A brand is the personality of your business, and the face your business shows the rest of the world. Just like humans have a distinct personality, every business should have a unique set of traits that an audience can identify—no matter how large or small your business is. If no-one can identify these traits within your business, maybe its time for a brand refresh?
Sometimes personalities need refining. We may not completely change our own personalities, but over time, we tweak them to match our vision of who we want to become, and to reach our goals that align with that vision. And, let’s face it—there are often parts of ourselves that we know we can change for the better.
If your business has been around for some time, your brand may benefit from the same kind of personality tweak. However, a full rebrand isn’t always a viable option, as it can drain a lot of time and monetary resources.
Luckily, a brand refresh can be nearly, if not just as effective as a full rebrand. For example, if you’re launching a new product line or changing your company vision, refreshing your brand will clue your audience in to the changes while keeping your image up-to-date.
Let’s look at some of the ways you can refresh your brand without having to do a complete brand overhaul.
1. Change in Typography
Most businesses have several fonts they use on repeat for all of their messaging. and over time your customers start associating you with those typefaces.
But, when a business is just starting out, their choice of fonts is more of a haphazard selection than an intentional design intended to convey some emotional impact on the reader.
Now that your business is more established, you may want to try a change in typography, to give your text a new, eye-catching look.
Serif fonts are popular right now, as they are easy on the eye and make for a clear read; the once widely-loved script and handwriting fonts, on the other hand, are usually illegible and can overwhelm your audience.
For tried-and-true serifs, go with a typeface like Josefin Slab or Arvo.
Or, if you prefer the look of the sans serif family, Lato or Ubuntu are both good moves.
Serifs and sans serifs pair well together, so play around with font combinations pairs until you find the right contrast between your primary and secondary types.
2. Refresh Your Logo or Add a Secondary Mark to Your Brand
Modern logos are a far cry from the logos of old, as logo design trends have changed over time. Complex lines have been replaced by simple shapes; block letters have taken over the curls and loops of old scripts.
Even the most famous brands sport logos that eventually evolve. Take Pepsi, a brand that always stayed current and new when it was time for a refresh:
Chances are, your logo is also ready for an upgrade. Maybe your current color combination isn’t drawing your customers’ eyes, or your monochrome logo needs the contrast of a secondary color to make it stand out.
You should also think about the layout of your logo design; if it’s on the wider side, you may want to consider adding a condensed secondary mark to your logo repertoire. As most secondary marks don’t contain text, they look good wherever they’re placed.
3. Get Trendy – Incorporate New Trends into Your Web Design
Are you following the latest website design trends? While it’s true that some fads are quick to fade from the popular sphere, long-term trends—such as minimalism—aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.
Consider redesigning your website and other brand assets to incorporate minimalism. Videos and moving animations are here to stay, so you may want to try using a video background for your website. Combine these with flat buttons and other modern-looking design elements to help your overall refresh stand out.
Keep in mind that any trend is still subject to fade over time. Consumer preferences change, designs shift, and your brand needs to adapt accordingly. Don’t let this discourage you from refreshing your brand identity, but be aware that dabbling in trends may warrant another refresh somewhere down the branding line.
4. Invest in New Imagery for a Simple Brand Refresh
Like web design trends, the style of images people enjoy have changed over time. The once-popular stiff, corporate headshots have been replaced by natural, candid images of people in action—but maybe your brand hasn’t gotten the memo yet.
Take a look at the images you use in your marketing materials. Do your subjects’ outfits and hairstyles look like something you’d see on the street? Are the people in your images posed or acting natural? If the former, it’s time to get a photographer in and do an image-refresh.
Another dead giveaway that your images are old is if they are in the (older) 3:2 aspect ratio—i.e. not mobile-friendly. Invest in some high-quality HD images with a 16:9 aspect ratio for a standard desktop layout, and 18:9 for smartphones.
Remember, new images boost the morale of the people working for you, and it makes them feel like they are a part of something larger. So, while you’re at it, go get yourself and your team new LinkedIn profile headshots!
5. Voice = Perceptions
Branding is all about consumer perceptions—how they see your brand, interact with it and advocate for it. The content you create helps to inform those perceptions, as you speak to your audience in a specific voice that tells them something about who your brand is.
If you don’t have a clearly defined brand voice, this is the time to create it. Plan content for all social media channels that communicates directly to your customers.
Let them know what you stand for and why they should stand for you, using thoughtful case studies or funny memes—however your audience will best understand you. Effective communication is the key to a successful perception refresh, regardless of the methods you use to start the conversation!
6. Add Flair to your Color Palette
A splash of green here or a dash of red there has become common across various industries, and it’s about time you add colors that pop to your brand palette. Branding is about being memorable, and colors are one of the easiest ways to make a mark on the minds of your audience.
Include a new color to complement your existing palette and spice up your brand identity. Just make sure to use colors that jive withyour existing brand identity, and not colors that change it completely. Remember you’re just refreshing your brand, and not totally rebranding it.
If you are still hesitant about using bright colors, test them on a single campaign, and see how it performs. You can always phase them out if they don’t work for you.
7. Give Your Business a Narrative
Every business is founded on a set of core values that keep it going. If you haven’t let your customers in on the morals that propel your business forward, now is the time to change that.
Invest in building a brand narrative that best conveys your values to your audience and helps them understand why you do what you do.
Make sure the story you choose to tell is honest, meaningful and sprinkled with emotion. Choose a narrator or “spokesperson” to tell the story for you—one that is sincere and fits with your brand identity. This could be a mascot, a social media influencer, or even you; just make sure whoever you go with will resonate with your audience and not turn them off.
After all, in today’s trust-based economy, nothing alienates consumers more than insincerity.
Over to You
Completely rebranding your business isn’t always necessary for making a new and improved impression on your customers. A simple brand refresh can more than do the trick, in addition to saving you a nice chunk of change.
Remember, the goal of any brand, whether it’s new or improved, is to distinguish your business from the competition and show your customers a personality they can connect with.
Any questions? Feel free to ask us in the comments below!