Your brand. It literally puts your mark on the world. It is the subconscious recognition of what your company stands for. There are some indicators that help when determining when it’s time for a brand refresh, and should occur when you notice one or more of the following:
You’ve outgrown your original brand. Your company has been successful and you are now taking on a much larger scope of work, working with larger profile companies or have launched into a new product market area.
Changes to business models and cultures require repositioning and fresh creative treatments to support where things are now headed for complete understanding internally, as well as externally. The original brand may no longer support the level of professionalism and quality that the company has achieved. Strategic design considerations should be given to any brand that has evolved.
The original brand was not created by a professional. Frequently with startup companies, the original brand was done in-house by a junior member or by someone who had access to Photoshop, but no design training. If your brand is not an asset, look into working with a professional who can put you on the right track.
Your brand looks and feels dated. Fonts change, fads fade. With older brands that have been in the market for many years, this can sneak up on you.
Unless you have a vintage-style brand that plays into that type of positioning, a brand refresh may be in order to allow your business to be represented in a current state. You don’t want to stand out by looking tired.
Just because you may own a small business, there is no reason not to have a brand that clearly represents who you are and what you offer.
“Don’t try to be original, just try to be good.” – Paul Rand, graphic designer
Once you have made the decision to rebrand, there are some additional things to keep in mind.
Part of the process that tends to scare people off of rebranding is that it feels overwhelming. Sort out why you need to do the exercise, be ready to explain it to your customers and your internal team. People will want (and need) to understand your reasoning, especially your team that has stood by you through the years and have a vested interest in the brand. Expect some pushback when you get into unfamiliar territory. The new pieces need to be worn for a while before it feels like “home” and it may take some staff longer to get used to the new visuals.
Using a timetable to roll out all of the changes is extremely helpful, not only from a project management perspective but also will help the outside view to not be muddied with new vs old information, images or materials.
Just because you have been in business for 20 years, does not mean you automatically get a free pass on rebranding. In fact, the opposite is true. Your brand has very likely become outdated and you have become so used to it, it’s difficult to see how people really perceive it today.