For many businesses, time is almost always at a minimum and a rebrand isn’t always top of mind. However, refreshing a brand is not only necessary to stay relevant, but directly influences profit. A brand refresh is a way to promote a new and improved brand, website and visuals. The process can actually be a great tool for a brand to learn more about their vision, with the correct tools and assistance.
While a brand refresh doesn’t mean a brand is completely revamped or unrecognizable, it is focused around the idea of evaluating areas that could use a new perspective, either visually or in context or expanding and leveraging on the aspects that are working well. This could be in support of a new product launch, reaching a new market, or invigorating an existing customer base. As a business grows, it is important that brand reflects that growth and the current marketplace and continues innovating.
Getting Started: The Competitive Landscape
In the beginning stages of a refresh, taking stock of the marketplace and conducting a competitive analysis helps in assessing what similar brands are doing, either right or wrong. Examining the marketplace provides an idea where the strengths and weakness present themselves. It is important to adapt to the changes that are happening in the industry, while keeping brand vision authentic.
Positioning: Visual Consistency
When refreshing visuals, it is important to be strategic with all newly developed components, designing all aspects so that brand assets are consistent and identifiable across all platforms. Visual consistency is a direct result of many intentional design strategies that span well beyond color and image. When refreshing a brand visually, features should be designed in a hierarchical system to establish authority and allow the brand to freely engage in a visual storytelling perspective. This way, the user is able to easily track visual changes and always feel at ease within the experience. Whether it is a logo, text or color that has been updated, it must be consistently applied to the website and external and internal marketing materials to optimize visual recognition
Digitally speaking, when users visit a website, it is important to focus on what the overall brand impression is, allowing the audience to easily grasp and engage with the experience. Consistency throughout the user journey and pathways impacts the overall takeaways and perception of the brand.
Relevancy: Voice & Tonality
Once a visual system is established, narrative messaging is critical to set the tone and brand positioning. The tone is a voice that is asserted, and what potential clients will first associate with a brand. The tone should connect with users much like a one on one relationship, tapping into emotional triggers that will lead to ongoing brand advocacy.
Leveraging competitive analysis, user persona development and company mission are valuable aspects to consider when crafting targeted messaging that will reach conversion goals for the brand. The ideal user journey of the brand can be then turned into a narrative by telling a story that consumers want to hear.
Brands evolve, and the narrative should reflect that. It may be hard to identify what changes happen in a brand that has been around for twenty plus years, but there is growth and story there to tell. Over time, the voice of the brand should encompass different emotions, timelines and adjust depending on context or scenario. Methods can include regularly updated case studies that highlight current company work, a consistent blog about company culture and trends happening in the specific industry, up to date community engagement and content management that includes the company journey, milestones and accomplishments. These activities will showcase that the brand is highly relevant and a leader in the market.
The Digital Aspect: Website Functionality
Perhaps one of the most important components of a brand refresh, is the function of the website itself. A brand can update the narrative and tone, but if the website is not up to industry standards and best practices, then some of the most critical benefits of a brand refresh can be missed. An authentic and frictionless experience happens when the latest trends in web design are implemented, such as micro-animations and UI and UX experience. It is crucial that a website is easy to navigate, fast and mobile-friendly. Staying up to date on tools that can help business such as SEO and hyperlinking is also part of innovating and adapting. Consider adapting conversion-focused web design strategies, which assist with staying relevant in the market place and of course, impacting client retention and visibility.
The benefits of a brand refresh are far reaching for a company’s bottom line, but also highly valuable for stakeholders of a business. Here, a company can positively impact the loyalty and engagement of an internal team by gaining a better understanding of the brand and clearly see how they are perceived in the marketplace.
The ideal brand refresh will deliver an experiential design that creates emotion and engagement between the brand and consumer. Through UX, web design, graphic design and vital content strategies, a brand refresh can enable growth in businesses that seek to either launch, expand into a new market or solidify their legacy.