The Importance of branding and when it might be time for a refresh.
How strong is your branding game? Does it reflect your core values, differentiate you from your competitors and deepen your connection to your target audience?
If you’re hinging it all on your logo then it’s fair to say you’re not crystal clear on how you want your brand to be perceived. This makes it harder to get buy-in from customers, especially since 64% of consumers stick with brands that share their values.
Let’s delve into the importance of branding, the key elements that make a brand successful, and how to know if a brand refresh is needed.
There’s a misconception that branding is all about your logo or your website. While these elements are important, branding goes way beyond that. Here’s an easy way to break it down:
Let’s take IKEA as an example. The first thing that springs to mind is probably the distinctive blue and yellow logo. Or the catchy slogan for its latest ad campaign voiced in that distinctive Scandinavian accent. These are the visual aspects of its brand identity.
Its branding encompasses how people feel about their reputation and its messaging. We associate the brand with simplicity, affordability, and a clean Scandi-style aesthetic that appeals to a wide consumer base, from college students to families and young professionals.
Ikea doesn’t pretend to be anything it’s not because its branding is clear, consistent and transparent.
That’s the goal of branding, to attract customers who align with your mission, story and core values.
We’ve seen some high-profile brand updates in recent years. From Johnson & Johnson’s updated logo, signalling its move away from consumer healthcare products, to Irish semi-state Bord na Móna’s transformation into a climate solutions company. Both companies’ new branding aims to reinforce their commitment to traditional values while demonstrating that they’re at the forefront of progress.
Within the wider branding landscape, the drive to refresh and modernise brands has seen the rise of minimalist design trends, characterised by simplicity and clean lines. However, this can have an undesirable effect when too many brands have similar-looking logos that lack differentiation. Brands need to strike a balance between minimalism and uniqueness, to ensure that their visual identity stands out in a crowded marketplace.
As brands evolve and adapt to changing market dynamics and consumer preferences, brand updates are crucial to keep customer perceptions aligned with your brand promise and differentiators.
These are just some of the factors that could indicate if it’s the right time for a brand refresh:
Whatever changes your brand is trying to reflect, you want to maintain the special connection and shared values you’ve built with customers.
This is a quick overview of the steps we take to refresh our clients’ brands from concept to market.
1. Discovery Session
We start with an audit of your company brand which includes customer personas, competitor & target market analysis right through to SWOT and tone of voice. This forms the foundation for your brand DNA book which includes brand positioning, brand values, mission, purpose, tone of voice, and messaging.
2. Brand Identity
This is the visual look and feel that tells your brand story and resonates with your audience. It includes the logo, fonts, colours & visual language that breathes new life into your brand.
3. Brand Application
This is about making sure your brand experience is consistent across all channels, from tangible print assets to ever-digital platforms.
4. Brand Marketing
This is about communicating your brand’s story to your audience by using all the carefully crafted assets above to build an authentic, memorable brand.
Keeping your brand fresh and impactful is an ongoing journey. It starts with an understanding of what your brand means, how you want it to be perceived and being consistent with the brand story you want to be told.
This doesn’t necessarily mean a complete overhaul of your brand’s core values and identity. It’s about identifying the key changes that allow you to hit your goals. Then aligning those changes with the shared values and loyalty your customers resonate with.
Got any niggling questions about your existing brand? Drop us a line, we’re always happy to help.