If you’re considering a brand strategy refresh, or revisiting your brand strategy for the first time in years, consider my top five signs you should refresh your brand.
As a branding and digital consultant, there is nothing that breaks my nerdy brand strategist heart more than seeing so many brands missing major opportunities to connect with their audience offline and online.
In many cases, all you may need is a brand refresh, not a complete rebrand or new brand design. A refresh is, in most cases, a more practical, efficient and affordable options for medium to larger sized businesses ready to increase sales and reach.
The Top Five Signs Your Brand Strategy Needs a Refresh
- It’s been a while since you’ve looked under the hood. If you haven’t opened up your brand strategy in the past five years, odds are you are in dire need of a reassessment. Why? Your audience, the market, your competition and the digital channels and media they’re consuming have likely all evolved. And if your brand hasn’t, oof. Well, you can imagine what opportunities you may be missing. Would you dare let your car go five years without an oil change or tune up? Of course not! Your brand is the engine behind all of your marketing efforts and shouldn’t be treated differently.
- Your business is expanding its offerings or product lines. You have an established brand and business is solid, so, you’ve decided to add on a new product line or service offering. How will this new product align with the rest of your products? How does it fit into your brand story? Do you have all of the marketing materials necessary to support the new service or product? If you’ve answered “no” to any or all of the above you should hire a brand strategy consultant to assess how this new line fits into the overall brand story in order to maximize impact during and after launch.
- You’re entering a new market or territory. Your brand is ready for expansion into a new market or perhaps you are scaling on the national level. Brand strategy, whenever possible, should be localized to fit a new market. While your brand may be a household name in your market and completely understood by your audience a new market will inevitably require a new market launch strategy. In order to pull that off successfully, you guessed it, you’ll need to refresh your brand through the lens of your new market and/or a national market.
- Your social isn’t buzzing. One of the most tell tale signs a brand needs a refresh is a stagnant social media presence or a lack of brand continuity on social channels. This is a symptom of a deeper, root cause and it’s most likely your brand strategy. So, before you blame your social team for “just not getting it”, take a look at your brand direction. Most of today’s established brands were designed before digital and social marketing took hold of our every waking moment. Nor were brands designed to be living, breathing things with evolving story lines. Additionally if your customers aren’t embracing your brand and mentioning you naturally on social, that’s a huge red flag that your brand is lacking a true connection with your audience.
- Your employees can’t tell you your brand’s story. Test our theory out and ask an employee or team member to describe your brand to you in ten words or less. If all of your teammates are saying different lines–or even worse–if they recite a vague, jargon-y word salad, this is another symptom and a sure sign that your brand needs a reassessment and refresh.
What should be in your brand strategy?
Your brand strategy, the one you likely need to dust off, should include the following:
- Value proposition: who are you targeting, what do they need, what do you do better than anyone else, and why should your target markets care or believe you?
- Appeal: make sure to include both rational and emotional appeals.
- Messaging: explicit messaging–what you actually say–is important, but so is your implicit messaging, or what you are implying with your brand marketing.
- Brand Guidelines: more than just how to use the logo, these should also include the rest of your brand architecture, and–most importantly–be a useable document that your teams can use & adjust as your brand grows.
- Digital Brand Content Strategy: who are you targeting, on what channels, and with what messages & frequency?
If you are missing some or all of the above and if you have not spent time in the past 3-5 years testing the efficacy of your brand, it’s time to give me a call or reach out for a confidential proposal.
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