In a world full of noise and clutter, is your brand breaking through to the audience you are trying to reach? A strong brand does much more than just make you look good. It communicates who you are as a company and organization and imparts a feeling. And if leveraged properly it can make the difference between being recognized or lost in the shuffle.
So, when we say “brand” what do we mean? A lot of people instantly assume we are talking about a logo, tagline or website. However, your “brand” is much more than your logo, tagline, and website. It’s how you engage with your audience and the experience you intend for them to receive. So, in a word – your brand is the feeling your company evokes. Now the things that contribute to that “feeling” are most certainly the logo, typography, color palette, imaging, tagline, website, etc. And all of those things must work together to provide your audience with the intended experience or feeling.
How do you know if things are working properly or if it’s time for a refresh? Well, the bottom line is your bottom line. If your customers or constituents understand what you are about and can easily recognize your products and/or services and perceive them as valuable -- then things are probably working. But if you are struggling to get or keep clients, or clients regularly ask, “what does your company do?” Then maybe it’s time to take a good look at how your brand. Here are some things to consider:
Does your brand effectively communicate who your company is?
Has the company evolved since it was originally started?
What is your perceived reputation?
Do you personally feel that your image feels outdated?
If the answer to any or all of them is yes -- it might be time for a brand refresh.
Effectively communicate who your company is.
Your brand should quickly and effectively communicate who you are. With so much competition for attention you only have a limited amount of time to get your message across. You don’t have to communicate everything you are about, but rather the essences of who you are. Example, Tiffany & Co.’s little blue box instantly evokes the idea of luxury, quality, excellence, and craftsmanship; Apple represents a leader in technology, creativity, and quality; and The Gap symbolizes comfortable, affordable, fashion. With each of these brands it is much more than the “thing” it is more of a feeling and experience.
Has the company evolved since it started?
In order to persevere you must evolve along with the needs and desires of your customer base. As you evolve so must your brand. You shouldn’t change things each time you add a new product or service but as the organization grows its value proposition may change and thus so must your brand and messaging.
What is your perceived reputation?
This question is particularly hard for many companies but one of the most valuable. We all want to think that whatever we do our customers love us and value us. However, in this day and age of instant online reviews and social media, the wrong image could be painted about who and what your company is all about. Or perhaps public sentiment about something that is integral to your brand has shifted. Example, in the late 80’s early 90’s fatty foods and fried foods were demonized for being artery clogging killers and good-carbs and low-fat diets were all the rage. Many food companies began branding their foods as “oven baked” or “low-fat.” And the big fast food chains leveraged the term grilled in order to reframe things in a healthier light. However, the fast food chain Kentucky Fried Chicken had the word “fried” right in the name. Companywide the impact of this new public perception was being felt at their bottom line. The company could have just tried to weather the storm hoping that public perception might change over time or reframe their value proposition with a rebrand. In 1991 Kentucky Fried Chicken officially rebranded as KFC. With the name change came some new and healthier menu items. But they never stopped serving the one product their customers had come to expect. Instead they just made it easier for their customers to continue being loyal but taking the word “fried” out of their name.
So, as you consider how your brand is working don’t think of a refresh as bad thing -- think of it as a personal makeover, an opportunity to transform the way you communicate and how your brand is perceived.
If you think it’s time for a refresh -- be sure to work with branding and marketing experts. They can help you effectively evaluate all of the components of your brand and offer solutions to meet your needs.
The creative professionals at Boone Graphics can help you develop a creative brand strategy that is on target with your market and appeals to your audience.