Just 20-30 years ago, companies with an established brand or even relatively new companies that were focused on developing their own brand for product recognition would generally refresh/update/revamp every three to five years. Outside of unforeseeable or unexpected circumstances, that was the norm.
Unexpected Circumstances That Drive Brand Changes
- Brand Recognition Not Working
- Change in Executive Leadership
- Competitor Made a Change
- Strategic Change (value leader -> quality driven)
- Entering New Product Category
Today, those are still good reasons to update your brand look or style. Nevertheless, companies should consider updating their brand every year.
Why Consider Brand Adjustments Every Year?
Please note that we’re not talking blank-slate recreation of your name, logo, or look. It could be anything from a change in the colors you use, minor logo update, website refresh or even the tone/attitude your company presents. Here’s why you should always be receptive to suggestions for updating your brand:
1) Industry and commerce simply move faster and change comes about much quicker – today any company (i.e. your competitors) can quickly refresh its brand and update how it looks, how it is described, and the products and services it includes. Updates are often necessary to maintain or grow market share.
2) Similarly to how “social proof” online shows customers that you are on top of things in the marketplace like customer satisfaction and customer requests, a brand refresh shows them you are keeping up with changes to everything (the marketplace, world, industry, technological developments, social shifts, etc.)
3) People like to feel that the brands they associate themselves with are dynamic, current, and relevant.
4) Keeping with contemporary stylings works on everyone in your universe, from current and potential customers to your own associates as well as talent you might be trying to attract to your organization.
Brand Refresh vs Total Rebrand
They are the same but a “total rebrand” might be considered a complete redirection where the original brand is left in the dust.
Total rebrands are usually done for massive Public Relations problems where the company/organization needs their customers to try and forget past misdeeds.
[POINTS FINGER AT META, FORMERLY KNOWN AS FACEBOOK, WELLS FARGO, BIG OIL, ETC.]
How to Go about Your Brand Update?
- Be sure to have a plan in place with timeline and contingencies, as wells goals for ROI before starting anything
- Consider market research whether that is simply talking with clients, people in your network, or carrying out objective testing
- Take your time (doesn’t mean go slow) and be thorough. Make relatively minor updates (maybe keep a few elements) that leave your core or original brand recognizable
- Be sure to follow through. Inconsistency across media, mediums and channels will destroy any name recognition or brand equity that has been developed