Brand Refresh: A-grade Investment or Waste of Money?
A brand refresh is like a makeover for your business.
Sure, the outward signs of a refresh might include a new logo, tagline, key messages, and even office décor. But there’s much more to it than meets the eye. Businesses often decide to undergo a brand refresh to remain competitive. However, many don’t understand that branding does not simply refer to the visual aspects of your business and that underlying any refresh should be a very carefully thought-out strategic review.
The reputation and identity of your business, as well as how your business is recognized by the public, are also crucial aspects of branding. The external signals need to reflect who you really are, where you’re heading and who you aspire to be. Except it’s not just about you – your whole team needs to come on the journey with you.
And these are fundamental issues that require far-reaching decisions.
Have you ever noticed that your new haircut not only transforms your look, it also changes the way you feel about yourself, and perhaps the way others perceive you?
That’s powerful stuff at a business level.
When to Refresh Your Brand
Only commence a brand refresh if you’re very clear about why you’re doing it.
Don’t just refresh because a competitor has done one or you if you are looking for something new to do. Consider why your brand needs an update, articulate how an update will benefit your business, and identify what you will need to do to make the changes. Think about the retained and accumulated value in your current brand and be clear about what you want to retain, if anything.
Businesses change over time, as do the environments in which they operate. Products, services, target markets, positioning, competitors, differentiation and values all evolve over time, and a brand refresh sometimes becomes essential. If branding no longer reflects a company’s offerings, this results in a disconnect between what the business does and how it’s perceived and that can really undermine customer acceptance.
And – back to the skin-deep aspects – brands do become dated, especially in these dynamic times. It is important to keep current and show that your brand is relevant and compelling in the 21st century.
And let’s not forget the ‘internal market’ – your staff. A new brand can really energize teams, especially if the strategy is clearly explained and appeals to them; the results can provide an astounding productivity increase and improved teamwork. Attracting new staff may also be enhanced by a brand refresh.
Essential Elements of Refreshing a Brand
If you decide to refresh your brand, it is essential to start with strategy.
Research is an excellent starting point for a strong brand refresh. Understanding how your customers (and staff) perceive your business and identifying any gaps between that and how you’d like them to perceive it is crucial to creating a brand that resonates with your target audience and is appreciated as distinctively and authentically different from your competition.
For a brand to be perceived as authentic, it needs to be in line with customer’s expectations and experiences.
Experience trumps claims. If your brand promises total customer focus but you keep them on hold when they call you, it all falls over!
To achieve unique brand positioning, a business needs to present differently to everyone else. When analyzing competitors, don’t just examine the visual aspects of their brands; it’s equally important to look at their positioning, reputation, value propositions, mission statements, values, content and so on.
Brand Refresh Success Story – True Value Solar
Brand refresh success story time! Our client, True Value Solar, was struggling with a 15 year old brand that no longer represented who they felt they were, and no longer resonated with their customers. New management wanted to refocus the business, differentiate it in a crowded sector and start engaging more meaningfully with the market.
Starting with a research phase, we created a new brand strategy including a customer proposition, new brand ID, new website, free customer-friendly information resources, cemented a partnership with Qantas, developed an automated prospect nurturing funnel, re-wrote the media and marketing plans and more!
Following the brand refresh, amongst other metrics, True Value Solar doubled its sales conversion rate! To read more about the success True Value Solar had, click here.
If approached strategically, a brand refresh can be a great investment for your business. It can refocus, re-energize, and truly make it shine in customers’ minds. In some cases, a refresh is essential in order for a business to remain competitive in the current market.
If you’d like to talk about the returns a brand refresh could deliver to your business, we’d be happy to have a chat; contact us today.