NOW is the time for a brand refresh. Seriously!

Now may not be the best time to consider a brand refresh, but it may also be the most critical move you can make to assure your brand’s survival.

The primary task of your brand visual identity is to express the company’s message and connect with your audience. At its best, a strong brand image is recognizable and familiar across all the varying media outlets, resonates with its consumers in a way that builds trust and loyalty, and guides its company’s decisions in the marketplace. From color to typeface, icons to logos, it is critical for a brand to thoughtfully choose and orchestrate each visual piece to correctly convey and communicate its purpose. As your brand grows and changes, and as the consumer and the marketplace evolves, it's important your brand stays true to its purpose while adapting its visual representation to the current environment.

A brand refresh is like a brand image makeover. While your brand’s foundation—ethos, purpose and vision—messaging and core offering remain the same, your visual identity is updated to reflect the marketplace and reassure your customers that you still know what you’re doing. It includes reviewing and adjusting your brand’s voice and visual messaging to develop newer and fresher ways to more effectively connect and communicate with your audience. While a refresh is not as comprehensive as a rebrand, renovating your use of color, typography, logos and tone of voice can ensure you aren’t left behind as the new business as usual takes form.

To remain relevant, relatable and trustworthy, if you’re in charge of moving your business forward you need to be thinking about your brand identity, aware of your position in the marketplace, and prepared to refresh your image in order to match any adjustments you’ve made during the pandemic.

Here’s a look at seven signs your brand identity will need a refresh:

#1: Your Industry is Being Disrupted.

As the state of business, and most business ecosystems, continue to be disrupted, your brand strategy could be shifting as a result. You may be considering moving into new markets, offering new products and services, or delivering your messaging through new outlets, while the markets you’re in could likely be changing dramatically. While consumers will likely desire some sense of the old within certain sectors, the marketplace is certainly shifting, becoming more emotionally charged as consumers change their priorities and look for brands who understand them. As the environment becomes more and more competitive, if your visual identity remains rooted in the past, your brand will very likely be left there as well.

#2: Your Market is Changing.

With all the shifts occurring in reaction to the pandemic, a number of changes in your market could be affecting your brand strategy. Your business may have adjusted already to new developments, new tech may have entered the picture altering the landscape, or perhaps a new business has emerged that could use your product. Whatever the case, consumer behavior and emotions are changing, having a direct effect on the marketplace, and as a result have created a new customer for your product. This customer is not the same as the one you’ve been marketing to, and consequently, you’re targeting the wrong customer with your old brand.

#3 Adapting to a changing marketplace has made you inconsistent.

With dramatic behavioral alterations, perhaps you have tried to adapt on the fly to keep customers interested. Trying different colors and new taglines to drive sales has pulled you off your brand strategy and has started to confuse your audience. A refresh will help you find focus and more consistently connect with your audience once again.

#4 You’re expecting growth.

Perhaps you are releasing new products, expecting new demand or anticipating shifts in the market. Before shit hits the fan, examine how your brand image may come up short and make updates that prepare you to be consistent as your growth spikes. If your brand was built for your original product category or for a niche market, make sure your brand image has the breadth to represent the entirety of your products and services as it expands.

#5 You’re serving new markets.

Whether due to growth or an effort to survive the times, you have moved into new markets with different consumers. As your brand expands into new areas to develop new streams of revenue, a new share of the market may require you to change your voice or image to appeal more broadly to your new range of customers. While you may connect well with your original market, you should assess if your new markets have the same perceptions when it comes to your visual representation and voice. This is especially true if you are moving into foreign markets.

#6 You want to attract new customers.

It’s easy when you are beginning to make brand decisions based on a small or niche target audience. Perhaps you started focused on a very specific demographic and you are recognizing an opportunity in new age groups or gender bases. If you are only connecting with a piece of your market, a refresh can expand your approachability to appeal to a wider array of customers.

#7 You’re not connecting emotionally with your audience.

The primary purpose of your brand identity is to connect with your audience in a way that builds trust and drives loyalty. Customers who feel an emotional connection with a brand are twice as valuable and more likely to buy your products or services more than once, according to a Harvard Business Review report. If you aren’t experiencing positive customer retention, there may be something missing at the heart of your visual brand. A refresh process can evaluate how your brand is not aligning with your audience and adjust your visual identity for a more effective and emotional brand experience.

In order to remain relevant, trustworthy and attractive to your audience, a refresh can help you make a distinct impact by adjusting the way your brand feels, sounds, and looks to your ever changing customer. Approaching the refresh or rebrand process is a daunting task, made more intimidating by our current economic landscape. If any of the above resonates with you, we at ATOMIC D can help you approach this process. As experts in branding, we follow a simple but effective process to aid you in refreshing your brand to drive greater connections with your customer and allowing you to stay agile in these uncertain times. Visit www.atomicd.co to learn more or contact us at hitme@atomicd.co.

Want to learn more about creating a great brand foundation? Read about our approach here.

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