5 Ways to Refresh Your Brand This Fall
Every fall, students return to school. For some students, shopping for school clothes is one of their favorite parts of returning to the classroom. It's an opportunity to reinvent themselves and the impression they want to make on their classmates.
Your brand's identity is the foundation of your business wardrobe. It's what customers see first and identify with when they think of your company, and it helps you stand out from the competition. Like students returning to school, your brand's wardrobe can feel stale after a while. If you're looking for ways to refresh your brand, here are five ways it can help.
1. Refine Your Logo & Brandmark
A company's logo and brandmark are like an old friend: you may not have seen them in years, but you still have an emotional connection to them. And, just as people change over time, so do companies.
Many businesses' logos and brandmark are essential to their history and identity. While history is important, it can sometimes be a little dry, and like clothing, there comes a point when it becomes necessary to update your wardrobe.
Even a small change to a brand identity can be enough to give it new life. You can still stay true to your roots while mixing it up for something a little more fresh and modern. And by making these changes, companies can help customers forge a stronger emotional connection with the brand.
Logos. Yes, they are important and your business needs one. However, over time an original design can get a bit lost in the shuffle in the ever changing marketing landscape, a bit like a high school freshman trying to find their new locker. This is where brandmarks come in.
A brandmark is a simplified version of a logo that can be easily recognized, even when it's seen out of context. Think of Nike. In 1971, Nike used their name with the infamous Swoosh. Today, Nike only uses the Swoosh. No one needs to ask who the company is when they see it. That's the power of a brandmark.
image source: Wikipedia
Brandmarks also tend to be more adaptable than original logo designs. Small changes, like swapping out colors or tweaking the proportions, adjusting an angle or curve, can give new life without sacrificing its original meaning.
2. Streamline Messaging
A brand refresh is an excellent opportunity for businesses to take a step back and evaluate their messaging. After all, messaging is one of the most critical components of a brand - it's what helps customers connect with the company and easily remember it amongst the competition. But times change, which is why it's so important for businesses to stay relevant by updating their language.
Businesses streamlining their messaging can ensure they're connecting with customers on a level that resonates while maintaining their brand's core focus. And in today's ever-changing marketplace, that's more important than ever.
At its core, a brand refresh is all about streamlining your messaging. You want to ensure your brand is easily memorable and stays relevant as time goes on. Of course, this is easier said than done. Think about your old high school history teacher. They can't change the Gettysburg Address, but they can change the way they teach it by wearing period costumes, role-playing with students, or maybe even rapping it! The saying goes, "sometimes, change is a good thing." The same goes for refreshing your brand.
When you're streamlining your messaging, it's important to focus on the following:
Keep It Simple
The best messaging is short, sweet, and to the point. Avoid using industry jargon or long-winded descriptions.
Inconsistent messaging can be confusing for customers and make your brand seem disorganized. Find one or two key messages you want to communicate and stick to them.
Take a look at your target audience and make sure your messaging is speaking to them. If you're selling to millennials, for example, you'll want to use a different language than if you're selling to boomers.
3. Refresh the Color Palette
One of the easiest ways for a business to breathe new life into its brand is by refreshing its color palette. Adding contrasting colors to your brand identity can give it a modern feel. Much like that student deciding to change their school wardrobe, you should think about what you want to change or project.
Have a look at your current brand colors and choose new shades of colors you're already using or choose a new accent that still plays nice with your established brand. This could mean adding one more color for a new addition, or brightening or muting the current palette.
When you're refreshing your brand's colors, consider the following:
- What feeling do you want your brand to evoke? Nostalgic? Playful? Trustworthy?
- What colors are associated with that feeling?
- How can you use color to differentiate your brand from the competition?
While coloring is good, it's not necessary. If you do decide to add colors, just make sure it's clear what colors are needed. If you're questioning whether you should add color or what color, work with a professional for top-tier guidance.
4. Update Marketing Materials
Marketing is key to any businesses' success, but it's easy to let your materials get stale, especially if you’ve been in business awhile. Out-of-date information, design that looks dated, or copy that doesn't reflect your current offerings can all turn potential customers away. New materials can help you reach new customers and remind existing customers of what you have to offer.
A brand refresh is the time to re-evaluate what materials haven't been working. Assess the readability and amount of content. Will your target audience easily understand the content? Is there enough information to succinctly convey the message, or is there too much? Are the colors and messaging consistent across all your materials, from business cards to office displays to vehicle graphics?
It's essential to give consideration to all of these details. You only get one shot for that first impression!
5. Revamp Business Signage
If you’ve made changes to any of the previous four items, it’s important to update your business signage as well. Consider the following to update your signage during a brand refresh.
- Your new branding will be lost if it's not represented on your signage. All of the work you put into refreshing your brand identity will go to waste if you don't also update your business signage.
- Even if your brand refresh is relatively minor, updating your signage can significantly affect how current and relevant your business appears. If your goal is to attract new customers, old signage will not help.
- New signage is an excellent opportunity to try something different. A brand refresh provides the perfect excuse to experiment and find what works best for your business.
- It's a chance to show off your new branding. Sure, you can update your website and social media profiles with your new branding. Still, those digital platforms can be easily changed. On the other hand, signage is physical evidence your brand has evolved and is here to stay.
- Updated signage shows you're invested in your brand – and your customers. When you take the time and effort to update your business signage after a brand refresh, it sends a strong message that you care about staying current and relevant. That you value your customers enough to invest in providing them with the best possible experience.
Updating a sign doesn’t have to break the bank either. Great Big Graphics will work with you to determine the best option to achieve your goals AND stay within your budget!
Refresh Your Branding With Great Big Graphics
A refreshed brand is a critical part of any business's growth strategy. So don't take the process lightly - invest the time and effort necessary to ensure your brand comes out on top. If you're looking to update your branding, we can help.
We’ve refined logos and brandmarks for businesses in a range of industries. We can update your marketing materials and revamp your signage to give your business an updated look. If you're ready for a visual makeover, get in touch with us today. We'd be happy to help!