Celebrating 10 years : 2013 - 2023

If, when, and how to revise your brand strategy

June 12th 2024

By Emily

Brands, much like people, evolve over time. They grow, adapt, and sometimes need a fresh coat of paint to stay relevant and engaging. But how do you know when it’s time for a brand refresh, and what does that process look like?

Let’s dive into the essentials of revising your brand strategy, from recognising the signs that it’s time for a change to implementing a refresh that resonates.

Knowing when it’s time for a brand refresh

Outdated visuals and messaging

If your brand’s look and feel no longer reflect who you are as a business, it’s probably time for an update. Businesses evolve, and what worked five or ten years ago might not cut it today. The same goes for your messaging. Language that once resonated with your audience might now feel stale or disconnected.

Over time, your business may have shifted focus, developed new products, or entered new markets. Your messaging should clearly communicate your current value proposition and what sets you apart from competitors.

Market shifts

Markets are dynamic. Staying competitive means keeping pace with industry changes. New competitors, tech advancements, or shifts in consumer preferences can all signal the need for a brand refresh. If your market landscape has changed significantly, your brand should reflect that evolution.

Mergers or acquisitions

When companies merge or acquire new businesses, their brand identities need to harmonise. A brand refresh can help unify the new entity under a cohesive identity that reflects the strengths and values of the combined organisation.

Expansion or pivot

Expanding into new markets or pivoting your business model often necessitates a brand refresh. Your current brand may not fully encompass the new directions you’re taking. A refresh can help align your brand with your expanded vision and goals. If you’re branching out or changing course, your brand should be ready to roll with the punches.

When NOT to refresh your brand

Knee-jerk reactions

Reacting impulsively to short-term trends or minor dips in performance is not a reason for a brand overhaul. Branding is about long-term identity, not quick fixes. Ensure there’s a solid, strategic reason behind your decision rather than a knee-jerk reaction to fleeting issues.

Jumping on trends

Just because everyone is hopping on the latest trend doesn’t mean you should too. Trends are fleeting, but your brand’s identity should be timeless. Jumping on every passing fad can confuse your audience and dilute your brand’s core message. Stick to changes that genuinely align with your brand’s values and long-term vision.

Sufficient brand recognition

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it! If your brand is well-recognised and holds a strong position in the market, a refresh might do more harm than good. Significant changes can confuse or alienate loyal customers who have a strong affinity for your current brand identity.

Budget constraints

A brand refresh is an investment that requires time, money, and resources. If your budget is tight, it might not be the right time to undertake such a significant project. A poorly executed refresh due to limited funds can damage your brand more than sticking with your current strategy.

Internal resistance

If your team isn’t on board with the idea of a brand refresh, it can lead to inconsistencies and lacklustre execution. Successful branding requires alignment and enthusiasm from everyone involved. If you’re facing substantial internal resistance, it might be better to address those concerns first before proceeding.

Lack of data and insight

Undertaking a brand refresh without thorough research and data can be risky. Ensure you have a deep understanding of your market, audience, and the specific issues that a refresh will address. Making changes based on assumptions or incomplete information can backfire.

How to approach a brand refresh

Assess your current brand

Start with a thorough audit of your existing brand. This includes evaluating your visual identity (logo, colours, typography), messaging, and overall brand perception. Gather feedback from stakeholders, employees, and customers to get a comprehensive view of where your brand stands.

Define your goals

What do you want to achieve with your brand refresh? Whether it’s modernising your look, reaching a new audience, or repositioning in the market, having clear goals will guide the refresh process and keep efforts focused.

Research and benchmark

Look at your competitors and industry leaders. What are they doing well? How are they positioning themselves? This research can provide valuable insights and inspiration for your own brand refresh. However, while it’s good to benchmark, ensure your brand remains unique and authentic.

Develop a cohesive strategy

A brand refresh isn’t just a new logo—it’s a comprehensive strategy. This includes updating your visual identity, refining your messaging, and ensuring consistency across all touchpoints. Your refreshed brand should tell a cohesive story that resonates with your audience.

Engage stakeholders

Involve key stakeholders in the process. This includes leadership, employees, and even loyal customers. Their insights and buy-in are crucial for a successful refresh. Transparency and collaboration can also help ease the transition and foster enthusiasm for the new brand direction.

Execute thoughtfully

When it’s time to roll out your refreshed brand, do so thoughtfully. Create a detailed plan that outlines the steps and timeline for implementation. Ensure that all brand assets are updated consistently, from your website and social media profiles to marketing materials and internal documents.

Communicate the change

Announce your brand refresh to your audience with a clear and compelling narrative. Explain why you’re making the change, what’s different, and what they can expect moving forward. Use this opportunity to re-engage with your audience and reinforce your commitment to meeting their needs.

Measuring the impact

Monitor key metrics

After the refresh, monitor key metrics to gauge the impact. This could include brand awareness, customer engagement, sales, and web traffic. Compare these metrics to your pre-refresh benchmarks to see if you’re meeting your goals.

Gather feedback

Collect feedback from your audience and stakeholders. Are they responding positively to the new brand? What do they like or dislike? Use this feedback to make any necessary adjustments and continue refining your brand strategy.

Stay agile

A brand refresh isn’t a one-time event. Stay agile and be prepared to make ongoing adjustments as needed. Keep an eye on market trends, customer feedback, and your own business goals to ensure your brand remains relevant and effective. It’s like tending a garden—constant care and attention keep it thriving.

Wrapping up

A brand refresh can breathe new life into your business, helping you stay relevant, competitive, and connected with your audience. By recognising the signs that it’s time for a change, approaching the process strategically, and measuring the impact thoughtfully, you can ensure your brand evolves in a way that supports your long-term success.

Remember, a successful brand refresh is more than just a makeover—it’s a renewed commitment to delivering value and staying true to your brand’s core essence. But don’t rush into it—make sure the timing and reasons are right, and avoid unnecessary changes that could confuse or alienate your loyal customers. Ready to refresh? Let’s make your brand shine!

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