Building a brand is anything but easy. |
There’s a long list of things to consider, and it can be very overwhelming.
Among many other things, you’ve got to figure out the design of your logo, define your brand identity, and pinpoint your target market.
But if you don’t have a background in marketing, this can all feel like nothing more than a guessing game.
And even if you’ve already done all this stuff to the best of your ability, there are probably a few areas that could use some tweaking.
But where do you start?
What aspects need to be updated?
And what is a brand identity anyway?
If you’re thinking about refreshing your brand, and you find yourself asking these questions, then you’re going to want to keep reading.
Because in this article, I’m going to explain how to update your brand, explore what goes into an effective brand, and share an example of a successful brand update we did for one of our VIP clients.
Is it the Right Time to Be Refreshing Your Brand? Before you even think about updating your brand, you need to consider whether it‘s even necessary.
Over the years, I’ve worked with many clients who were never quite sure about their branding, made too many changes, and were left with an ineffective hodgepodge of unrecognizable elements.
So, before you commit to refreshing your brand, you need to think about whether it’s even worth it.
How do you do that?
Well, first of all, you need to consider if your current branding is working for you, and that means you’ve got to ask yourself some questions.
Do people seem confused about what your company does?
Are you getting a deluge of sales, or is the money just barely trickling in?
Have you been able to find qualified leads who actually want what you’re offering, or are you having a tough time trying to find anyone who’s interested?
If you’re not seeing any confusion, and having no trouble locating leads and making sales, then your branding is likely working just fine, and there’s no need for an update.
But if people are confused about your company, or you’re having a tough time finding leads and making sales, then refreshing your brand is probably the right decision.
So, before you decide to update your brand, make sure to consider all these aspects.
And if you want to learn more about why you wouldn’t want to update your brand, I published an article detailing some of the most epic fails in the history of branding, so you might want to check it out before making up your mind.
What Is a Brand Identity? Before I go too deep into what you need to consider when refreshing your brand, I need to explain what a brand identity is.
For those of you who aren’t sure what this term means, it refers to all the different aspects of your branding, and how your ideal customers relate to those aspects and perceive them.
Among other things, your brand identity includes:
Your logo Your tagline Your brand colours Your brand’s voice and messaging The fonts your brand uses What your brand stands for This isn’t an exhaustive explanation of everything that goes into a brand identity, but it should give you a better idea of what the term actually means.
If you want to learn more about this subject, you should check out my article on how to define your brand identity and maintain consistency in your marketing.
What to Consider When Refreshing Your Brand When a client asks us to revamp their website, help them build their brand, or update their existing brand, the first thing we do is a brand analysis.
This analysis looks at things like the characteristics of the client’s ideal customers, their experience and expertise in their field, what differentiates their business from their competitors, and how they want their brand to be perceived.
Understanding all these aspects is going to allow you to fine-tune your branding so that it speaks to those who are actually interested in what you have to offer.
I’m not going to give everything away, but below, you’ll find a list of several things you should spend some time thinking about if you’re seriously considering refreshing your brand.
Read: Why Brand Consistency (or Lack Thereof) Can Make or Break the Success of Your Business
When it comes to branding, one of the things people tend to overlook most is consistency.
But if you want to have a successful brand, you’ve got to make sure to maintain consistency, otherwise, you could make your brand less recognizable and even confuse your customers.
So, if you want to learn how to maintain consistent branding, then this article is right up your alley.
It explains what brand consistency is, why it’s so important, how you can make sure your branding is consistent, and explores some of the most epic fails of inconsistent branding.
Keep reading here.
Who Is Your Ideal Customer? Hands down, this is the most important thing to consider when refreshing your brand.
Without defining this, you’re not going to know how to effectively communicate with your target market, and if you don’t know how to do that, your branding could be doomed from the get-go.
So, if you want to define your ideal customer, here are some things to consider:
What do they value? Where are they located? How much money do they make? How much education do they have? What demographic(s) do they belong to? What motivates them to give you their business? Do they belong to any particular career level or distinct industry? There are many more questions you can ask when you’re trying to define your ideal customer, but the ones above should be more than enough to help you understand how this works.
What Differentiates Your Brand from Your Competitors? After you’ve defined your ideal customers, the next thing you need to do is figure out what differentiates you from the competition.
In marketing speak, this is called your unique selling proposition (USP), which is essentially a definition of why potential customers should choose you instead of one of your competitors.
So, if you want to define your USP, here are some things to consider:
What kinds of problems and challenges are your ideal customers facing? How can you help them to overcome these problems and challenges? What is it that allows you to do this better than the competition? Why should someone do business with you instead of them? What are the qualities that make your brand unique? How can you convey all of this in a concise way?
Are You Focusing on Yourself or Your Customers? One of the biggest mistakes a business owner can make when it comes to their branding and marketing is to put all the focus on themself and their business, instead of their customers.
Donald Miller discusses this in great detail in his book, Building a StoryBrand, which explains why brands should put the majority of their focus on potential customers, instead of droning on about themselves.
This method highlights potential customers’ problems and pain points, effectively grabs their attention (because you’re talking about them) lets them know that you know what they’re going through and are able to help them solve their problems, and focuses on what they can do with your products and/or services, rather than telling them how great you are (news flash – nobody cares).
So, if you’re the owner of a company that makes lawnmowers, the heading at the top of your home page should say something like Mow Your Lawn with Ease, instead of We Make the World’s Best Lawnmowers.
I know, it sounds like such a simple little change, but in my experience, this method can create incredibly effective branding that speaks to your ideal customers and grabs their attention immediately.
To use one of our clients as an example, let’s take a look at the home page for Dayton ICU Consulting, which offers consulting services to help hospitals implement evidence-based practices.
The heading speaks directly to potential customers, asking them a question that addresses the problem they’re dealing with, and this lets them know that Dayton ICU Consulting understands their issues and is probably their best option.
We worked with the owner of this consulting firm to build their brand from scratch, so this isn’t a good example of a brand update, but it does show the effectiveness of Miller’s philosophy.
That being said, if there’s one client that would be the best example of one of our brand updates, it would be Dr. Dheshnie from Deez Skin Rejù & Pain Clinic.
When she came to us, her website looked atrocious and even her logo was pretty amateurish.
Her old website (on the left) just cannot compare to the new one we created when we updated her brand.
For one thing, the heading on her old site doesn’t say a single word about potential clients and just goes on and on about why Deez Skin Rejù is so great, whereas, on her new website, the heading speaks to the desires of her customers, and doesn’t even mention Deez Skin Rejù.
Moreover, we completely redid her logo, opting for a stylish signature-style font in lieu of an awkward-looking and over-used lotus flower.
In addition, highlighting expertise is something that’s incredibly important in the med spa industry, and the branding on her old website just wasn’t conveying this properly.
So, we changed the layout and imagery to speak more to Dr. Dheshnie’s target market, and exude a level of expertise that accurately reflects her qualifications.
We also added several other elements to her home page, including testimonials, a statement explaining her USP, and an offer to get a discounted treatment if you sign up for her newsletter.
All things considered, refreshing your brand could be one of the best things you ever do for your business, as it was for Dr. Dheshnie.
But remember, before pulling the trigger on a brand update of your own, it’s important to consider if it’s even necessary.
I hope this article has given you greater insight into whether a brand update is right for your business, and what you need to consider if you do choose to refresh your brand.
Is your business in dire need of a brand update? We’ve been helping business owners to build their brands for more than 20 years. Contact us today to learn more about what we can do for you.
To your business success, Susan Friesen
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