Your business’s brand or image is like the heart of your processes. If it isn’t strong enough, sooner or later, everything else will shut down. This happens because clients are always looking for incentives to choose one option over another. In other words, even if you have a proven marketing strategy and sales funnel to convert a client, they won’t do you any good if you don’t give a client a reason to choose your brand. What makes the brand creation process even more difficult is that t also requires a combination of originality, creativity, and transparency. Without these three qualities in place, your brand won’t stand out enough to start building trust with them. This is where the importance of a brand refresh comes into play. A brand refresh is like hitting the reset button for your brand.
This process includes changing up the look of your brand to make it more attractive, rephrasing its values, and other similar techniques that will incentivize a client. However, as beneficial as that may be, it’s important not to confuse the brand refresh process with the complete rebrand process. Each method requires a different approach and, as a result, will give a different outcome. Don’t worry; we’ll discuss the difference in more detail in a second. Apart from that, it’s also beneficial to go over the proper brand guidelines to follow during your refresh process. This will keep you from making the same mistakes that kept your original brand from succeeding in the first place. Now that we understand a bit more about what a brand refresh looks like let’s refresh ourselves on these factors to discuss seven elements to include in the process. After that, we’ll go over an additional ten steps to ensure everything goes according to plan. With all of this in mind, here is the rest of the guide to a brand refresh.
Rebranding VS. Brand Refresh
As promised, let’s break down the difference between a rebranding process and a brand refresh. The main difference is that a rebranding process is a complete brand change. This might include changing factors such as the brand name, adding an entirely new logo, and possibly switching your brand values. With a brand refresh, the idea is to make minor changes in detail that are both recognizable and revamped. A complete rebranding might be easier since there is no picking and choosing what to throw out like a brand refresh would require. However, just because it’s easier doesn’t mean it would be the best option for your brand. To break it down more straightforwardly, a rebranding process is more of a last-ditch effort to save your business or image. A brand refresh serves the purpose of helping your brand stay relevant with the times.
The Benefits Of A Brand Refresh
If you’re on the fence about whether or not to refresh your brand, here are a few more benefits that might convince you. Starting, the process is more cost-effective than people think. Unlike a complete rebranding process, refreshing your brand doesn’t require investing in new content ideas, brand value suggestions, and other similar investments. Another benefit it has is that it opens up your brand to a new audience market. If some people haven’t heard of your brand yet, a brand refresh will naturally boost awareness without investing in dedicated marketing efforts. In reality, we could be here all day listing the benefits of a brand refresh. To name a few more of its many benefits, increased product value, service highlighting, and staying current are some of the more notable ones.
Brand Guidelines To Follow
Once you have a general direction of where you want to take your brand, staying within the proper guidelines will allow you to create the most sustainable brand. As for those guidelines, the first three include staying away from bright colors, using niche-relevant logos, and containing an explicit name. As we can see, these have to do more with the visual representation of your brand. Once you understand what not to do visually, the following three guidelines are consistency, inclusivity, and flexibility. These three guidelines align with improving your brand’s interaction and relationship with clients. The idea behind having these three qualities within your refreshed brand is that it makes it easier to convert a client later on in the process. By now, we should know how to approach refreshing a brand. Now, let’s discuss the exact elements to include and the steps to take.
7 Crucial Elements To Include In A Strategic Brand Refresh
#1: A Logo Touch-Up/Update
Your brand’s logo is essential to refresh as it is the first thing a client will see. For this reason, it could convince or scare off a client immediately. Just keep in mind to refresh it and not completely remodel it. With the right tools and knowledge, you can create a logo that looks professional while still matching your brand.
#2: Clear And Concise Brand Values
After a logo, what a client will look for following is the values behind it. In other words, they are looking for what makes your brand unique and stand out. Suppose they see that your values are unclear or similar to every other brand, making your brand come off as uncreative and unoriginal. Simply put, make sure your brand values are clear and concise.
#3: Market Research
As important as it is, many people forget to include market research within their brand refresh process. Above everything else, what you’ll need to determine in this process is the main factor that makes your brand and competing brands attractive to clients. Once this is determined, it will be easier to point out what your brand needs to do to surpass the competition.
#4: Improved Website Interface Structure
Another overlooked part of this process is the website your brand sends the client. If the structure of your website interface isn’t easy for them, the chances of converting them drop drastically. Refreshing your brand isn’t worth the trouble if you can’t convert clients.
#5: A Promise
The most influential factor you can give a client is a guarantee. However, most contracts aren’t shown to a client until the tail-end of the sales process. As for how you can do so within your brand, that will come through a promise instead. Give a client something to look forward to by choosing your brand over another.
#6: A Rollout Blueprint
Perhaps the most technical part of the brand refresh process is the rollout. The rollout is when you extend your brand’s promises to increase brand awareness. It serves the purpose of generating awareness and momentum to maximize the improved brand fully.
#7: Achievable Goals
Lastly, ensure the goals you set for your improved brand are achievable. Many make the mistake of setting more significant goals than they can handle because of their momentum from the refresh process. Instead, make your brand goals small enough to create a daily action plan. With that out, let’s look at ten additional steps that will push your brand refresh process over the top.
10 Additional Steps To Refresh Your Guidelines
#1: Run A Thorough Brand Audit
After you have the seven elements in place, the first step to refreshing your brand is to run a thorough brand audit. This audit should let you know how a client perceives it, what areas are already performing well, and other similar indicators.
#2: Setup A Competitive Analysis Campaign
Next to your brand audit, you’ll also want to include a separate competitive analysis campaign. This campaign will give you insights into how your brand competitors are outcompeting your brand. Thus, it will let you know what specific changes to match and eventually surpass them.
#3: Use Precision Targeting
As for who your refreshed brand should be targeted, it should start by being directed toward a smaller group of clients. Then, use precision targeting to narrow your brand to those who fit it best and work up from there.
#4: Use Digital Marketing Methods To Boost Brand Awareness
Nowadays, there is no way to market your brand other than through digital marketing. Unlike traditional marketing, digital marketing methods expose your brand to a virtually endless supply of potential online browsers.
#5: Create Personalized Client Messaging Processes
Creating personalized messages will increase your trust and conversion rates when reaching out to your clients. This can be done through email marketing efforts or direct messaging processes.
#6: A/B Split Test Your Brand Changes
The best way to discover what efforts work best for your brand is to test them. While it might not be the most cost-effective strategy in the short term, it pays off in the long run by reducing marketing costs, brand upgrade expenses, and other similar areas.
#7: Define Your Brand & Budget Limits
Defining your brand’s budget limits will prevent you from spending more money and wasting more time than you should. As far as brand limits are concerned, stick to what you know and avoid going for alternative or extravagant brand upgrades.
#8: Document All Of Your Changes
Most brand managers make the mistake of not documenting the changes they make; the result is that they can’t go back to verify what halted progress in the first place if ever they need that information. Don’t let this be you.
#9: Utilize A Brand Management Tool
As we can imagine, the brand refreshing process requires managing many components simultaneously. This can sometimes be overwhelming to the point where you quit cold turkey. To prevent this, utilize a brand management tool for all your needs. This tool helps by centralizing all brand refreshing processes into one hub that’s easy to control.
#10: Create An Emergency Brand Fund
The last step in your brand refreshing process is to create an emergency fund. Doing so will support your brand efforts in case of unexpected costs or business expenses. Unsurprisingly, unexpected costs happen more often than they should in the business industry.