When should I update or pivot my brand?

Brands's design and their meaning may not last forever, but the core of the brand should remain mostly the same. Just because you've stood for "empowering athletes" (like Nike) or "being different" (like Apple) for a long time, doesn't mean that you should change for the sake of change.

So when is it time to update your branding? You core purpose may not change, but there may be some compelling reasons to update the visual representation of your brand.

 
 

I've changed the products I'm selling or have expanded my line.

Maybe you've expanded lines or adjusted your product offering to the point where your old brand doesn't really encompass everything you're trying to say. This is an opportunity to launch a new brand for a different line of products or services, or expand your current brand to encompass new offerings.

If these new offerings are what you WANT TO BE KNOW FOR, update your brand to focus on them or find a way to incorporate them.

For example, if your name is something like Hamilton PR and you are trying to pivot to web design, you might want to change your name.

If your new offerings are just ANOTHER PRODUCT/SERVICE IN YOUR REPERTOIRE, then don't expand your brand.

For example, if your name is something like Hamilton PR and web design is something you can add for your clients, then think about incorporating it in your positioning or tagline.

If this is a DIFFERENT TYPE OF PRODUCT OR SERVICE, then look at creating a new brand.

For example, if you sell candles and are also wanting to develop a line of beachwear, those do not necessarily go together. Unless you are looking to create a full lifestyle brand, then look at possibly expanding your brand.

My brand feels stale, it hasn't been updated in a long time.

It's been awhile, since you've touched your brand? It might be time to revisit your positioning, taglines, and visuals. However, before you get started with a full re-brand:

  • Talk to your customers. Do they think your brand is stale or do they like the consistency of the look? There's no sense in fixing something that isn't broken.
  • Talk to your team. Maybe there are a few things that could be updated but it doesn't require an overhaul of the brand, they might have ideas about where to start.
  • Talk to your brand advocates. Who loves your products? Are they interested in seeing a refresh?
  • Ask yourself. Are trying to change with the times or are just feeling like something needs to change? Sometimes we feel like changing something, then we finally re-brand and decide we want to change again. See if this is a time to stick with it or if you really need a fresh look.

I don't like how my brand looks. I branded with something just to get my product out the door.

This may be where some entrepreneurs sit: to get the product out as soon as possible, you went with a minimum viable product (which doesn't necessarily receive the branding attention it needs as a new product).

If your product line is doing well, or needs some help, look into a professional re-brand. People want to buy something that they perceive will add value to their life. From consumer goods to professional services, people need to perceive value. Branding can go a long way to convince a customer to at least try a product.

Especially in a product category where a personality can make the difference between a sale or no sale, go with the opportunity to re-brand. Designers know how much going after this opportunity can help a business, so choose one whose work you enjoy and then create a brand that truly represents what you are trying to convey as a business owner.

 
 

Keep in mind

  • A brand is more than just your logo, tagline, or website. It's a consumer's perception of their total experience with your brand, from digital to in store. So if your brand doesn't jive across all of those touch points - you are promising something different than you are delivering - it's probably time to reevaluate your branding.
  • Not every situation is the same. There is some room for discretion on your end as to how you want to approach your brands. As the business owner, you own the decision about how your ultimately handle your brands.
  • You want a brand that showcases your purpose. From packaging, to web design, you want all of your communications to reflect what your brand represents. 

Why did you complete your last branding refresh?

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