The brand of your business or image is sort of like the heart of your processes. If it isn’t strong enough, sooner or later, everything else will shut down. The reason this happens is that 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 even start the process of 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 the values behind it, and other similar processes that will incentives a client. However, as beneficial as that may be, it’s important to not confuse the brand refresh process with the complete rebrand process. Each process requires a different approach and, as a result, will give a different outcome. Don’t worry; we’ll discuss the difference between the two in more detail in just 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 then discuss seven elements to include in the process. After that, we’ll go over an additional 10 steps to follow to make sure 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. Overall, the main difference between the two 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 full rebranding might be easier in a lot of ways 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 even simpler, 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. In case some people haven’t heard of your brand yet, a brand refresh will naturally boost awareness without having to invest in dedicated marketing efforts. In reality, we could be here all day listing the benefits that a brand refresh can bring. To name a few more of the many benefits it has, 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 what those guidelines are, the first three include staying away from bright colors, using logos that are niche-relevant, and including a clear name. As we can see, these have to do more with the visual representation of your brand. Once you have an understanding of what not to do visually, the next three guidelines are consistency, inclusivity, and flexibility. These three guidelines are more in line 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 have an idea of 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 important to refresh as it is the first thing a client will see. For this reason, it could either convince or scare off a client immediately. Just keep in mind to refresh it and not completely remodel it. If you stick with the brand guidelines mentioned before, you should have a good idea of how to make the right logo touch-ups and updates.
#2: Clear And Concise Brand Values
After a logo, what a client will look for next is the values behind it. In other words, they are looking for what makes your brand special and stand out. Suppose they see that your values are unclear or similar to every other brand; that will make 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 both your brand and competing brands interesting 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 towards. 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 going through the trouble if you can’t convert clients in the end.
#5: A Promise
The most convincing factor you can give a client is a guarantee. However, most guarantees 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 the promises of your brand to increase brand awareness. It serves the purpose of generating awareness and momentum to fully maximize the improved brand.
#7: Achievable Goals
Last but not least, make sure the goals you set for your improved brand are achievable. Many make the mistake of setting larger goals than they can handle because of their momentum from the refresh process. Instead, make your brand goals small enough to create a daily plan of action. With that out of the way, let’s take a 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 take to refresh 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 make to match and eventually surpass them.
#3: Use Precision Targeting
As for who your refreshed brand should be targeted towards, it should start by being directed towards a smaller group of clients. Use precision targeting to narrow down 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 other way around marketing your brand than through digital marketing methods. Unlike traditional marketing, digital marketing methods provide the advantage of exposing your brand to a virtually endless supply of potential online browsers.
#5: Create Personalized Client Messaging Processes
When it comes to reaching out to your clients, creating personalized messages will increase your trust and conversion rates in the end. 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, this strategy 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 of this is that they can’t go back to verify what it is that 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 at once. This can be overwhelming at times 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 an unexpected cost or business expense. Worth mentioning, unexpected costs happen more often than they should in the business industry.