If you’re looking for an effective way to position your business for success in the New Year, a brand refresh may be exactly what you need. If your business has slowed or you’re concerned about an overall economic downturn, you’ll be glad to know that building a strong brand is an excellent way to ensure you’re ready to weather the storm.
While making changes just for the sake of doing so is rarely a good strategy, approaching your update with a solid plan could be one of the best things you do this year. Before you get started, consider a few reasons why now may be the best time to update your branding and some of the top advice for how to do a brand refresh.
Building and running a business is challenging in the best of circumstances. In times of economic downturn, it’s important to engage in smart strategies that will help you stay on course and set yourself up for future success.
While your initial reaction may be to consider cutting back on your spending and preserving your revenues until the economy bounces back, there’s a better approach. Consider shifting your mindset from one of avoiding loss to focusing on making your business more resilient. When things start to slow down, it’s the perfect time to buckle down and invest in building the foundation of your company so you’re poised to take advantage of the brighter days ahead.
Your branding is so much more than your logo and your website — it’s the identity and the soul of your company. By strengthening your branding, you can create deeper connections with your customers. The right branding strategy can also convince loyal customers that your products and services are “essential,” helping to ensure that they continue buying from you even when times are tight. When you identify what your customers need and want and position yourself as the best brand to fulfill their needs, you'll continue to drive revenue even in poor economic conditions. If your current brand isn’t creating strong emotional connections, building customer loyalty, and creating a referral network, a brand refresh may be in order.
One common mistake business owners make is taking a “set-it and forget-it” approach to their branding. While you may have put a lot of work into creating your initial branding package, experts typically recommend a brand refresh every two to three years. This can help you stay competitive in your niche and ensure your brand remains appealing to your target audience.
As your business evolves, you may find that there is a disparity between the way you want people to think of your brand and the way they do. A brand refresh can help ensure your business sends the right message. In turn, this can generate excitement, increase engagement, and improve customer loyalty. When your refresh your brand, you're creating a buzz and giving your customers something to talk about.
If you’re looking to expand your market base, a brand refresh can make your company more appealing to your new target demographic. For example, you may decide to make your logo more masculine to appeal to more men or to create a presence on TikTok or Instagram to attract a younger customer base.
Differentiation is key to successful branding. A brand refresh can help you clearly communicate to your customers how your business is different and why it’s the best choice to meet their needs. Strong branding will help you establish a competitive advantage that you can capitalize on for many years to come.
Refreshing your brand can increase your company’s value by allowing you to raise your price points. A successful brand refresh also positively impacts customer perception and buying behavior, which can improve your brand’s financial performance. If you think you may sell your company in the future, a well-strategized brand can become a valuable asset.
As you start to plan your brand refresh, keep in mind that great brands are built with intention and effort. Don’t make the mistake of making changes without taking a strategic approach and keeping your long-term goals in mind. The following steps will help guide you through the process.
Prior to making any changes, take the time to get a solid grasp on where you’re starting from. You may consider hiring a third party to conduct market research, quantitative surveys, and/or qualitative interviews. If this isn't in your budget, you could also do your own research by having conversations with both your current customers and your target audience. You may also conduct surveys in person or online or set up a focus group.
Your research should also include a competitive market analysis. This will help you understand what others are doing in your niche and allow you to make sure your branding looks, sounds, and feels different from your competitors. This typically involves making a list of your primary competitors and taking a close look at their logos, fonts, and colors, taglines and key messages, and value propositions, as well as their website, online presence, and content marketing strategy.
Once you’ve completed your research, you’re ready to begin crafting compelling messages based on your unique positioning and your key differentiators. Your messaging should reach customers on both a rational and an emotional level.
While it is important to communicate who you are and what you do, it’s equally important to share the story of why you do what you do, how your company is different from its competitors, and how that benefits the customer.
Some business owners are hesitant to do a brand refresh because they’re concerned about losing the brand equity they’ve already built. One way to avoid this is to actively communicate with your customers and your target audience throughout your brand update journey. This is likely to generate excitement and build even greater brand loyalty.
Once you’ve crafted your new messaging, it’s time to test it out. Use A/B testing to determine whether your new messaging is resonating with your target audience. If it is, you can confidently start using it. If not, you may need to go back and continue making tweaks until you achieve the desired effect.
Now that we’ve discussed the benefits and the process of completing a brand refresh, it’s time to dive into some actionable ideas. Here are a few things you may consider doing in the coming year.
If it’s been a while since you updated your logo design, now is a good time to revisit it. Modern logos are generally streamlined and simple, use only a few colors, and don’t have a lot of embossing or shadows. If this doesn’t describe your logo, some tweaks may be in order.
Rather than getting bogged down with a full website redesign, try making some small website updates to give it a more modern look and better accommodate your user’s needs. For example, you may update images of your most popular products or add videos to showcase them better. You may also consider optimizing your checkout process, boosting your website speed, or installing customer service chatbots.
Consider auditing your existing content to make sure it’s aligned with your brand voice. Look to strike a balance between the brand values you want to communicate and what your end user ultimately needs from you. This may mean updating your content’s tone and personality as well as the content itself.
One easy way to implement a brand refresh is to expand into a new marketing channel. For example, if your business already has a presence on LinkedIn and Facebook, you may decide to modernize your brand by expanding into Instagram or TikTok or switching things up by creating a YouTube channel. For the most part, expanding your social media presence is a low-cost strategy, so don’t be afraid to experiment.
While the next few years may bring a bit of uncertainty, making smart decisions now can help you solidify your business so you'll have a strong foundation when things turn around again. Fiverr’s new Resource Hub, The Lift, is designed to help entrepreneurs and small-to-medium business owners successfully launch, scale, and evolve their businesses despite economic challenges. It features a variety of guides, articles, and on-demand help from the industry's top experts. Check it out today!