Is a Brand Refresh Really Worth It?

Posted by Michael Benjamin and Jacki Ognibene on Aug 31, 2018 11:49:30 AM

Refreshing a brand is no easy feat, but it’s worthwhile.

Do you need to update your brand’s positioning and identity? What are the key factors within your company and in the market that should influence your next branding decision?

To decide if a rebrand is worth it, you first need to know the process. Full disclosure: a brand refresh will take a considerable amount of effort, time, energy, and money.

But we promise it’s worth it. Let’s learn why.

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The Anthem Branding brand refresh process 

Define what makes your brand unique. 

First and foremost,  you’re going to need to define what makes your business unique. What makes your brand different than others?

With your key brand differentiators in mind, identify your ideal customer -- no, you can’t say “everyone.” The more details you can compile --  perhaps from interviews, market research, or customer feedback -- the better, as those are the details you will need to set the focus and shape your brand messaging. Think about common challenges, average demographics, and how your product fits into the mix. 

Craft a brand personality.

Next, craft a personality for your brand. What character traits does the brand have? Is it funny? Serious? Witty? Nerdy? List out the top five attributes of your brand to keep the personality threaded throughout this process.

Give life to your brand. 

Now it’s time to work with a  team of strategists, designers, and copywriters to make everything come alive!

We get it. A brand refresh is no doubt, a lot of work, but when done in a thoughtful way, the return on the investment is nearly invaluable.

Let’s review some aspects of your brand that could be signaling it’s time to dive feet first into your brand’s next refresh project.

Related: Do You Need New Retail Packaging?

Top reasons that influence a rebrand decision

1. It’s tough to tell your company apart from the competition.

Do the logo and all of the brand materials express why it’s unique from everyone else? Or is the logo generic and accompanied by vague language? Brand strategy plays a vital role in creating a solid foundation for your brand. Without it in place, executing a profitable brand strategy will be like playing tarts in the dark.

To position your brand and create a visual identity system that stands out from the rest, take the time to determine how you’re truly different from everyone else.

AVCrafters, a Boulder-based custom home architecture company, combines craftsmanship with modern technology to create fluid home automation systems that elevate your home and lifestyle.

The company found that their look and feel wasn’t successfully representing their core value propositions such as their  world-class customer service or their sought-after personalized approach.  

AVCrafters Rebrand by Anthem Branding

During the rebranding process,  AVCrafters repositioned as a sophisticated, premium, innovative company. With an updated visual identity, connecting with their upscale, affluent target audience and clientele is now second nature. Thanks to a clean and contemporary aesthetic, AVCrafters curated service offerings are better represented and supported throughout their brand story

2. Your visual identity is outdated.

Specific heritage brands can play-off their heritage and are successful at giving us all the retro feels of nostalgia -- think Levis or the VW Beetle. There are also logos that can certainly stand the test of time, like the timeless and iconic Nike swoosh, but if your branding screams of a different decade, there’s a solid chance it’s time for a branding makeover.

For example, the Boulder County Farmers Market (BCFM) has been around since 1987, and until a few years ago it was still rocking it’s original, clip-art logo with a farmer holding a cornucopia of fruit and veggies. Not only was their branding super outdated, but it was challenging to use in different formats and literally included every color of the rainbow -- which isn’t cheap to print.

As a local favorite within the Boulder community, we were excited to work with the BCFM team to complete a visual refresh and find a modern take on their brand.

Boulder County Farmers Market Rebrand by Anthem Branding

 

The new identity of BCFM is fresh, but also versatile -- incorporating a fluid framework to showcase multiple locations while maintaining the consistency of the heritage brand. BCFM is now empowered to grow and evolve, strengthening brand loyalty at each touchpoint possible.

Related: How the Boulder Farmers Market Revitalized Their Brand

3. You’re competing with new companies, or your industry is changing.

Brands are akin to a living and breathing marketplace evolution; they’re always a work in progress. This is a great perspective to apply to your brand to keep it relevant, but it doesn’t come without its challenges. How do you keep up and keep evolving to stay relevant when you’re working toward a moving target?

For a brand like Stonewear, the original pioneer of women’s climbing and outdoor apparel faces off more often than not against powerhouse brands like Lululemon, Prana, and Athleta. Stoneware did a side-by-side comparison of their logo to their competitors, and realized their branding wasn’t up to par; a refresh was a must.  

So, we collaborated with the Stonewear crew with the goal to enhance and modernize their branding to be bright, adventurous, and inspiring. Without losing sight of their roots, the updated identity is an evolution of their original diamond shape; dynamic and strong, yet also feminine and organic.

Stonewear Rebrand by Anthem Branding

 

4. Your company has changed, but your branding hasn’t caught up.

Has there been a shift in your product offerings or a change in your overall purpose as an organization? Maybe your popcorn brand is expanding to sell all kinds of snacks, or your home furnishing company has decided to become more specialized by focusing on a niche market in lighting.

Whatever it is, let’s face it, change is inevitable -- if you encounter a big enough change, make sure your branding is keeping up.

An excellent example of when this comes from Pact, who decided to adjust their core mission from ethically made products to focus on empowerment.  A brand refresh was vital to ensure that the messaging and visuals matched the new vision for the company.

We collaborated with the Pact team as they rebuilt the voice and direction of their brand. Their powerful brand mantra influenced the visual system we created together, and the new look and feel help inspire individuality and authenticity to encourage people to be confident and comfortable in their own skin.   

Before Pact's Rebrand by Anthem BrandingPact Rebrand by Anthem Branding

If any or all of these ring true about your brand, bite the bullet and take action; explore how a refresh could evolve your brand for the better. 

Topics: Design, Brand Strategy, Logo, Brand Identity