How to Refresh an Established Brand: When and How?

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We often think of brand identity as part of an organization’s roots. While this is a necessary step, it’s only the beginning of the journey to brand identity. The business dynamics change, so one’s brand identity needs to be maintained. You don’t want to cause a disconnect with your customers or prospects.

Sometimes, internal factors such as cultural changes or new product or service lines can trigger a need to refresh the brand. Sometimes, external factors can be the catalyst. These include changing market conditions, which alter the needs and preferences of your target audience, or a rise in brand-conscious competitors.

These three steps will help you determine if there is a reason for a brand overhaul.

3 Steps for Refreshing an Established Mark

Take a walk (or re-walk) through the Brand Discovery Process

Brand discovery involves looking at your company from many angles. But most importantly, from the perspective of your customers. These insights show how your target audience views your brand and the market — perceptions that could have changed over time if you’ve done this before.

Short interviews and surveys are one way to reach customers. Let’s take a provider of third party solutions for mortgage lenders. You can gain insight into your target audience’s market challenges by asking them targeted questions. Real estate dynamics change all the time.

These insights will help you build relationships with your customers, but they can also be used to improve your buyer persona. You’ll be able to communicate with your target audience better by updating personas and adding new personas.

Make use of discoveries to fuel your refreshed brand strategy

Your brand strategy includes your company’s value proposition and positioning statements around products and services. Each of these components can be informed by the persona discovery process, which provides updated insights that help create a brand architecture that is consistent with your vision and respects your brand’s history.

Referring to the example of a mortgage solution provider, it is possible that customers are most concerned about compliance. As industry regulations become more stringent and faster turnaround times increase with borrower expectations, the discovery process might reveal that customers are particularly concerned about compliance. The provider is an established brand that has been in the financial sector for over 100 years and wants to connect its rich history with the modernizations they have made.

These sentiments can be woven into brand architecture.

  • Company logo or product logo: Update the typography in your logos with a modern font or declutter your logo to give your brand a cleaner and more modern look
  • Showcase: Value proposition where you can help to alleviate current industry problems. A sample value proposition: Our digital mortgage solutions are built on a solid foundation of mortgage data and industry history. They help servicers and lenders remain efficient and compliant no matter what the market is doing.
  • Graphics: Lean into “digital Mortgage Solutions” by using graphics that show the transaction taking place on devices and the backend of the technology (or lender’s view).

It is important to make sure everyone speaks the same language before launching a brand overhaul. Your revised brand strategy will require you to update your brand guidelines. This will ensure that internal staff are on the same page and external prospects and customers have a consistent experience.

Monitoring the response to your brand identity refresh

To close the loop on a brand update, you need to listen to how your target audience is reacting. This feedback can be in many forms and will help you determine if your efforts have been successful or if you need to improve upon them.

You can, for example, create a goal in Google Analytics related to the change you have made to your website’s homepage messaging. You can compare bounce rate and time on page metrics before and after an update to see if the new messaging resonates well with your target audience.

You can also use social media to serve a useful purpose. You should also track how many people are engaging with posts featuring new imagery or messaging. This includes comments, shares and shares that increase their visibility. This will allow you to assess how your brand identity update affects how your target audience interacts with your brand.


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