Branding might seem like a buzzword or trend right now but there are times your business is faced with legitimate reasons to to consider why it might be time to visually re-brand your business graphics. The process of branding truly is more than changing the visuals or graphic design for your business. Since, people use the word branding or re-brand implying something different you may think I am talking about specifically the logo but I am not. However, re-branding often starts with re-evaluating graphics, colors, logos, copy and photos. All of these creative pieces will often trail back to your business logo design. Those pieces of your identity and brand system are the foundation. Let’s be honest branding is process much more inclusive of all aspects of your business just not aimed at design.
These popular catch phrases can be distracting you from core issues in your business that in turn affect your visual identity and the clarity of your message with your target customers. Simply, branding is more than a logo and truly is the essence of what your customers think about your product or service.
So, what do your customers think?
One of my first videos talks briefly about this topic and you can watch it on my YouTube channel atdesignky here. If customers think x about your business and you don’t want them too you might start making changes – right? But where do you start? This is when businesses consider the “re-branding” process and where some mistake re-branding for a new logo design.
How to know when to make a change
The right time to change your aesthetic look or your business logo is when the one you currently use isn’t telling the right story or it isn’t clear about your product or service.
This can also be affected by the name of your business, which that selection should be thought through your marketing strategy and then your creative team or designer should be informed before you make the final decision. This is the best-case scenario because as your identity designer is researching and thinking about how to influence and tell the best story visually to your laser focused target audience. They should be qualified to give you solid advice on your name at this point in the process as it relates to communicating to your audience. I should point out that not all people creating identities have the same skills or knowledge to do this. So carefully consider whom you choose to work with on re-branding your visual identity.
There are pros and cons to making such a big change that affects customer recognition.
Businesses will start to think about the topic of re-branding when something is amiss or just doesn’t “feel” right within the use of their branding in their marketing campaigns whether social media or direct to consumer in print. If you or your team harbors a gut feeling that something isn’t accurate it may be an issue of focus. Here are some questions you should think about and answer.
- Have your company products or services changed and evolved?
- Do you spend time trying to figure out how to market and sell a lot of different things underneath one brand image?
- Do you really know and understand your customer fully (beyond the they are male and female age 15 – 35 type answer)?
- Be more specific about your ideal customer. Do they wear sunscreen? Do they eat organic? Do they like fitness?
- Does your visual brand turn customers off, feel offensive, says the wrong message or lose customers?
This is not what YOU think they think but when you ask them what do they say? What do they say on your facebook page, website comments and in person? Too often people discuss with me what “they think” not what their customers think. It’s hard to ask because you might be scared to know what they really thing but worthwhile. We are living in a consumer controlled world don’t take your customers for granted.
Here is a clear-cut example of a brand with an identity problem.
There are times when a company will know for certain there is a legitimate clear reason that the visual branding is killing the business. For example, in 1996 a DC-9 owned by ValuJet crashed in the Everglades killing 110 people. They were grounded and after their release to fly again they found it difficult to attract customers. They found that the public perception had shifted that low fares lead to low quality maintenance on their airplanes and a perception that the bad maintenance lead to the crash. Ultimately, ValuJet purchase AirTran and then re-branded the company under that identity helping them gain and attract new customers. The effort of re-branding said something completely different and the desired outcome was positive for the airline gaining new customers.
If your brand is gaining and there is growth in your company maybe re-branding your logo or visual design isn’t the problem. This is where focus is important. Beware and be cautious re-branding your visuals because if this isn’t truly the problem in your company stifling growth you could do more damage and stall growth even more. You could confuse your current customers and it does take time to build recognition and trust with a new visual image. I wish designer and branders were miracle workers be we are not. We are however creative thinkers who are often able to translate your goals and ideas into tangible visuals that your customers immediately understand and embrace.
On a scale to 1 to 10 – where is your brand?
Ten being your logo is rocking and rolling working to support your goals and resonating with customers. One being your logo is embarrassing and you don’t want to use it anymore.
About the Author Andrea Robinson Ready to hire someone with who listens and delivers high quality on-time work? Send me a message by clicking here.
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