Sometimes it’s difficult to recognise that it’s time for a brand refresh. Why continue with a brand refresh if your business is growing successfully? Many high-growth organisations grow organically, without any calculated direction. Things take off. Your team grows. New offices open. Your product line triples. And growth mode may take place without making plans for how the brand will adjust and flex as the organisation develops.
At these times, decisions are frequently made that assist an internal team deal with change. In a number of different cases, this means that some of the main brand components end up holding more meaning for those inside of the company, however, lack meaning for other important audiences – prospects, customers as well as recruits – who also matter to the success of the brand.
The warning signs of an exclusively internal-facing brand are plentiful: internal names for your product, add-on brands or – alternatively -a website that has been pieced together, mirroring the evolution of the company. These common indicators demonstrate that important audiences have been forgotten. If this sounds all-too familiar, your brand needs to start looking outside itself.
An Outdated Look And Feel
Just because you are still able to wear clothes from high school or university doesn’t mean you should! Fashion styles are frequently representative of their era and – as time passes – those styles change. Similarly, some brands just look visually dated really need an update. With a few exceptions, failing to convey a progressive “with the times” message visually can be a detriment to your brand.
Remember that the point of branding is to stand out from the competition however you don’t want to stand out for totally the wrong reasons. This doesn’t need to be a wholesale change – just a modernising of the overall brand look. Apparently, you’ll want to leverage the equity that you already have in your existing brand, however, bring that brand into the modern era.
Are There Coffee Stains On Your Brand?
The little things truly do matter in your brand experience with your customers as well as prospects. The coffee stain theory, in a nutshell, states that you are able to do everything right with your brand experience however if you neglect some details (for example an airline which leaves a coffee stain on the tray table) it questions all other types of details that may not be paid attention to – such as maintenance.
Here are some “coffee stains” that you should think about regarding brand experience:
- If your brand stands for quick reaction times and you don’t respond to mentions or inquiries on social media, you could have a coffee stain.
- If your brand claims to have personalised service – and your marketing materials serve up generalised “picked for you” merchandise that isn’t – you could have a coffee stain.
- If you are a precision manufacturer, and your website is not up to date, you could have a coffee stain
- If you are a bank, and you don’t have a good mobile banking experience, you may have a coffee stain.
The point is that sometimes the tiniest things (even if they are not important to you) can put people off of your brand. Their beliefs of you can change dramatically with one single experience.
For many high-growth organisations, add-on brands have made your brand architecture irrelevant. Do you have one brand or a number of different brands? A branded house? Or a house of brands? How do all of your products fit under the umbrella of your brand? Assess how all the different products, business units, and pieces of your brand fit together.
Don’t allow organic growth to lead the way. Develop your brand architecture in order to help people understand your business, products as well as services. Allow that architecture to work for today and accommodate for tomorrow.
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