ARE YOU COMMITTING TO BUILDING A BETTER BRAND THIS YEAR?


Well we’re one month into the new year, and in the world of consumer marketing, that now means a tussle between the good old “New Year, New You” resolutions brigade and the emerging, resolute “You do you!” messaging.

We’d argue the decisions you’re looking into with your brand aren’t really so different. There’s a crackle of change in the air, absolutely. There’s a restlessness born out of two years of uncertainty, certainly. And as we embark on any process of self-assessment – determined to change and improve and grow – we hit a point where we must ask: Is this a revolution or an evolution? Is now the time for a fresh start and a full rebrand or do we need to adapt, refresh and enhance what we have?

To help put some shape around this decision, we’ve pulled together a few of the key questions we’d be asking you, if you came to us with this challenge.

ARE YOU (IS ANYONE) PROUD OF HOW YOUR BRAND TURNS UP IN YOUR SECTOR?

In marketing, there is a lot of talk about metrics and data points, but this question is a little more heart than mind. Does the on-brand work your team or your partners deliver inspire you? Do you get a thrill from knowing it is distinctive and contemporary and ready to help you stand out in your sector? How often do you look at a piece of communication and just really like it?

We don’t usually advocate for purely subjective feedback, but as brand advocates, your instincts should be in tune with what your business needs to achieve and what your audiences will respond to, so listen to them.

If you’re proud to sign your name to the work that your brand identity (visual and verbal) drives for the most part but recognise the times it’s getting in the way of great communication or limiting your next move, we might be in the evolution space.

If your first reaction to work is a resigned sigh, an eye roll or worse still, an internal cringe, now we’re looking at revolution.

WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOUR BRAND HAD A TUNE-UP (AND HOW DID IT GO)?

Brand identities have no set life-cycle. For every brand that feels the itch at five years, you’ll find a heritage brand that is still finding success with brand elements from five decades ago. But you’re only able to gauge the need for change if you check in regularly with your brand and how it is serving your business. We should repeat, “check in regularly”, not necessarily “change regularly”.

If you haven’t done even a high-level brand experience audit for a few years, you may find the need for change is going to be more fundamental, when you do. Sectors, channels and audience expectations are shifting at relatively faster levels than we have ever seen, so the likelihood is your brand will need to shift with them.

Unfortunately, the flipside of this is it can prompt the kind of continuous tinkering that can dilute and confuse a brand over time.

Ask yourself where you are on this scale. It will help you work out where you might need to go from here. Do you need a reset moment to make up for years of neglect? Do you need to refine and sharpen up to course correct well-meaning meddling?

DOES IT ALL JUST FEEL LIKE REALLY HARD WORK?

If you told us that gearing up to create a new piece of communication; reach a new audience; trial a new channel; or even make decisions feel like a real struggle, that would set our spidey senses tingling.

It says one of two things to us. Firstly, it could mean your brand positioning and identity are not giving you the north star you need to move with confidence. The right brand should give you a sense of direction that helps make decision-making easier, whether that’s a fundamental “should we, or shouldn’t we?”; a simple “should this be green?”; or a very 2022 “shouldn’t we be on TikTok by now?”

Or, it could be that your brand has reached a point where it is more straightjacket than springboard. Your brand should inspire your teams and help you choose the right creative to help you take advantage of opportunities. A brand that neither flexes to new needs or sparks new ideas will inevitably limit progress.

Simply put, if you’re dealing with the former, that says to us that something is not right at a fundamental level – we’re back at revolution time. If it’s the latter, you might find that some aspects of your brand are still valid, but they’re being stifled by out-of-date thinking, draconian guidelines or stylistic red herrings – all of which can be dealt with through the right evolution of your brand strategy and identity.

WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?

Whatever you decide in terms of revolution or evolution, spending the time to dig into your brand and business needs will provide clarity for change and food for thought. If you want to dig into how your brand can transform – in big ways or small – to serve your audience better and work harder for your business, our brand strategists and creatives would love to talk (and ask some more questions).