How do you know when it’s time to refresh your brand? Get the breakdown of our exact process for client rebrand projects to gain some insight for you and your business.
Unpopular opinion: your brand is not yours to create. That’s right, we said it.
As marketing landscapes ebb and flow, branding has increasingly become less about what you actually put out there and more about what your audience thinks and feels about what you’re putting out there. In other words, your brand is no longer in your control; it’s in your customers’ minds – and you need to learn how to be telepathic.
Another way to think about this is by asking yourself, what is your reputation? Whether you’re the popular kid that everyone wants to be around or the kid in the school band that is insanely good at an oddly niche instrument, that is your brand. And if your brand is what people think about your business, then brand strategy is the practice of influencing those thoughts.
While logos and colors and taglines are all important components of molding your consumer’s thoughts about your brand, building a brand goes way beyond the visual elements. Take Coca Cola as an example:
Over the years, the visual style has changed. Sometimes drastically, other times, less so. However, the emotions behind the brand and its campaigns (think: “Share a Coke.”) have not. In other words, the relationship Coca Cola had with its customers is a happily-ever-after, I-do, type of relationship: it has remained the same despite its several rebrands.
How do you know when it is time to rebrand?
Most businesses will be focused on getting their brand off the ground and subsequently create a brand that helps them gain visibility and attract attention. As time goes on and your business expands, your needs will likely change. Your brand goals will shift and your reputation will become more and more in the hands of your customers.
This means that eventually, there will be a gap between your existing brand identity and the one you need to develop to continue growing. So, forget about your zodiac. Here are signs you need to refresh your brand:
You’re jealous of the competition.
Who else is doing what you do? And how are they doing it better? If you’ve got heart eyes for the competition but can’t say the same about your own brand, it’s time to rebrand.
One of our clients, The Little Shop of Olive Oils, felt this heavily with their product packaging. As a gourmet olive oil and balsamic vinegar brand with a homey yet premium feel, they were competing with more elevated, luxury brands such as Kosterina and Brightland.
Your brand name no longer reflects your brand vision.
Maybe it’s your product line, maybe it’s your entire brand, but when it comes to business, a rose by any other name would NOT be just as sweet. (Sorry, Shakespeare.) The naming process can take a painfully long time, but having a team of professionals behind you can make it a lot easier.
When a client of ours needs to name or rename their brand, it’s all hands on deck effort. Everyone from our sales team to our social media team gives input. If you’re feeling like your brand name is no longer capturing the attention of your customers in the right way, it might be time for a rebrand.
You’re not obsessed with your visual identity.
While the visual elements of branding can seem more superficial, a good brand identity is designed to convey the mission and purpose of your brand. Whether it’s the quality of your product or how empowering your service is, aesthetics are everything.
So, if you aren’t raving about your own brand visuals, it’s time to fix that.
You look too similar to your competitors.
When our team was designing product packaging for The Little Shop of Olive Oil’s new bottles, we started by looking at the market. A simple search on Google or on your local grocery store’s website shows you this:
You’ll find similar results with searches such as “sunscreen”, “face wash”, and more.
While consumers have expectations for what a product might look like on the shelf, deviating from the expectations can have its own benefits, particularly if you are trying to elevate yourself from the competition with different values.
Make sure you can align with your ideal customers without blending in with your competitors.
You’ve moved or expanded your original geographical target audience.
Maybe you’re a local boutique looking to enter the national or global market. Or maybe you’re an online service provider looking to put some roots down and acquire a physical headquarters.
Whatever the case, shifting locations and reach will impact the way you tell your brand story. From slang and messaging considerations to design trends and big industry players, you may need to adjust your branding accordingly.
You’re struggling to raise your price.
Whether you’re the new kid on the block or a seasoned professional, your brand communicates your value. No matter how good you are at what you do, if your user experience and brand personality does not emphasize your selling points, your customers won’t pay you for it.
If you want to raise your price or exude a higher quality of your offering, you need to rebrand.
How do you successfully rebrand?
Refreshing your brand can feel like a big decision, but the truth is it’s an easy one. It’s all about honoring your brand values and bringing it to life with a new brand suite, product packaging, and/or website that communicates your quality to your customers.
To take you behind the scenes, our client, The Little Shop of Olive Oils, came to us looking to rebrand, and we took them through our detail-oriented, research-based process that completely transformed their existing brand.
First, we looked at revamping their full visual brand suite. This includes their color palette, typography, logos, submarks, and more. With all of our branding clients, we begin by understanding the needs of the brand. What emotion do you want your customers to feel? What about your business needs to be immediately understood?
For instance, with this olive oil client, the iconography of an olive was important to understand exactly what the brand is about. With these values and customer perspectives in mind, our design team comes up with several iterations of mood boards that showcase the overall ‘vibe’ of the creative direction along with mock up logos, font pairings, and color palettes.
Once this is finalized, we can apply the new brand to both your website and your product packaging (if applicable). With this gourmet olive oil brand, we needed to make some changes to the product experience itself. So, our account management team went the extra mile to do extensive industry research on the user experience of an olive oil bottle. (We give our 120% to all our clients because that’s just who we are.
We found that:
- High quality olive oil is meant to be stored away from heat. That means that the bottle can’t be too tall, or customers will be unable to store the product in their kitchen cabinets or pantry (and away from the stove to protect the oil).
- Although matted glass offers the luxury look we were interested in, we could not print on a matted design because customers wouldn’t see when they’re running out! (And trust us, one taste of this and you’ll be going through bottle after bottle before you know it).
- The label could not be positioned too close to the stem of the bottle or it would be stained by any oil or vinegar that drips after pouring.
With all this in mind, our team explored two concepts for The Little Shop of Olive Oils: a bright, refreshing look and a darker, luxurious look.
To maintain a clean look that would account for any oil or vinegar staining, the client selected a black bottle design. With the new finalized designs, we moved on to updating the client’s website. Using the new brand assets, we added completely redesigned product pages including the new packaging design and user-experience related changes, such as including product information above the fold.
| Learn more about the website design and development portion of their project here.
Overall, a successful rebrand is so much more than making your logo look prettier. You have to keep your customer at the top of mind and be informed by industry research to make the right decisions that will allow you to maintain that relationship and that reputation for years to come.
Your brand is the foundation of your entire business. What your customers think and feel about you will determine whether or not they become loyal customers for life – and sometimes, it requires a makeover.
When we helped The Little Shop of Olive Oils rebrand, their customers felt the difference in experience. In fact, as a direct result of their rebrand, the client saw their conversion rate increase by over 86%. Similarly, if you want to elevate your brand to expand its reach and increase the impact you have on your customers, a rebrand may be in the cards for you.
If you’re ready to refresh your existing brand into one that is irresistible, work with our team at Champ.