New! Improved! We’ve got a new look! Google is now Alphabet. Facebook is now Meta. You get the emails. You see the headlines in the business news. Brands, even those of the most successful, most well-known companies, keep changing. Think of how many times Starbucks has redesigned its logo. Brand evolution is an inevitable and integral part of a healthy, growing business. And here is how you can be sure that your brand evolves along with your business.
Evolve your brand with a purpose
Of course, you don’t want to evolve your brand too often or just to make a change for fun. What feels tired and old to you, who sees it every day, may be stable and consistent to an outsider. That only confuses customers and undermines the whole purpose of building a brand in the first place. An authentic brand is grounded in a business’s vision and values. When either of those changes, it’s time to think about evolving the brand. The new brand will serve as the foundation upon which to build the business’s future.
Often a good time to change a brand is when there’s been, or you’re planning, a major shift in the business. That could be taking on a partner, adding a new design specialty or retail component, expanding into new markets or business ventures (such as real estate or construction), or repositioning the firm to attract a different type of client or project. These changes are significant enough to justify a new coat of paint.
Refresh or rebrand
Even the best brands get stale after a while. Times change. Tastes change. Colors and designs go out of style. From time to time it’s a good idea to refresh the look and feel of your brand to reflect current trends. A rebrand, on the other hand, is more substantial. If a refresh is like applying a new coat of paint, a rebrand is like doing a major renovation.
When companies announce their new brands, a lot of attention gets paid to graphic elements like logos and colors, and to marketing elements like slogans and packaging. The fundamentals of rebranding go much deeper, however. It starts with creating a new vision for the firm and everyone’s role in it. How will it be new? What will those changes help it to achieve? Who does it seek to benefit with those changes? How will it look different three years from now, in five years, in ten years? When those questions have been answered, you can move on to what the expression of that vision, those goals and those values might look and feel like.
Evolution or revolution
A new brand says to customers, suppliers, and others: “We’ve changed”. We’re not the firm we were before. We have something new, something more to offer. That announcement may entail a modification to the firm’s already existing brand, such as encompassing both residential and commercial imagery and services. The firm’s website as well as promotional information and materials will be updated to include the new offerings and new imagery. Graphics and other elements of the brand’s look and feel may be refreshed but still remain more or less familiar.
In the case of a major re-branding, such as a new partnership or expansion into a new line of business, it might also include a name change, a whole new logo, a new brand promise, and a revamping of personnel and services. A more substantial promotional campaign will be needed to ensure that both existing clients and suppliers as well as those the firm seeks to attract in the future are aware of the change, why it’s happening, and what the benefit will be to them.
A re-brand is not only a reflection of changes happening in the firm now, it is also a statement of aspiration for what the firm hopes to be in the future. As such, it can serve as the rudder to steer you toward that future. To grow your firm, evolve your brand to be as ambitious as your dreams.