How do you know when it’s time for a brand redesign? This can be a surprisingly tricky question to navigate.
If you’ve experienced a downturn in sales recently or you’re struggling to make your brand visible, you might feel that a brand redesign (or even a complete rebrand) is the only solution. Be wary of throwing the baby out with the bathwater though! It may be that you can turn around your business’s fortunes with a stronger brand strategy or better brand insights.
On the other hand, maybe your brand does need refining or redesigning. Even the world’s most successful and enduring brands have been through multiple incarnations, retaining the essence of their identity but evolving with their audience and the times.
Sometimes, brand redesigns are radical and represent a complete change of direction. Other times, they’re more subtle. Different approaches work for different businesses at different points in their growth.
It’s sensible to review your brand regularly to ensure that it’s still fully aligned to your company’s values, mission and goals.
To help you decide whether it’s time for a brand redesign for your organisation, we’ve put together a list of common observations about brands that need a refresh. Do any of them strike a chord?
1. You feel embarrassed about your brand
If you’ve been feeling unenthused or even embarrassed about your brand for some time, it’s worth exploring why.
Did you have to DIY your brand in the early days of trading because you didn’t have the money to outsource the design to a professional? Did the brand evolve as you got to know your customers, leaving it feeling a bit piecemeal as a result? Does your current brand overlook an important part of your brand story?
All of these issues can affect how you (and your customers) see your brand.
A brand redesign can help you to polish your brand, make it more cohesive and ensure it ties into and reflects the story behind your business.
2. Your brand’s visual elements don’t work across all platforms
How flexible is your logo and other design elements? Can they easily be resized to different digital platforms and how do they look in different shapes and sizes? Do you have dynamic, moving visual elements to your brand or was your branding designed before this was an option?
Sometimes, a brand redesign is about moving with technological advances, not just changing tastes.
3. Your ideal client has changed
Even though you probably did extensive research into your target audience when you launched your business, it takes most companies a while to really learn who their flesh and blood customers are and whether they want to reach a specific niche within that group moving forward.
Of course, this will impact your brand, affecting the visual brand identity as well as the brand strategy, marketing messages and more.
A different scenario could be that you’ve changed your business function or pivoted to a new target audience altogether. In this case, a complete brand redesign is likely to be necessary.
4. Your brand doesn’t appeal to your target audience
If you know your target audience inside out but your business is struggling to attract them, it could be that your branding is out of alignment with who you’re trying to reach.
A brand redesign can help you to identify the brand elements that resonate with your ideal customers and rethink the elements that aren’t enhancing the sense of connection. Maybe you’re using the wrong images, the wrong language, the wrong colours and fonts – all of these issues can be addressed to make your brand wow its intended audience.
5. Your brand looks out-of-date
Design trends change, meaning that a brand that once looked cutting-edge eventually looks tired and dated. Creating a visually appealing brand requires treading a fine line between using classic, timeless elements and elements that feel current.
Often, the most sensible solution is to opt for timeless elements as the foundation of your brand design and then add in some contemporary flavours that can evolve in the future.
As much as you want your brand to feel and be relevant, be wary about rebranding to cash in on a hot trend – in our experience, fashions that come from nowhere tend to disappear just as quickly! (Yes, crosses in logos and animated home pages, we’re talking about you 😊)
6. Your brand is struggling to stand out
One of the most important functions of your brand is to help your business stand out from its competitors in the marketplace. How well is your brand achieving this?
If someone who knew nothing about your industry looked at your brand alongside that of your competitors, would they be able to tell your business apart from the rest? Does your brand reflect what’s unique about your business or what people stand to gain when they buy from you?
If the answer is ‘no’ to any of these questions, then it’s probably time for a brand redesign.
7. There’s no cohesion across your marketing materials
If you were to gather up all of your marketing materials – print and digital – and lay them out side-by-side, would they all look and feel like they’ve come from the same source?
Many businesses struggle with a lack of cohesion across their marketing materials. Usually, this is because the brand has evolved over a period of time, budgets have varied over the years, and the marketing materials have been created by a range of individuals or teams, each with varying design briefs and no central brand guidelines to work from.
The problem with this lack of cohesion is that it will be confusing to your potential and existing customers who will quickly pick up on the mish-mash style. How can they embrace your brand identity if you clearly don’t know what it is either?
This is a scenario where a brand redesign can pull everything together and make your brand easy to recognise.
8. Your brand puts style over substance
Does your brand’s visual identity look slick and professional but you’re still struggling to connect with your target audience?
It could be that your current brand design focuses too much on style over substance. Your brand may look stunning at first glance but if your website offers a horrible user experience or your marketing messages don’t feel authentic, then your audience will quickly see through the polished veneer to the problems underneath.
Sometimes, a brand redesign is necessary to bring the strategy and messaging into harmony with the beautiful visuals.
9. Your brand is evolving and expanding
We’ve touched on this possibility in a few of the points above, but it might be time for a brand redesign if your business is expanding or moving into new locations or industries.
If you’re expanding your business internationally, for example, you may need to adapt your brand to reflect the traditions and culture of your new target audience.
That being said, cultural awareness and sensitivity should be a priority wherever your business operates as your customers could be anywhere in the world, each with their own cultures and experiences guiding their preferences.
10. You don’t have a brand style guide
If a new marketing manager, designer or copywriter came into your business today, would you be able to give them a clear set of brand guidelines to work from? Do you have a brand style guide that means that, regardless of who produces something on behalf of your brand, it always has a shared look and feel with your other marketing materials?
Again, if the answer to either of these questions is ‘no’ then it’s definitely time to prioritise a brand redesign.
Having a brand style guide means that even with a huge team across multiple sites, your brand can maintain its one carefully crafted identity.
Time for a brand redesign?
Bringing in a brand agency like Iconic to lead a brand redesign is often the most effective option. An agency can cast a fresh pair of eyes over your current brand and quickly identify what works well and what would benefit from a refresh. Brand insights, up-to-the-minute knowledge about branding and strategic thinking can all help you to futureproof your brand and distil its essence into a cohesive, client-attracting identity.
Need help with a brand redesign or want to discuss what it would mean for your business? We’d love to have a chat.< Back to Blog