A logo is only as good as the recognition it provides, so if your logo looks outdated or unprofessional, customers will be turned off by what they see which isn't good. Branding is all about consistency and repetition. It's the reason why customers know what to expect from a brand, who it is, and what its values are.
If you're not sure if your branding needs a refresh, consider these six signs:
Does Your Logo Work In Every Format?
The way we need logos to work for us has changed. They no longer only reside on a piece of packaging or storefront. Logos have to be flexible enough to be recognizable in all types of formats including everything from billboards to tiny social icons and mobile ads. Digital use also opens up possibilities that are harder to do in print like using lots of colors or gradients. Overly detailed logos that don't scale down very well become unreadable in smaller formats. Good logos are flexible logos. Flexible logos have options and variations that work harmoniously for any scenario at practically any size.
Is Your Branding Visually Scattered?
Your brand identity is typically the first thing people see when they encounter your business. If it is not consistent across all of your customer touchpoints, it's like sending mixed messages about who you are, what you do, or what you stand for. And that can be confusing for customers.
If customers see widely different styles when they visit your socials versus your website or retail store, there's a good chance that your visual identity needs some work. When every piece of marketing collateral looks like it was designed by a different team, it's difficult for people to remember your brand and connect everything as part of one unified brand image. Help your customers out and be consistent.
Does Your Product Packaging Look Dated?
One of the most effective ways to attract customers is through package design and labeling. Raise your hand if you have bought a product completely based on the package design. I know I am 100% guilty of this. Whether it is vitamins, soup, or wine with a really neat label, great packaging can be a game-changer. A package that looks outdated or boring can put off potential buyers who are looking for something more interesting and unique, like how they see themselves.
Has Your Brand Been Mistaken For A Competitor?
The goal of a brand identity is to help your business be recognizable and stand out from the competition. If people are confusing your business for someone else’s or getting mixed up about what you do, then something is wrong with how they perceive you—or how you represent yourself to them through your marketing materials like website and social media profiles, brochures, etcetera.
Has Your Company Grown?
What a great problem to have, right? This is probably the most common reason for a rebranding effort. As time goes by and your company changes, your brand no longer reflects your values or who you are anymore. When you first started out, it may have made sense to use a cookie-cutter Etsy logo instead of custom branding because you were a new company. But now that time has passed and you've become more established, it's time for a change! Update your brand strategy and imagery so that it reflects who you are today and not who you were five years ago when you first started your business.
With growth comes new products or services. If you're launching a new product line—or even just adding something new to an existing one—this is an ideal time for a refresh because it will help people understand how these items fit into their lives or why they should buy them in the first place. Branding evolves along with your customers' needs and expectations. So if something doesn't feel right anymore—whether it's the tagline or the logo or even the name of the company—it might be time for a refresh.
Is Your Brand Messaging No Longer Working?
Has your audience changed significantly or are you no longer attracting new customers? It's always important to make sure that your branding is relevant to the people who matter most—namely, current and prospective clients or customers. If you've had significant growth in recent years and now have an entirely different set of customers or even stakeholders that need to be taken into account (such as employees), then it might be a good time to consider a rebranding effort from top-to-bottom rather than just tweaking your existing logos and messaging slightly.
Is It Time for You To Do A Brand Refresh?
If some of the items above are ringing true for you, a good place to start is with a brand audit. This will help you take stock of what is and is not working for your brand and then allow you to fine-tune or do a full revamp depending on your needs and goals.
A brand audit will help you form a strategy and style guide. The goal of a style guide is to ensure that all of your marketing collateral—whether it's an email newsletter or a website—looks professional, polished, and cohesive. It's not just about aesthetics; it's also about ensuring consistency between different channels so customers can easily identify your brand. When your messaging is consistent across all touchpoints, it won't matter if you're communicating with customers in person or online, they'll know exactly what to expect from your brand. You can create a style guide for yourself or hire someone else to do it for you—just be sure it's easy for everyone on your team (and even outside agencies) to refer back to when creating new content or designing new products or services that will be used by customers.