1. Is it accurate?
It’s very likely that what you do as a business has evolved and developed – if only slightly – over time. Provided you’ve not jumped onto a design fad or trend, there’s no ‘shelf life’ for design. It’s worth though, considering whether your brand still reflects your offer. If the direction of your business has changed then has your audience also changed? If so, are you attracting these new customers with your present visual identity?
2. Are you standing out?
In every marketplace the fight for customers is fierce. Having an eye on your competition is critical. Rather than feeling a need to copy the successful ones, it’s important to be aware of what they’re doing right. This can help you to gain clues as to why their customers aren’t yours. Who’s creating compelling visual experiences that resonate with their audience? Who’s telling their Brand Story and engaging with their customers at a deeper level, one based on aligned values? What can you learn?
3. Is it flexible?
Digital communication has meant that many organisations have simplified and stripped back overcomplicated corporate identities (logotypes). Does yours stand up to scaling and legibility? Is it flexible?
4. Is it consistent?
Inconsistency confuses. Wherever your customer encounters you the experience should make sense. Your branding needs to successfully span all channels, so that whether customers are arriving on your website, meeting you on social or receiving a credentials deck, the experience should be consistent.
Inconsistency as to how you look, based on your market, can also confuse. For example, let’s take the financial sector. I’m in no way advocating the need to look staid, but the visual experience of such organisations will need to exude trust and professionalism. Not dated, or dull, but certainly dependable and embracing of tech. A flippant, lightweight visual appearance would confuse and potentially repel customers.
5. Evolution or revolution?
Evolving your brand identity doesn’t necessarily mean the need for a total overhaul. The heritage and association that you may have with colour, for example, may well be worth keeping. A minor adjustment may be all that’s required to create a more relevant, visual appeal – a brand refresh.
If of course your business objectives require the perception of your brand to shift more greatly, then a more radical approach may well be necessary. It’s your chance to review your values, the promise you make to your customer and then base design thinking on strong foundations to make that strategic change towards your desired position in your market.
Got a question about this article? Feel like it’s time for a brand refresh?