I see it all the time…
You fall in love with a pretty color scheme, typography set, or website and immediately decide that this is what you want your brand to look like. So you immediately jump into action and create it. And you’re happy for a little while. However as the newness wears off, you find yourself eyeing other gorgeous brands and websites, and start feeling like another rebrand is in order.
If so, read on to discover 5 not-so-obvious signs you may be in need of a brand refresh:
Before we get started, let’s discuss exactly what a brand refresh is. Although the terms brand refresh and rebrand are often used interchangeably, there’s actually a big diffrenece between the two.
A brand refresh is like a mini-makeover for your brand: a new logo, a new color story, a new tag line. And maybe just one of these, not all. However, a rebrand means you’re overhauling the whole works. You’re making major changes to your target audience and ideal client, and/or your brand’s personality, message, values, and tone. You may be changing the name of the business too.
Here are 5 Signs You’re in a Need of a Brand Refresh:
1. You think your brand consists of a logo.
If you think your branding consists of purchasing a log on Etsy with your favorite logo, then we need to talk! While a logo is an incredibly important part of your branding – it’s only one part. So what exactly is a brand? Your brand is the promise you make to your customers about quality, service, experience, etc.
Think of your brand as your business’s reputation – what the consumer thinks about your business and what distinguishes your business from your competitors. Your brand is your business idea and your branding is the visual used to communicate that idea. Therefore, your branding encompasses your logo, color palette, fonts, patterns, brand voice, core values as well as your core audience and customer experience.
One of the most common branding mistakes new entrepreneurs make is designing their logo prior to defining the attributes previously discussed. While the logo is an integral part of the brand – the logo should actually reflect your brand voice, core values and appeal to your target audience. If you design your logo prior to completing this process, you will likely struggle with how best to communicate your brand voice and values visually.
This often leads to having a logo that feels out of sync with your business and ultimately doesn’t appeal to your core audience. That’s why when we work with clients, our first step in the process involves an intensive brand clarity call to make sure your brand voice, core values, and core audience are well defined prior to starting any design work. In order to get a strong brand identity, we need to make sure we have the foundation of your business/personal brand.
2. You switch up your fonts and colors like it’s Fashion Week.
If you’re constantly switching up your fonts and colors that’s a good indication that (1) your branding is not working for you or (2) you suffer from severe design envy. Either way, it’s probably safe to say that you’re branding is not working for you. While it’s nice to experiment with different color palettes and fonts, it’s important to keep your overall brand cohesive.
When you think of some of the most successful brands in the world such as Nike, Apple, and Burberry, you’ll quickly notice that they all have certain colors, symbols, or fonts that they typically use to distinguish their brand. While your business may not be a household name, it’s important to create a strong cohesive brand. This is what ultimately builds trust with your clients and customers and makes them feel comfortable investing in your products and services.
3. Your photos suck.
Sorry to be blunt, but if you haven’t invested in professional photography and taken the time to curate high-quality stock photos your branding is significantly lacking. Whether you go the photographer route, invest in high quality stock photography or go the DIY route, hiqh quality photos will instantly make your website look credible and professional. Photos are also a great tool for conveying your brand personality and creating a connection with your core audience. The most successful brands know how to use photography to tell a story.
Related Post: How to Prepare for Your Brand Photo Shoot
4. You don’t have a brand style guide or brand rules.
The best way to figure out which types of images, colors, and fonts to use is to create a brand mood board. You can create a physical brand mood board at home by pinning color swatches, patterns, and images to a bulletin board or use a digital website or tool like Adobe XD or Canva to create your mood board. Once you’ve completed your mood board it’s a good idea to get insight from potential clients and colors to see if there are specific colors of fonts that resonate with them.
Once your brand mood board is completed you can create your brand style guide. Your brand style guide outlines, colors, fonts, logos, voice, etc and how they should all be used or not used depending on the situation. Your brand style guide can be used to inform your brand photography session, source stock images, and ultimately design your website and additional brand collateral.
Related Post: How to Design a Brand Mood Board for Your Business
5. You’re not sure if your brand resonates with your audience.
Another way to tell if you’re in need of a brand refresh is to survey your audience. If you already have clients and customers this can be done by emailing a segment of your list and asking for feedback. If you’re designing a brand for a new business Facebook groups are another great way to get feedback from your core audience.
You may notice that I did not say get feedback from friends and family. This is because many of your friends and family are often too close or have too much distance from your project to provide valuable feedback. When curating feedback it’s important to survey potential or previous customers to get the most insight for your brand refresh.
No matter what industry you are in, you need to build a strong brand that goes beyond looks and instead focuses on the values that you can bring your audience. Whether your design is outdated, your online and offline branding don’t exactly align, your vision lacks clarity, or your growth has flatlined a brand refresh may be in order.