As a group, consumers are a pretty fickle population. That includes you and me, too! Just take a look at your own habits for evidence. What excites, thrills or intrigues you about a particular brand and their product or service could easily change tomorrow. The brands you liked last week, last year or ten years ago are probably not the same as the brands you rely on and enjoy today.
“Consumer preferences, attitudes and desires change often and sometimes unexpectedly,” says Rachel Fox, Creative Director at SageAge Strategies. “Staying relevant in the eyes of your consumer can often mean evaluating the freshness of your brand and what you have – or haven’t – done lately to stay at the top of your customer’s mind.”
Your brand is your face to the world. A strong brand can go a long way in establishing relevance in consumer’s minds; think about what comes to mind when you see the Nike symbol, Gillette logo or the Coca-Cola polar bears. These brands are so strong, you don’t even really need to think about it to know what they can offer you.
Most successful brands, though, make an effort to stay relevant and modern as times and consumer tastes change. Is it time for you to reevaluate your own brand? Here are some signs it might be time for a brand refresh at your organization.
Signs It’s Time to Update Your Brand
You don’t feel your brand represents your organization’s identity. Perhaps when your organization first opened, you billed yourself as a working class senior’s community, affordable and practical for seniors on a limited budget, and your branding likely reflected that simple and straightforward demographic focus. Today, though, perhaps you are targeting a different kind of customer, someone looking for a more high-end experience. If your logo still says “budget,” chances are, you won’t resonate with the audience you’re trying to get in front of now. If your brand feels out of touch with the reality of your organization as it is today, it might be time to revamp it to reflect your current goals.
Your brand is associated with a negative feeling among your staff or the community. The reasons for why this may be are vast, but they all boil down to one conclusion. If your brand conjures up negative thoughts and feelings among the people who work in your community and your customers, it’s time for a rebranding, stat.
Your brand blends in. If your brand, as mentioned, is your face to the community, and that face just blends in with the crowd, well … your brand isn’t doing you much good! Your brand and identity should be distinctly different from your competition. That’s their whole purpose. If they are very similar to your competition, or are just generally boring and don’t stand out from the crowd, you are missing an opportunity to appeal to your unique customer population. Likewise, if they feel dated and behind the times, your customers will probably assume you are, too.
You can’t remember the last time you updated your brand. Not all brands need to be updated, and using time as the only criteria for choosing whether or not to do a brand refresh isn’t a good idea. That said, if you can’t even remember the last time you gave your brand and its identity any thought, chances are it would benefit you to do so. Even if you come to the conclusion that your brand and identity are spot on and don’t need a single change, the exercise of evaluating it will be good for you, your team and your organization as a whole.
Getting Started on Updating Your Brand
Doing an entire brand update may seem simple – “It’s just a logo!” right? But it’s actually a very complex process that can be illuminating, inspiring and overwhelmingly positive – if it’s done right. Done poorly, it can leave your own team, not to mention your customers, turning their backs on you.
Do your research. To know whether or not you need a brand update, and what to do if you are in need of a refresh, you have to know the current state of things. Conduct a brand audit asking customers, prospective customers, team members, business partners and anyone else you can think of, what they think of your brand. Word association exercises can be very helpful and can also bring to light things you may not have thought of since you’re so intimately familiar with your organization.
Know your goals. Now that you know what people think of your brand, ask yourself, “What about this is correct?” and “What needs to change?” If customers consistently report associating your brand with the word “boring,” then you might consider focusing your rebranding efforts, in part, on appearing more modern and cutting edge. Now, you obviously need the programming and services to back that up! But, assuming you do, there are myriad ways to revamp your brand and styling to reflect a more contemporary look and feel. It’s a good idea to boil your rebranding efforts down to some key pillars via the use of core principles and company values, which should be the guiding lights of your rebranding efforts.
Keep an open mind. This process is meant to be an exploratory one, so the phrase, “That’s not us!” shouldn’t cross your lips – at least in the beginning. Give every idea and thought, even if it seems completely outside of the box, some space for exploration. It may spark a better idea that ends up working in the end.
Creating and Revitalizing Brands is Our Specialty
Rebranding is not a simple process and can easily become overwhelming when you consider all of the implications of your brand, both within and outside of your community. The SageAge team is experienced in leading successful rebranding efforts that position communities with a fresh, relevant and inspiring look and feel. Get in touch today to learn more about how we can help you!
SageAge Strategies is a multiple award-winning, strategic growth and marketing organization that provides multiple strategic growth solutions. For more information, please call or e-mail Adrienne Mansfield Straub at 570-601-1720 ext. 100 / firstname.lastname@example.org.