What is a Brand Restage?
Let’s look first at options. A brand refresh updates the current design elements. A rebrand transforms the current identity system into something new. Your situation and your goals will decide the best option for you.
A brand refresh… same, but better.
Think of a brand refresh as a makeover for your company… a better haircut, up-to-date outfit, and new shoes can transform how a person is perceived. It’s the same with your brand.
Some organizations have key design elements they want to keep, update or add to. Some want to keep the logo but change the look, tone and presentation of the overall program. Each still maintains a visual connection to how they have been recognized. But the “new suit” makeover is up-to-date, vibrant and captivating.
A rebrand… a visual transformation.
A rebrand goes beyond the makeover. Think of it as plastic surgery and a new hair color… a transformation, a new identity and brand system for the same name. And with the identity-fresh messaging, a reinvented visual system and a transformed program to catapult the organization forward.
Now… 5 Reasons to Restage Your Brand
Often companies know they need to make a change but don’t know where to start. They don’t want to lose any equity they’ve built in their current brand, but they also don’t want to fall behind. Use these reasons as a reference as you evaluate your brand program.
1. People respond to good design.
We live in a visual culture. People respond to design, and expect the company the brand represents to show the level of quality they expect. Yes, it’s subjective. Yet you know when you see something beautiful, elegant, sophisticated, attractive or engaging, you respond. Studies of emotional intelligence have shown that 95% of purchase decisions are emotional, and often sub-conscious. Companies like Apple have demonstrated the power of design to attract users and buyers and grow their business.
When a logo, brochure, or ad is out of date and doesn’t measure up to the level of the competition, it affects perceptions… and the bottom line. Even the best designs are updated periodically (look at how the Apple logo has evolved).
Compare your logo design, business cards, brochures and website to your competition, and to what you are accustomed to seeing around you. How do they measure up? Attractive? Visually appealing? Easy to see and read at a glance? If not, consider a brand restage.
2. It’s time to shift perceptions.
SELCO Community Credit Union was expanding beyond their Eugene base, and wanted to be recognized as “the Nordstrom of credit unions.” They already had the service level down and plenty of happy members. And they wanted to extend that into their new markets in a quickly recognizable way.
By shifting their overall presentation and establishing visual standards for their communications, as well as a system to organize their sub-brands, we boosted visibility, provided support for their marketing team, and helped them grow.
How is your organization perceived? Perception is reality. Design and solid messaging can impact your reach and engage more potential audiences. When a consistent look–that’s different from your competitors–is presented, you’ll build recognition.
3. Create recognition for your value.
Cascade Employers Association was also expanding into new markets. As a membership organization offering outsourced HR services, they knew they were providing outstanding services to their members. But they were also considered the “best kept secret” in the region.
We started with messaging, to distinguish who they are for their members and how they’re perceived. Using the new messaging, we refreshed the color palette and provided new marketing tools–business cards, banner displays, posters and a website reskin.
The new materials helped reinforce their value to their members. It also gave the staff a boost with new business cards containing key messages and a fresh look. The combination of messaging focused on why to be come a member, instead of what the services are, and a refreshed brand had a positive impact on their success, even during a slow economy.
4. You’ve fallen behind.
A company that has been around for more than ten years is likely to have a brand that is in need of attention. Times change. Styles change. Attitudes and perceptions change. And it’s likely the organization itself has changed. Growth, new products and services, new markets can all affect the perception and application of the identity system and brand program.
Take the test outlined in #1. How do you compare to your industry leaders? How do you compare in your market? A brand refresh or rebrand is an opportunity to reinforce your value, tell your story in a new way, cement relationships and gain new recognition. It can unify your team around the organization’s values, purpose and future. Time for a brand restage?
5. You’re planning for growth.
Forest Grove Lumber wanted to reach new, more sophisticated markets. Their goal was to have high-end architects specify their unique, kiln-dried lumber for exposed timber construction. Their old identity was out-of-date and clumsy. It did not represent the sophistication or design perspective of their target audiences.
The time to update is when you know there are changes in your market, in your target audiences or in the company’s plans for the future. A brand restage, especially when supported by new messaging, will enhance and clarify those changes. It will support growth and present a new, progressive image to all audiences–current targets, internal staff and potential audiences and markets.
It will add value to your organization and help leadership align around a common focus. It’s an investment in the future success of your company.
So where are you?
A brand restage is an opportunity to focus on your audiences and refresh and update your marketing strategy, message and program. It’s the time to optimize your brand to boost response.