Some companies and causes have strong affinities for their logos. Others wonder where the logo came from and, given the work being done by the entity, how it was chosen. Regardless, a logo is often an entity’s visual first impression so it is critical that it is both eye-catching and an accurate encapsulation of the company or cause at hand. How do you know when your logo needs a facelift or your messaging needs an overhaul? Keep your radar up for these five signs that it’s time to refresh your brand:
Is your company or cause consistently mistaken for another organization? While this can sometimes be attributed to overlap in service offerings, it can also be the result of either not having solidified a strong graphic identity for your organization or having multiple organizations with similar visual identities operating in the same market. Regardless of the circumstance, the key is to refine and refresh your brand to ensure it resonates with stakeholders moving forward and doesn’t blend into the competitive landscape.
Companies and causes alike continue to evolve. While some organizations add services, others expand into new vertical and geographic markets. Depending on the company or cause, a merger or acquisition may have also impacted the direction of the organization. The key is to make sure your brand – both its visual identity and messaging – are up-to-date and give existing and prospective stakeholders a clear understanding of who you are, what you do, why it matters and how you can help them. Even if your services haven’t changed, it’s important to update your logo to keep it from looking dated.
In some instances, long-standing leadership can become synonymous with an organization’s brand. While this can be an incredible tribute to an organization’s culture, employee retention and integrity, it can pose marketing challenges when it comes time for that individual to move on to a new opportunity or retire. While you want your leadership – and other designated spokespersons – to be beloved and well-respected brand ambassadors, you also want people to know your company or cause for what it does and who it services.
While leadership changes can most often be addressed through new and refined messaging, depending on the origins of your logo and colors, these areas may also need to be reviewed and addressed.
Centennials and bicentennials, in particular, are great occasions to refresh your brand. While some organizations opt to develop refined logos for use during the anniversary year itself, some organizations take this as an opportunity to establish a new graphic identity that speaks to the “next chapter” of its work. While neither is right or wrong, a milestone anniversary is a good time to assess whether or not your logo strongly conveys the vision, mission, and impact of your organization.
Digital printing means less printing press runs are being done. This means “special mix” colors may not render as accurately as they should. While this can often be addressed by transitioning to a nearby PMS color that is not a special mix, some companies and causes may prefer to seize this transition as an opportunity to adopt entirely new brand colors. Regardless of which path you take, be sure everything – from your website and social media avatars to brochures and business cards – match (if you don’t have one already, this is where a brand style guide will come in handy). This is especially critical for organizations with brand colors that can skew towards another color – we’ve all seen the orange that runs more yellow or red depending on the day and the blue that can be overly purple or green on occasion.
Establishing and maintaining a strong brand is the foundation of effective marketing. Think it’s time to refresh your brand? Contact us today.