you want to project. And it’s a fine time to tweak and refine that image as your company has grown up.
Your company is moving in a new direction. Focusing on a significantly new market, expanding your offerings, more narrowly working in certain niches – all of those are great times to refresh your brand and the elements you use for new business.
Your company needs to be more efficient. How does a brand refresh help with reducing expenses or generating more revenue? If you have a poorly defined or executed brand, you realize a tremendous amount of missed opportunities and rework with your marketing efforts. With a tightly scripted brand, you are able to focus on business development and marketing campaigns that are easy to generate.
Your company has a critical need to rally team members around a common understanding. Going through a comprehensive brand refresh exercise is one of the best ways to engage all of your players. Everyone is forced to determine and deliver on your key messages and how the world needs know about your brand. Rolling out this new brand can be a galvanizing force for a company to proceed forward with great team momentum.
Where do you see your company right now in its brand evolution? And do you see a refresh in your near future?