Five Ways to Keep Your Brand Fresh Without Signing Off a Full Rebrand
They say a change is as good as a rest, but we’re not sure it’s that simple.
Here at Soap Creative we love helping our clients’ businesses to reach their full potential and we’re often talking to marketeers who know their brand needs updating but are worried about the cost and hassle of a full rebrand. “We like our logo,” they say, “but the colour palette feels a bit dated.” Or “the market has changed so much since we last rebranded, we fear we might be getting left behind.”
Well, the good news is there is a middle ground. Somewhere between the all-singing-and-dancing carnival of change that is a full rebrand and the slow and steady drum line-style beat of keeping your brand exactly as it is. A marching band, if you will; moving parts all perfectly unified and in sync with each other but unafraid to shift and show a little flair here and there. We call it brand evolution.
First, a quick clarification of what we mean by these terms:
• A full rebrand will involve a major change to how the brand operates. This will usually be accompanied by a campaign to celebrate the new logo, name, design or messaging revamp. It’s a signal to the audience, on the outside, that a big change has occurred on the inside.
• Brand evolution, however, represents much smaller developments to the brand. It’s a tweaking of design, an updated colour palette or a refreshed tone of voice, usually in response to external forces such as design trends or market changes.
While rebranding may have a big impact in the market and make a once-tired brand feel relevant again, it’s a process that requires significant time and budget. Done well, brand evolution will stop a brand from feeling tired in the first place by keeping up with design and market trends as well as what your audience wants. All while spreading the cost of updates across months, or even years. Evolution is how brands like Levi’s, Cadburys and Coca Cola remain relevant today despite having an average age of 165 years old!
In this post, we will focus on the latter and outline five top tips to keep your brand looking fresh without the hassle or cost of a full rebrand.
Five Top Tips for Brilliant Brand Evolution
1. Keep the core – update the extras
Just as an outfit can be transformed by switching accessories – think heels instead of flats or a cashmere shawl in place of a cotton jacket, so too can a brand update its image through a refreshed palette, updated tagline or by revamping its tone of voice.
2. Simplify everything
From product lines and key messages right up to the logo itself, what can be reorganised or refined to leave just the fundamental essence of your brand? Simplification can make your brand easier for customers to comprehend and connect to – but beware the perils of blending in.
Use better imagery
Nothing dates collateral quicker than poor stock photography. Investing in quality imagery that brings your brand to life and fixes it firmly in the here and now will immediately increase relevance.
Your customers and clients want to know what to expect from every interaction with your brand. Consistency is key. The success of implementing a fresh, new look hinges on making sure all the old brand iterations are removed completely.
Stick to the strategy
Don’t evolve for evolving’s sake. Any changes should meet your brand strategy, which in turn should be tied directly to your business objectives. You can’t change your colour palette every time a new CMO joins the team.
Change is good. There will come a time in every brands’ life that it needs to move forwards to avoid falling behind. Sometimes that will be through a giant leap-style rebrand and sometimes that will involve the tiny steps of brand evolution. And for brands with real longevity, often it’ll be a combination of both.