Nick Ovenden Brand Design

When is the best time to refresh your branding?

As the saying goes, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”

But how do you know if your branding works well or is ‘broke’?

Answer this simple question:
“Does your brand identity accurately represent your company today?”

Your company’s current branding may have been perfect in the past. But as a business develops, the brand and identity needs to evolve as well.

If your company is at a key stage of development or transition it could be the right time to consider updating your brand identity.

Companies grow through key stages of development and transition, much like people growing from childhood, through adolescence to maturity.

A business will grow from its fledgling start up years to develop different services or products and possibly merge with or acquire other organisations on the way – it may even diversify into different sectors.

The business is constantly evolving and, as it does so , the way it looks should develop too. 

Five typical development and transition stages of a business:

Is your business at one of these crucial points?

• Start-up and Green Shoots
• Mid-life crisis|
• Merger
• Acquisition
• Exit

• Start-up and Green Shoots
The first few years of a company’s life will be spent establishing itself: finding premises, staff, customers, developing products or services. The time will come when it reaches its first ‘tipping point’ – its comfortably on its feet and making money – you can see green shoots for the first time.  This is an ideal time to reconsider its brand values and visual identity.

• Mid-life-crisis
Company X was formed decades ago, making engineering tooling for factories. Over the years it has steadily diversified. Today, it makes precision parts for the aviation sector and Formula One teams. Company X’s branding hasn’t changed since its formation. It still looks like an old school engineering firm and doesn’t reflect the tech nature of the current organisation This scenario is common to many businesses and is an ideal time to update their branding.

• Merger
Smith & Co is merging with its old competitor, Jones & Co. How will this affect their brands? Do they become Smith & Jones, or Jones & Smith? Or amalgamate both into Jones? Or create a new name; ‘Fusion’, say, and create a new brand? All of these, and other strategies, are options at this crucial time for branding the two merged companies.

• Acquisition
Company Z has had a tough few years and its reputation has suffered. It has been purchased by a consortium keen to buy into the sector. One of many rebrand options here is to re-launch with a new name and radical new branding to signal clearly that this is a new company and distance itself from its past.

• Exit
The big opportunity for the business to cash in on all the effort and years of hard work that the owners have put in. Invest in design to make the business look as attractive as possible to buyers – they are buying the brand.

Refresh your brand for ‘new Normal’

Q. Should you consider updating your branding during a global pandemic?
A. It depends if your business is more like ‘stick-in-the-mud.co.uk’ or ‘agile-biz.co.uk’

Stick-in-the-mud.co.uk is carrying on best it can in these awful circumstances – hoping business will return to the way things used to be.

They don’t need to refresh their branding as they have nothing fresh to communicate.

When ‘new normal’ eventually comes they may find their customers have been tempted by competitors’ adapting to new ways of delivering their products and services in a way that stick-in-the-mud hadn’t considered.

Agile-biz.co.uk has found new ways of adapting the business and retaining customers.
– Selling more on-line than from their High Street outlet.Offering a broader range of products or services such as on-line training

Opening up new channels of communication with their customers

Agile-biz.co.uk have adapted their brand so they, eventually, come out of the Covid-19 virus pandemic even stronger – they should certainly consider communicating this strategy through a refreshed brand identity.

Or do you want to show how your brand has evolved and become stronger than your competitors despite restrictions of the pandemic?

Is your brand going through an important stage of transition or development?

If so, please call me on 07876 293885 or email [email protected] to discuss a brand refresh programme.

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