An outdated brand hurts your business, because you’re attracting the wrong customers and repelling the right ones.
Yet the thought of a brand overhaul is overwhelming for many.
And like any change to your branding, it pays to take some time to make sure a redesign is needed. After all, you want to spend your precious budget wisely with an eye on a return on investment.
So how do you know when it’s time to update your brand? Ask yourself these five questions:
1. Does my brand feel right?
The main job of your brand is to help you stand out, attract customers, and grow sales.
From distinctive logos and brand identities to marketing materials and high-performing websites, there is a direct correlation between brands, new leads, and customer retention.
When clients come to us, they often share that their brand doesn’t “feel right”. Even if you can’t articulate exactly what doesn’t feel right, this can often be because the brand was developed quickly and without a real understanding of the psychology behind brand development.
The result? A brand that’s not doing its job.
2. Has our mission shifted?
Your mission is the north star of your company – it articulates who you serve, and WHY.
Out of this comes your brand purpose. Ask yourself if your mission has shifted as your company has grown. Are you in a different business state now? Has your purpose in the marketplace evolved?
If that’s a yes, then it’s time to update your brand.
3. Has our target audience shifted?
Brands are developed with a target audience in mind.
As a company grows, it’s not uncommon for the target audience to shift or expand. This could mean younger or older people, more men or women, or any number of variables. A brand refresh can help you reposition yourself to connect with this redefined or expanded audience.
Do it right by hiring a branding expert who will help you attract the attention of new customers while retaining your existing customer base.
4. Have our offerings shifted?
Have you added a new line of products or expanded your service offerings?
A good example of this is Domino’s.
Domino’s first logo was created in the ’60s. It featured a bright, cheerful colorway, with three dots symbolizing the three original Dominos locations. The company planned to add another dot each time a new location was opened.
As they grew the franchise, they realized adding a dot every time a new location opened wasn’t going to work long-term so the company decided to stick with just three dots.
In 2013, the company refreshed its logo to suggest a more inclusive menu of food choices not limited to pizza, and changed its name from Domino’s Pizza to Domino’s.
If your offerings or services have shifted, it may be time to update your brand.
5. Do we have more competitors or peers than we used to?
Maybe you were the only person offering what you sell when you started, but lately you’ve noticed the marketplace feels more crowded.
When executed properly and rolled out with boldness and sensitivity, a brand refresh shows your existing customers that you’re contemporary and robust, while simultaneously letting prospective customers know that that you are worthy of consideration.
Updating Your Brand – Refresh vs Redesign?
A refresh is informed by the desire to refine the current logo and brand, rather than reinvent it. Consider it more of a makeover. Colors may be updated or tweaked, messaging might change, and/or the existing logomark simplified to be more contemporary or sophisticated.
On the other hand, a redesign is a complete do-over. This can include a different aesthetic, a new color palette, new messaging, or even a rename (remember when FedEx used to be Federal Express?)
And for some clients, a little of both does the trick.
Let’s see some examples.
DH Sutherland, formerly known as David H. Sutherland & Co., Inc., is a family-run logistics firm for the aerospace and high-performance industries.
After years of boot-strapping their brand, Sutherland was ready for it to be on point with their business model and aligned with their vision and values.
Our approach was to focus on the company’s personal, attentive service, and design a brand to build credibility, trust, and loyalty with their customers.
The solution? A full rebrand, including a new name, and an overhaul of these brand elements:
- value proposition, positioning, values, personality, and mood
- colors, fonts and brand images
- logo and guidelines
- web copy that emphasizes their capacity to work with larger clients just like their corporate competition
- web design that positions them immediately in aerospace and high-performance industries
- business cards, tradeshow booth
In all areas, they were ready to throw the baby out with the bathwater except one: their logo.
A 65-year-old family-owned business, their logo had been designed by the current CEO’s mother, so there was an emotional attachment. More than that, though, since they were also shortening their name to DH Sutherland, their sales team was worried customers might not recognize them and/or think they’d gone out of business.
The new logo:
The evolved mark feels modern, fresh and congruent with their history in the aerospace and high-performance industries.
Beaverton Arts Foundation
Beaverton Arts Foundation has been inspiring creative engagement in the Beaverton community since 1999.
When the Foundation was selected to serve as the private fundraising partner for the soon-to-be Patricia Reser Center for the Arts, they realized their outdated brand was not reflective of a world-class destination coming to Beaverton.
Our approach was to create a brand that feels visionary, contemporary, trustworthy, transformational and classy with a little edge.
The brand overhaul included:
- brand voice, personality, mood, and key theme
- colors, fonts, and visual language
- new logo and guidelines
- web copy
- web design
- responsive website optimized for SEO
- business cards, letterhead, notecards, powerpoint deck, event display, and name tags
- website for the Patricia Reser Center for the Arts Campaign
And the results?
Their resulting brand is clean, contemporary, and classy (with a little edge), and builds trust.
In just over a year, The Foundation secured 97% of its $48M Capital Campaign for the Patricia Reser Center for the Arts.
- A new logo or logo refresh will most likely require changes to your branding and marketing collateral, such as new business cards, new sales collateral, perhaps even a new website or website refresh. If you’re not ready to overhaul all public-facing assets, consider keeping some elements the same (such as colors and typography).
- Theodore Roosevelt once declared “Comparison is the thief of joy.” It will be tempting—almost impossibly so—to compare your new logo with your old one. Don’t let it trip up your efforts to move forward in a new direction. It might be more helpful to focus on how the new logo designs you’re presented reflect your current and future business goals, purpose, and audience expectations.
- Change can be a little uncomfortable—even when that change is a positive one. If you don’t have an in-house brand team, consider getting help from experts (like the team at Roger That).
Want a little help? (Or a lot?) We’re here for you.
We’re here to help guide you every step of the way. Say goodbye to overwhelm, confusion, and the status quo, and say hello to a beautiful brand that helps you stand out from the crowd, attract customers, and grow sales.
Schedule a free 20-minute consult call so we can talk about it!
Founder + CEO of Roger That