Nip, Tuck: Keeping a fresh face on your brand
If you’re like me, you found defining your value statement and developing your visual identity, the logo, like giving birth: a lot of effort, discomfort, and maybe a little screaming and gnashing of teeth. But, once it was over, you were happy with the result and expected it to bring you pleasure for years to come. (And, you really did not want to go through that again any time soon.)
Flash forward 10 years—or make that 5 years, technology is hurdling us forward faster than we can figure out what we’ve missed. (Remember the big debate over VHS vs. Beta?) It’s time to face the mirror. Has time been kind to your brand? Does your logo still get compliments? Do customers still want to hear what you have to say? Does your brand value resonate with customers and prospects?
If it appears that doing the same thing in the same way is no longer getting you noticed, it may be time to give your brand a little nip, tuck.
Apple has been the master of keeping a fresh face on the brand: nothing too radical, just a gradual evolution that logically reflects advancing technology, as they moved from the rainbow-striped apple, 3D transparent bluish, 3D white, to monochromatic. The changes have been subtle. They showed they were relevant without alienating their loyal customers.
Shell has also gradually enhanced its brand from the etched, black scallop shell in the early 1900s, to a color version with letters emblazoned on or juxtaposed next to the symbol, to its current usage, where a single pectin is all that is required for brand recognition.
Some brands have not rebranded as gracefully. We’ve all seen those overdone brand facelifts where everything seems forced, tight, pinched and contrived. It’s like a car wreck—awful, but you just can’t look away. (GAP, SyFy Channel, The Hut, The Shack, anyone?)
Keeping your brand fresh and relevant may not require major surgery. Take a look in the mirror. Research the perceptions of customers and prospects to see your company through their eyes. Be prepared to take the good with the bad and to evaluate what you hear. Is the perception of those you want to reach, what you want it to be? Or, is it time for a little nip, tuck?
Family Affair: Establishing parameters for brand style consistency
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