Does your brand need a face lift? A little nip and tuck here and there? Or a complete top to bottom overhaul?
There’s no hard-fast rule that tells you when it’s time to refresh the look of your brand—and how much change is required to make it “current” is even more ambiguous. Still, there are some signs that your brand needs a makeover.
To tweak, refresh or start over?
In most cases, the brand itself doesn’t need a complete redo. Some minor changes to color, font styles or the logo can make the overall look more current.
That said, if you’re finding it hard to capture new business or existing customers have stopped engaging, it may be time to consider a completely new look. Reasons to do so:
- You are trying to attract a new demographic.
- You want to appeal to a niche market.
- You’ve merged with or acquired another company and need to combine the brands.
- You’re releasing new products or services that appeal to a different type of customer.
- Your customers have changed.
- Your industry has changed—or it’s gotten so crowded that you need to stand out.
- You need to match what the competition is doing to stay relevant.
The thing you must keep in mind, also, is how those changes could ultimately impact your existing customers. Will too much change alienate them? Could you drive them off with too much flash? As you go through this process, keep your core group of customers in mind. While you may need to change to keep up with the times and your industry, small, incremental changes may make more sense, so you don’t scare off your most loyal customers.
Is it time to change?
The best thing you can do is take a long, hard—honest look—at how you present your brand to the world. This checklist will walk you through the process:
- Revisit your name. Changing your name can seem out of the question but think about it. If it no longer represents your business, gives the right impression, or is relevant, it’s time for a change. Consider what you stand to lose—or gain—if you decide to go with a brand-new name.
- Check your logo. “Vintage” can be cool—or it can just look outdated. Invite your employees, customers and followers on social media to weigh in on the look of your logo. Sometimes a simple color change can bring it back to life. You could even consider creating several options, allowing customers to vote on the best one, and adopt that one as your new logo.
- Evaluate your website. It’s one of—if not the—first place people will go to check out your business, learn about your products and services, and ultimately, decide if you’re worth doing business with. It not only should look modern and sophisticated, but it should load quickly and function seamlessly. If it needs tweaking or a complete overhaul, the best thing you can do for your business is to find a web designer who can offer you equal parts beauty and user-friendliness.
- Review all your assets. Look at your website, printed materials, business cards, packaging, signage, stationary, digital assets and email. Do they represent who you are now as a business and reinforce the message you want to send now. Remember, you want a consistent look across all your marketing channels and materials. A hodge-podge of dated materials with newer, edgier pieces looks unprofessional. Update everything at once.
- Don’t forget about your content. So many business owners focus entirely on font choices and color when they are rebooting their websites and marketing materials. While bold colors and images might catch people’s eye, the text is what will convince them that your products or services will meet their needs. Go through it line by line and remove any dated phrasing or references. Make it short and snappy, and focus on the benefits—specifically how your product or service will change customers’ lives for the better. Add lots of subheads and bullet points to make your copy easy to scan. Remember: You don’t have much time to engage customers, and too much text—especially wordy, complex, hard-to-follow text—will send them away, fast.
- Update those photos. Nothing will date your website and marketing materials like old photos. It’s worth the investment to hire a professional photographer to snap photos of your products and services, office or warehouses, and actual employees. At the least, choose some unique stock images—many of which you can find for free—that reinforce the brand message you want to convey.