A strong brand is essential to the success of any business. It sets you apart from competitors and helps customers remember you. But what happens when your brand no longer resonates with your target audience? Without a strong brand, especially in today’s ever-competitive landscape, it can be very easy to become forgettable which can be detrimental to your business’ success moving forward.
Perhaps it's been a while since you've updated your brand, or maybe you've noticed a decline in customer engagement.
Whatever the reason might be, it might be time for a brand refresh. Whether you make a few tweaks to modernize your existing branding or you opt for a complete overhaul, change can do wonders for your brand moving forward.
Some of the biggest, most successful companies in the world have updated and evolved their branding over time to ensure they stay relevant both in the eyes of consumers and in the marketplace as a whole.
Refreshing your brand doesn’t mean you need to lose your identity as a company. In fact, a little change can work wonders in revitalizing your brand and giving your brand a new lease of life.
Below, our team at Catalpha highlights five key signs that indicate your business could benefit from rethinking the image you present to the market, and provide tips on how you can get started.
1. Outdated Visual Brand Identity
The visual aspects of your brand's identity are an essential part of your market presence. It's the first thing that customers see when they encounter your business, and it's what they'll remember when they think of you.
Visual identity includes elements like your logo, color palette, typography, and overall design aesthetic. If these elements look outdated or out of touch with modern design trends, it might make your business appear irrelevant or unprofessional to some customers.
An outdated visual identity can manifest in several ways. Perhaps your logo uses a font or design that was popular a few decades ago but now looks dated.
Or maybe the color scheme includes colors that are no longer in fashion or are associated with an earlier era of your company when different objectives were part of your agenda.
It's also possible that your design aesthetic feels old-fashioned or unappealing to today's consumers.
A refresh could involve updating your logo or typography to give it a more contemporary look, changing your color palette to align with current trends, or revamping your overall design aesthetic to better reflect your brand values and personality.
You might also find value in pursuing different avenues of customer engagement, with ads on new TV networks or shows which are geared to demographics that you previously hadn't targeted.
Create a presence on popular social media platforms and use polls to gain insight into how your brand(s) are currently viewed by those users.
The marketplace of ideas is vast, and you can never have too much hard data when deciding upon new engagement strategies.
By polling the marketplace and refreshing your visual identity, you give your business a chance for more exposure to untapped segments and the ability to appear more modern and relevant, which helps attract new customers and strengthen existing relationships.
2. Branding Inconsistencies
Brand consistency is crucial to building a strong market presence.
Consistency means that your brand's core elements, such as your logo, typography/fonts, color palette, tone of voice, and mission statements, are consistently applied across every channel, including your website, social media, television advertising, product packaging, delivery vehicles, and printed marketing materials.
This helps to create a cohesive and unified brand identity that customers can easily get behind and recall, no matter which platform they view it from.
A lack of brand consistency can manifest in various ways.
For example, you may have different versions of your logo that are used across different channels/products, or you may use different color schemes or fonts in your marketing materials and product packaging.
The reasons for these decisions might have a variety of causes; perhaps budget decisions, supplier constraints, prior marketing agencies using different graphics, separate product groups making autonomous brand decisions, and market changes.
Whatever the case, this lack of brand synergy leads to confusion among your customers and weakens the brand's overall impact.
Refreshing your brand could involve providing clarity to all of these differences across channels and then developing clear guidelines for how your brand elements should be used across all channels moving forward, updating each individual product's brand messaging and packaging, and aligning them with your current business objectives.
By ensuring consistency across all touchpoints, you will strengthen the brand and create a more unified and impactful message to your customers.
3. Crowded Market
As the store shelves become increasingly saturated, it's important to have a strong and distinctive look and feel which sets you apart from the competition.
If you feel as though the brand is no longer standing out or is losing relevance on the shelf, it may be time for a brainstorm to list possible remedies. Increased competition can manifest in several ways.
Perhaps new players have entered your market and are offering similar products or services at a lower price point.
Or maybe your existing competitors have rebranded and updated their message and products to better connect with your shared audience. In either case, if you're not keeping up, you risk losing customers to brands that are more visible, compelling, and fresh.
A brand refresh can help you differentiate your business from the competition and stay top-of-mind among your target audience.
Things like updating your visual identity, messaging, and positioning to better reflect your unique value proposition and communicate your brand's benefits to your target audience.
Refreshing your brand will also help the company to stay relevant and up-to-date with changing consumer preferences and trends.
As consumer moods evolve, it's essential to ensure that your brand remains relevant and resonant with your audience.
A revamp of your product line, including new options and features never before offered, can also help you stay ahead of the curve and adapt to changing market conditions, ensuring that you remain competitive in the long run.
Perhaps using different distribution channels and methods may bring new life to otherwise stale product lines. New products are always exciting for everyone, and launching a new campaign for them is a great excuse to take a second look at every part of your company's message.
4. Structural Change
Significant changes like mergers or acquisitions present an excellent opportunity to refresh your brand.
When companies merge with or acquire another organization, they often need to re-evaluate their existing brand identity and determine how it fits into the new business structure.
This situation may involve several steps.
First, determine how the new business post-merger affects your identity. Evaluate your company's vision, mission, and values and compare them to the acquired company and its legacy customers to ensure that they align with both sets of consumers.
Secondly, the merger/restructure may involve updating or creating an entirely new logo and color scheme to better reflect the new business structure.
You may need to create a new ad campaign from scratch, to effectively communicate the new organization’s vision and mission statement to your customers.
These consumers will also want to know how the changes affect them and the products they buy from you.
Will there be changes to how the products are made, how they function, and where the products are sold?
What about future pricing?
Can consumers expect a price increase or discounts?
Will product quality change as a result of the changes?
Will products still be available in traditional places or only in certain regions?
These are all questions customers will ask once a major restructuring or acquisition is announced.
Loyal and passionate repeat customers appreciate authenticity, honesty, and transparency from brands they trust and purchase from regularly.
Businesses should effectively communicate not only the expected changes but the reasoning behind them. This honest, two-way communication is invaluable if you hope to foster a long-term relationship with your market.
5. Consistent Brand Tone in All Marketing
Finally, it's important to ensure that your brand refresh is communicated consistently across all channels.
This includes your website, social media, advertising, corporate vehicles/trucks/warehouses, and marketing materials.
Again, consistent communication will help to reassure your customers that the changes have been made with their best interests in mind and help to build trust and loyalty to the newly merged or acquired business.
Surprises in the form of branding, messaging, and product modifications due to internal corporate organizational strife only serve to confuse consumers and may induce them to look elsewhere to satisfy their product requirements.
A merger or acquisition presents a unique opportunity to refine your brand to better reflect the new organization and create a unified brand identity.
By doing so, you will communicate the changes to your customers effectively and demonstrate the intention to foster trust and loyalty to your new target market while preserving legacy consumer relationships with those who've passionately supported your brand over the years and perhaps decades.
Negative feedback manifests itself in many forms, from poor reviews to negative comments, bad review videos on social media, or low engagement on your website or social media channels.
These are all indicators that your brand messaging or visual identity may not be resonating with your target audience.
Additionally, your customer service staff may be dealing with unhappy customers complaining about service issues, defective parts, late deliveries, or other problem areas which potentially affect the bottom line.
It's important to keep lines of communication with your customer relations staff open by holding weekly or monthly
meetings to gauge how the relationship between your brand and paying customers is going. This connection is vital to prevent minor service interruptions or complaints from steamrolling into major public relations nightmares.
A brand refresh may help to address these issues by identifying what's not working and brainstorming to quickly find solutions.
Additionally, this is an opportunity to show the market what you're doing to improve service and product quality.
Promote the fact that your leadership role includes actually meeting with your customer service staff regularly to keep abreast of problems and respond to them accordingly.
By changing your messaging in this manner, positioning it to better reflect your response to customers' needs and preferences, you can better communicate your brand's value proposition, increase engagement and build customer loyalty.
Nobody is perfect, and every company makes mistakes at some point. A little humility goes a long way toward repairing fragmented customer relationships.
In today's online landscape, customers wield a tremendous amount of power to share their feedback and opinions on a wide range of topics, including brands, products, and the companies that market them.
It's easier than ever for customers to leave reviews, post on social media, or share their experiences with others, potentially impacting your brand's reputation if these posts go viral.
Continued negative feedback or low engagement from customers may be a warning sign that your brand needs a refresh.
Therefore, it's crucial to collect this data and take action to transparently rectify the problems and preserve your brand's reputation and standing in the market niche.
Build A Strong Brand With Fresh, Relevant, Up-To-Date Branding
There’s no denying that highly satisfied customers are valuable, but those who have a strong emotional bond with a brand are more than twice as valuable.
These passionate customers connect important facets of their life experiences with your products, and these are the ones that are more likely to purchase from your brand, visit your store or website, be less price-sensitive, pay more attention to your messaging, follow your advice, and recommend you to others.
When this ingrained connection stagnates or disappears, it is often a warning sign that your brand is in trouble. This can result in decreased sales and mission creep, which is a clear indication that something needs to change.
Strong brand identity can be measured by those emotional testimonials by customers who’ve long purchased your product and recommended your brand to their friends through word-of-mouth and social media.
While maintaining this connection with your customers is essential, it's equally important to cultivate this with your employees as well. Seek to build a strong brand identity not only externally but also internally.
Over time, messaging can become outdated, inconsistent, or irrelevant, which negatively impacts sales, customer emotional connections, and overall business success.
By recognizing the signs that your brand needs a refresh, such as outdated logos, lack of brand consistency, organizational restructuring, change in the target audience, customer feedback, and increased competition, you can take proactive steps to improve your brand and stay ahead of the competition.
A strong brand identity not only attracts and retains customers but also helps to differentiate your business from the competition, create positive emotions, drive employee engagement, and, ultimately, drive business growth.
By staying attuned to these signs and investing in your brand, you ensure that your business remains relevant, compelling, and competitive moving forward.
If you're ready to refresh your brand, call us today at 410-337-0066.