THE IMPORTANCE OF STRATEGIC BRAND EVOLUTION
Many businesses fail to understand how vital a strategic brand evolution is and stay stuck in the past. Besides creating a strong brand identity, business brands need to be re-evaluated every five years to see how relevant the brand still is in the market.
Your business needs to consistently communicate your brand story. But over the years, a few things happen that can cause your branding to no longer seem relevant to your purpose and/or mission. In many cases, your business has grown, your consumers have evolved, the industry has changed, or you’ve introduced new services or products.
YOUR BRANDING SHOULD EVOLVE
Without a strategic evolution, your brand can become stagnant. Most businesses need to capture new attention, new audiences and express growth. There are great brands that have stood the test of time. However, they are constantly evolving and can be recognized purely by their logo and /or pay off line. Some examples include Nike, Coca Cola, McDonalds and Apple. These brands are all household names. Consumers see new brands all the time with some being more familiar than others. In any product category, there are many brands to choose from which makes competition fierce. Brands that evolve with the times are the ones that last while others remain on the shelves indefinitely. The trick here is to evolve and remain true to your brand, your purpose and your vision, at the same time. There is no crystal ball so brands will not know what their consumer’s desires are in 3 months, a year or five years, so evolution is necessary.
Brand evolution doesn’t mean starting from the cradle every season, but rather updating and revamping various aspects of the brand to attract new consumers and keep your current consumers loyal. Your brand must remain recognizable but keeping up promises simultaneously. You need to constantly remind new and current consumers of your relevance in the market.
BENEFITS OF A BRAND EVOLUTION
The world has evolved from transactions to deeper experiences and engagement. They have become more multi-dimensional. Look at Disney for example. They have not just created a brand but characters that people of all ages fall in love with, this drives an emotive connection. Branding is about creating a community that consumers want to be a part of. It is not just products anymore that are shared, but values, points of views and experiences.
Companies need to connect not only on a digital level, but also on emotional touchpoints that connect us as human beings. Companies need to master the art of community building. This needs to be distributed across social and traditional channels. It transforms a meaningless thing into a what is truly known as a “brand”. Brands need to fill more than just physical wants and needs but more importantly emotional responses and expectations.
- Consumer Loyalty
You have loyal consumers who know who you are as a brand and that is invaluable. You want to make things quick and easy for your consumers especially with the continuing loss of the average attention span, A rebrand gives you a new opportunity to restate all of the new offerings and updates you have to offer that your consumers may not be aware of. It allows you to restate your products / services to them and to do so correctly with intrigue and excitement.
- With Gradual Change, Your Course is Correctable.
Evolution is gradual and it’s not a straight line. Like with any changes, it is based on trial and error as some changes will work and some will not. Make small changes and evaluate them. If it’s not working, you can easily and quickly roll it back, without creating a brand firestorm. In this way you can avoid too much investment in time and money but manage it smartly.
WHERE TO BEGIN?
There are no right or wrong answers to make these changes, each brand is unique and the “one-size-fits-all” approach does not always work.
A few ideas for a gradual change strategy include:
- Web typography: Adjusting the weight, size, alignment of your font to shift the perception of your brand. Are your paragraphs to the left, right or justified? What is your font size or type? What are your heading sizes? Are they bold or Italic?
- Email templates: While email is not a big commitment for your audience and some may not even open them. But it can be a good place to test changes to your branding. Perhaps redesign your email signature or change your email font or add a relevant quote.
- Landing pages: Your landing pages are tailored to a targeted audience with specific objectives, they are an excellent way to test your brand evolution. Change an image, restructure the pages, change a font or add revised messaging while staying loyal to your brands vision.
- Logo: Refresh your logo, add a color or two, change the design, change the font. Experiment with your logo without changing your corporate identity.
- Pay Off Line / Slogan: If you don’t have a pay off line or slogan, add one. If you have one change it up slightly but adding a word, changing a word, changing the font or the colour.