ATYPICAL

5 Signs You Need a Brand Refresh

By Amanda Bowen
Think your branding feeling stale? You’re probably right. All brands benefit from the occasional refresh. Customers like doing business with brands and people they believe have a thumb on the pulse of the industry. Periodic brand updates keep the messaging with the times. Besides a gut feeling, what other signs prove you’re overdue for a brand refresh? 

Think your branding feeling stale? You’re probably right. All brands benefit from the occasional refresh. Customers like doing business with brands and people they believe have a thumb on the pulse of the industry. Periodic brand updates keep the messaging with the times. Besides a gut feeling, what other signs prove you’re overdue for a brand refresh? 

#1. Your traction is slipping

A slide in any numbers: total sales, brand engagement, social media, website traffic, et al., act as warning flares. You want to pinpoint the cause and rule out other reasons. Do a content audit, check your SEO, run some campaigns. If those don’t work, time to update the brand to align with your audience and services.

#2. We can date your brand

Even the most iconic of logos updated over time to stay fresh. Can you imagine doing business with Microsoft if they had kept their awesome 1980s logo? 

We create our visual assets in line with the design standards and norms of the time. Consider how design changed during our shift to a digital world. We saw a simplification in text–a shift to sans serif–and minimalist trend in logo design. 

So if you look at your brand assets and think, “Cargo pants!” (or “ROCK ON!” in Microsoft’s case) it’s time to update. 

#3. You’re adding to the family

Expansion is definitely a reason to update that brand. Any growth–new market, services, or mission–reflect what you’re doing now. 

Don’t drop everything you’re doing, but do think about how the new service is an extension of what exists. A perfect example is Starbucks. Trace their branding history and you’ll see continuity in values and asset look. The mermaid is ever-present and in the center of the logo. The specific green has been part of the brand since 1987. When they expanded beyond coffee to food items, they simply dropped “Coffee” from their assets and name. They never lost their core of their identity, so they kept a touch point with existing loyal customers.

#4. Employees can’t articulate brand values

Your staff need a firm grasp of your brand’s values and feel a true connection to the work you’re doing. This is evident in how they communicate to others. Their inability to emotionally connect with what the brand stands for is a sign you might need to refresh those values. 

#5. Your market shifted

Our target audiences change over time. Perhaps you did more work with retail centers five years ago, but now a large portion of your business lies in the multifamily realm. Refresh the brand to reflect what your audience is looking for. 

A complete rebrand isn’t always necessary. Subtle change to your positioning and branding can make a world of difference in how your audience receives you. Get the results you need with an ATYPICAL brand strategy

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