Is it time to spring clean your brand?


Has it been more than three years since you updated your brand and positioning?

Do you feel that your brand is a bit tired or dated?

If you answer yes to one or both of these questions then it is probably time to review the way your organisation is presented – it’s time to spring clean your brand.

Brand strategy if often only prepared around a complete rebrand, which is a major (and often unnecessary) undertaking. Considering a simple brand refresh, however, can be a more effective and achievable option. A brand refresh allows you to continue to evolve your brand rather than stand still.

But what is a brand refresh?

A brand refresh is when you work with a communication and brand specialist to literally ‘clean up’ the brand components– this may include:

  • Reinvigorating positioning and key messages
  • Sharpening the visual identity ‘kit of parts’ including type face, colours, visual devices and images
  • Updating and simplifying style guides
  • Engagement with staff, target markets and stakeholders.

Is it worth it?

The answer is most definitely, yes, it is worth it.

A brand refresh can ensure that:

  • All branded materials/presence (including online and social media) make use of the most up to date styles, colours and imagery to represent you in the platforms you are using for your communications and marketing; and
  • The brand image clearly represents your company as it is now and most, importantly, where it is headed.

The process of updating and refining the components of the brand also offers positive communication opportunities and is a great mechanism for engaging staff and creating pride and support for the brand story. It is then time to tell the updated brand story to your clients, customers and stakeholders.

What does it look like?

Here is an example of a simple refresh we undertook for VACCA (Victorian Aboriginal Childcare Agency).

Internal research highlighted strong affiliation with the brand name, colours and logo. However, the visual presentation had not been updated in many years. The imagery was difficult to reproduce on different platforms and the organisation had identified the need to promote brand awareness and build profile beyond traditional audiences in order to achieve key business goals including fundraising.

The solution – to keep the core elements of the visual brand but update and revitalise it. This included making modifications to the logo to make it more suitable across most platforms, retain the central colour scheme but add an additional colour palette to increase vibrancy.

The positioning statement and name was taken out of the central logo and a new statement was developed to sit with the brand name and logo where appropriate. This allowed greater prominence and recognition of each of these elements.

Original logo

vacca_oldlogo

Refreshed logo

vacca_newlogo

Original colour palette and new, expanded colour palette

vacca_colour

This updated and refreshed brand imagery retains the integrity of the original brand while proving increased usability, a more contemporary look and a new statement that reflects the organisation today. A new website is now under development.

Top tips on a brand refresh:

  1. Be clear about what needs to be retained
  2. Beyond this, be open minded about what can be added or changed
  3. Increase the adaptability and flexibility of brand elements to ensure you have a vibrant and dynamic ‘brand kit’ that represents all that you are as a business and is far more than a logo or wordmark
  4. This is an opportunity to engage with staff and target audiences, ask them their perceptions of you – does this reflect what you want? Make sure you develop strategy that will ensure your brand components are effectively communicating to your audiences.

For further reading, particularly for thinking about your brand and how you need it to work for you in social media visit the range of brand articles on the Marketing Profs website

By Melanie Wilkinson