REBRAND or REFRESH?

 

A Brand’s Makeover Trick

When sales may not be up to expectations or growth has slowed, some companies immediately tweak their advertising and marketing messages. Others even blame the agencies or brand handlers. They rarely look at their brand and find out what’s wrong with it. Branding is an integral aspect of business development. It not only increases the voice and consumer awareness of a brand, but it also gives it an identity and worth. So the next time sales slip, let’s look at your brand. Who knows it’s time it needs a makeover or an overhaul.

Do you need to “rebrand” your business or just a little “refresh”?

Most of us (especially the non-marketers) think of rebranding as just a logo change. Yes, these brand symbols and elements like logo, colors, typefaces are essentials in communicating the essence and image. But branding is the combination of the symbolism and what the brand actually delivers — and they form the customer experience. Unless you change the overall brand elements and the consumer experience, a rebranding is not what you will need. You might just need a refresh.

So what exactly is a brand refresh? It can be considered as a makeover or renovation of your brand. It is similar to having a fresh haircut and brand-new outfit that will transform you to a new you. Just put a few tweaks to your brand that will help change the way your company is perceived. What’s great about a brand refresh is you can maintain a visual connection to how the brand was seen before. But the new transformation due to makeover will make your brand more up-to-date, vibrant and captivating.

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MasterCard didn’t do a total brand overhaul. It’s brand values and experiences remain the same. They leverage their 50 years of equity but gave a fresher and simpler look with their new system that will bring the financial institution into the digital-payment era.

Recently, MasterCard caught some headlines by updating their iconic logo for the first time in 20 years. However, they’ve never changed the core element – overlapping circles. The red and yellow circles still overlap, but gone is the comb effect – you just see a slice of orange where they meet. They decided to place the MasterCard wordmark outside of the symbol and rendered it in lowercase font so that all 10 letters in the name could have circular curves in them. They also make the letters easier to read: the fonts taller, more condense, and reduce certain letters. Aside from those tweaks, the logo has remained more or less the same, which has strengthened customer recognition. MasterCard didn’t do a total brand overhaul. It’s brand values and experiences remain the same. They leverage their 50 years of equity but gave a fresher and simpler look with their new system that will bring the financial institution into the digital-payment era.

By making slight revisions to your branding, you can preserve your brand’s existing integrity and infuse new energy into the business. It also helps you to expand your company’s reach to new customers and create buzz among existing customers. Remember, graphic design trends are in a constant flux. Colors, typefaces and general design aesthetics go in and out of style. By updating your brand symbols like   logo to modern look, it makes it more relevant and properly represented in times of change and innovation.

 

Now, if you are looking for substantial new customers and new business, then it’s time to change the business fundamentals. Rebranding is working with an existing brand; however, it involves changing the brand name, logo, visuals, marketing materials, packaging, services, and other defining aspect of a brand’s consumer communication. And most importantly, rebranding involves the total brand principles. Businesses usually do a rebrand when internal or external shifts require it.

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iMac set the precedent for all Apple products – the rebranding associated the brand with the epitome of quality. Today’s consumers know exactly what to expect from Apple products, and they are willing to pay the price tags.

 

Apple Inc executed one of the most well-known and successful rebranding campaigns in the 90’s.   After several years of financial loss, the company rehired co-founder Steve Jobs to an interim CEO position. Job’s first step was changing not only Apple’s public perception, but also the company’s collective mindset. He put the company’s new funding to good use and introduced the iMac. At that time, the iMac’s operating system and technology was cutting edge. But it was the design and aesthetics that made it truly revolutionary and desirable to consumers. The iMac set the precedent for all Apple products – the rebranding associated the brand with the epitome of quality. Today’s consumers know exactly what to expect from Apple products, and they are willing to pay the price tags.

So if you think you need to expand your business into new markets– maybe it’s time you do some rebranding. Your business may outgrow its current branding and missing opportunities to connect with new markets. Get a new logo and new message, but you also need a new approach, new personality, you need new services, and a shift to brand’s promise. Your brand promise is what you deliver to the customers beyond the product you sell. When you shift your brand promise, that’s a true rebrand. The bottom line is that it’s not just altering people’s perception it’s about changing what you promise to customers. And with that you may also need to revamp your business process to accommodate the change.

Your brand promise is what you deliver to the customers beyond the product you sell. When you shift your brand promise, that’s a true rebrand.

 

Rebranding can be overwhelming task to undertake, however, it is a rewarding process that will deliver significant viable benefits if it is done right. Rebranding can breathe new life into your business or product, but it has to be created with a focus on strategy, a clearly understood process, creative visualization, and insights to the new-targeted audience. Most importantly, it should be done for the right reasons.

 


ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Profilepix12Justine Castellon is an independent brand strategist, a business writer and founder of The Market Place 2.1 and Company. She provides creative thinking and interpretation of consumer and market insights. You may reach her Justine.castellon@themarketplace21.net | Follow her at www.twitter.com/marketplace21
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