Money, money, money sang Abba. I doubt they ever imagined it would be the opening line to a blog about investing in your brand!
I nearly swerved this topic, I could have gone for I is for Images or Implementation, both very valid and much easier to talk about than money.
But there is no getting away from the fact that changing or updating your brand is an investment. If you’re going to spend your hard earned cash in this way you really need to ensure it’s a good investment. So how do you do that?
Be clear about WHY you’re doing it
There should always be a clear reason for refreshing or evolving your brand. What problem are you trying to solve? These are some valid reasons we’ve rebranded companies or charities recently:
- The business has evolved but people’s perceptions haven’t. The brand needs to communicating what they do NOW more effectively.
- An existing company has been bought and the new owners want to show the change of ownership.
- The name is confusing and a lot of time and money is being spent explaining what the organisation does.
- The business has changed during lockdown and gone online so the existing brand is no longer appropriate.
- It’s a new business and they want to ensure the name and brand is professional and appropriate from the beginning.
- The brand mentions a geographical location but they are now working nationwide.
- One of their competitors has successfully moved into ‘their’ space and they need differentiate themselves more clearly.
- The brand looks really dated and isn’t attracting their audience any more. They need to look more relevant.
Just do what you have to do
Are you talking evolution or revolution? For all of the cases above we had to determine what was needed. The options usually include:
- a visual brand refresh – how your brand elements are used together in design work. This often needed when only a logo has been created previously
- a verbal brand refresh – to bring consistency and clarity to descriptions, tone of voice and key messages
- a new strapline – to add clarity about purpose to a well known logo
- a new/refreshed logo – if current one is dated, unclear, hard to use or unsuitable
- a completely new name – if the current one is causing issues for whatever reason
- revisiting mission, vision, values – if the organisation has fundamentally changed it may be necessary to go back to basics.
What have you got to lose?
Once you have decided what you need to do it’s really important to think about what you might lose by changing. This is where research can come in. I believe research has two roles:
- you can find out how well known and understood your current brand is so you can make an informed decisions about what changes you should make.
- it gives your stakeholders a genuine opportunity to have their say and feel heard. This can make any subsequent changes easier for them to accept.
What does success look like?
What do you want your return on investment to be? Ideally your research will establish benchmarks which you can test again regularly, maybe annually, but I know this isn’t always possible. How about other metrics, what can or do you measure now that would demonstrate meeting your objectives for changing your brand?
- Social media followers – this can show if you’re attracting the right audience (look in the insights tab of your facebook business manager)
- Google analytics – how are people finding you? Is your name / how you describe yourself helping them?
- Telephone calls – number of calls your getting / quality / conversion
- Emails – open rate / new subscribers
- New business – being asked to pitch / winning more contracts / useful partnerships
- Donations – clarity of message to help people understand why you need support
- Satisfaction surveys / feedback / reviews / referrals
Not all of these are down to brand alone but can all be free metrics you can use to ensure your investment has been successful.
Investing in your brand can be the single most important thing that you can do for your organisation. If you want to talk about what a difference it could make , give us a call!
Managing Director, JG Creative