As an agency, it’s not uncommon for us to lead our clients through a brand refresh. In the beginning, it’s new and exciting. It often inspires momentum for our partners, but we never want to see that enthusiasm fizzle.
How do you ensure that your brand refresh will withstand the test of time?
While there is no such thing as a crystal ball foretelling marketing futures, with some proper planning and regular tune-ups, companies can set themselves up for success. Here are some guiding principles to keep in mind if you’re contemplating refreshing your brand, or if you know you’ve strayed from the brand path you intended to travel.
To ensure that your brand work doesn’t become a ‘set it and forget it’ kind of thing, it has to be prioritized. There’s never a good time to step away from your day to day responsibilities to tend to the brand; however, every month that passes you’re either creating marketing return or creating marketing debt. To avoid the latter and to optimize the former, it’s best to set aside one to two days each year to do a brand deep dive so you can stay the course. Think of it like an anniversary: it’s going to sneak up on you quickly and if you aren’t prepared for it or don’t acknowledge it, you’ll be out in the cold.
:: AHEM :: Remember where that file is?
After revisiting the foundational elements of your brand architecture, confirm that the tone of your brand is descriptive and not prescriptive.
Pro tip: If you’re reaching too far to fulfill the brand promise or your brand voice doesn’t feel like your own, it could be because someone else told you who you should be, which can inhibit how you successfully define who you are.
At this point in the assessment, you should get a sense of how you’re stacking up and how much work is in front of you. If there are core directional gaps in your brand, it’s advisable to revisit a brand development process. If you’ve concluded that these things are still intact, then it’s time to press onward and take a closer look at execution.
First, you’ll want to think like your prospects and revisit your touchpoints. Remember, every touchpoint is an opportunity. It’s not uncommon for people to get stuck in their own views. Strip away the context and knowledge that you have and go through the possible connection points that a novice consumer might have.
Here’s a starting punch list:
Next, revisit your game plan.
Your audience, or intended audience, is a critical component in all of this. The translation is key. If what you’re intending to do or say isn’t landing, wouldn’t you like to know for sure and not assume? Ask your audience. Ask your customer base. Phone calls, quick emails that are easy to return and fast social polls are a great way to keep the pulse on how effective your brand strategy is.
First, evaluate your approach to brand management and marketing.
Then, pay attention to the data that you have available. Data is meant to be USED.
Compile what you’ve learned. Consider how you’ll modify your strategy now that you know what reality looks like.
What will you add?
What will you replace?
What will you edit?
How often will you update your strategy?
Who else needs to be involved with execution?
How will you hold each other accountable?
Brands are a living breathing thing. Handle them with care.
This have you thinking your brand might need a little love? We'd love to help.
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