Clients often come to us when they want to refresh their brand. Whether overhauling your brand or giving it a tweak, keeping your brand updated is something you should consider doing regularly. It’s important to make sure your brand remains fresh, relevant, and aligned with how you currently want your company to be perceived by customers.
Don’t get me wrong, changing your brand dramatically too often can actually hurt your business. When you create a strong brand identity, it makes your business memorable, builds loyalty and trust, and conveys stability.
So once you’ve established a brand—and it’s a good one that’s professionally done and accurately reflects your core vision—stick with it long enough for it to become known and long enough for you to create brand equity.
Brand equity is a term that describes the value created from brand recognition. David Aaker, widely considered the father of modern branding, defines brand equity as, “a set of assets or liabilities in the form of brand visibility, brand associations and customer loyalty that add or subtract from the value of a current or potential product or service driven by the brand.”
According to Aaker, brand visibility is comprised of brand awareness, credibility, and relevance—visibility leads to familiarity and likability. Brand associations are perceptions, feelings, and attitudes—with brand associations, you can position and differentiate your brand to give customers a reason to buy. Brand loyalty gives you leverage—having loyal customers means they’ll stick around longer even when the competition heats up, and you can spend less on customer acquisition.
Simply put, your brand is an asset. It’s what sets you apart. With a strong brand built up over time with an eye toward lasting success, your products and services are no longer commodities—meaning, what you offer isn’t easily interchangeable with what your competitor offers.
Customers want to buy from you because they recognize you and what you stand for. You’ve been consistently visible, and they’ve grown to know, like, and trust you. Because they’re familiar with you and you’ve stoked their positive feelings about you, they’re more comfortable with you than the unknown guy or gal on the block.
Everything you do factors into your brand. Every experience customers have with every touch point from your company counts—from marketing messages to products and services to customer care. It should all feel familiar, credible, cohesive, and consistent.
Your brand is far more than a logo and a website, but keep in mind that your visual identity and online presence are critical components of your overall brand in the digital age. How you show up online is often the first impression you make. And, in many cases, the branding of your digital assets will play an important role in product delivery and ongoing customer communications.
Your brand is worth the investment and it’s something you should take seriously. So, how often should you refresh your brand? The simple answer is, you should refresh your brand every so often. The point is, you need to keep your brand strong; and letting it fall out of date weakens it. There isn’t a set timeline to follow, but there are clear signs that it’s time for a brand refresh:
1. You’ve Changed
Take a look at your personal bio and headshot. Do you still recognize yourself? Would anyone else recognize you? If your profile doesn’t reflect who you are right now, it’s probably time for an update. If your hair color is different, you’ve slimmed down, and none of your recent accomplishments are listed, swapping out the photo and editing a few sentences isn’t going to cut it. An about page from yesteryear is usually a tell-tale sign that it’s time to revamp your brand.
2. Your Offerings or Positioning Has Changed
Businesses evolve. A few years in, you’re probably offering different products and services than you did in the beginning. When you started, maybe you were the affordable or sensible choice; but now that you’ve got some notches on your belt, your prices are at a premium. Does your brand reflect this change? Would I know you’ve moved up in the world if I landed on your site? Would I know you’ve shifted from bookkeeping to full-service accounting, or that you’ve added home staging to your interior design services?
3. Your Audience Has Changed
It’s not uncommon for a business to change its target market or ideal customer. Perhaps you started off thinking you’d serve fitness centers but found yourself attracting plumbing contractors. Maybe you set out to work with Millenials but your personality is better suited for Baby Boomers. You thought you’d only be working with women but realized just as many men are hiring you. It might be time to adapt your brand to better connect with your changing audience.
4. Your Look is Outdated
Does your brand look like it’s from the 90s, the early 2000s, or even 2012? In the past, small businesses could get away with keeping the same look and website for five years or more. Those days are gone. Change is happening more rapidly in the digital world. Just like fashion comes and goes, brand style changes seasonally. Since we’re all spending more time online, we see our favorite brands and websites getting a facelift regularly. If you’re paying attention and your website starts to look outdated, you’ll know it.
5. Your Current Brand is a Mess
If your current brand is inconsistent, incoherent, and you didn’t put a whole lot of thought or effort into it, that’s okay. It’s normal. It just means you were too busy getting off the ground and serving your customers to build a proper brand. Now that you’re ready to take your business to the next level, you’ll need to get clear on your brand and work to establish a strong one. So, yes, your mess of a brand definitely needs a major refresh.
6. It Doesn’t Feel Good
If you have brand shame, you’re not alone. Maybe you didn’t know what you were doing or what you wanted, or maybe you worked with someone who didn’t nail it for you. And the longer you’ve been living with the brand, the more uncomfortable it feels, like an ill-fitting suit. If you look at your brand, and you feel like it simply doesn’t represent your style, personality, or vision, it’s time to let it go and get a revamp.
The bottom line is, you don’t want to change your brand just for the sake of changing your brand. You want to refresh your brand every so often to benefit your business. Get super clear on how you want to show up in the world and what you want your brand to stand for. Then ensure that our brand reflects that vision. Once you have a solid core brand established, don’t just toss it aside; build upon it, create brand equity and do what it takes to remain recognizable and relevant. If it’s time for an overhaul, invest in creating a brand that will serve you in the long term.
Want help refreshing your brand? Give the team at Solamar a shout.