Brands have a shelf life. That may be difficult to hear for business owners who have poured their hearts and souls into their current branding, but the reality is that, on average, organisations update their brand identity once every 7-10 years.

Take a look at how Pepsi’s logo has evolved from its 1902 iteration…

Pepsi old and new logo

…to today’s more modern variation.

That these two logos have almost nothing in common hints at how important rebranding can be. If one of the world’s premier beverage producers is willing to change its image so dramatically – spending millions of dollars in the process – shouldn’t your organisation be open to the possibilities associated with a brand refresh?

Why Rebrand?

Businesses rebrand for many different reasons, including:

  • Pivoting corporate strategy to launch new offerings or target new customers
  • Taking a company international
  • Acquiring or merging with another company
  • Suffering bad press or copyright infringement issues
  • Feeling that their existing image is outdated or no longer reflects current business priorities

It’s important to note, however, that all of these reasons are reactive. They all occur because the brand is responding to some stimulus – whether positive or negative – with a rebranding. But because changing some or all elements of a brand identity takes time, every day that passes between the realisation that a brand refresh is necessary and its actualisation represents potential missed opportunities to connect with the right consumers.

That’s why, at Windsorborn, we believe in taking a proactive approach to refreshing brand identities. Rather than waiting until the existing brand is past its prime, we see tremendous opportunities for brands to drive massive growth by noticing the signals that the need for a brand refresh is imminent and responding proactively with a full or partial rebrand.

How to Tell If You’re Ready for a Refresh

Because rebranding can represent a major investment for a company – depending on the size of the company and how many brand identity elements need to be changed – the key to a successful brand refresh lies in

Here are a few of the signals we watch out for when working with Windsorborn’s clients:

Logos and iconography based on past design trends
Flat design – a minimalistic response to the hyper-realistic graphics of the early-to-mid 2000s – has dominated mainstream web visuals since Apple’s iOS 7 launch in 2013. Yet, in the last year or two, the trend has faced backlash from designers who see it as either overused or lacking clarity for users.

Design leaders believe we’re now entering the world of “flat design 2.0,” which retains the simplicity of traditional flat design while improving depth and direction through the addition of gradients, highlights and drop shadows.

Whether or not flat design 2.0 takes off or is eclipsed by another trend remains to be see. But if your brand’s current logo or iconography makes heavy use of flat design or previous trends, considering a brand refresh at this point will prevent your company from appearing outdated when the shift occurs.

Diminishing returns on once-profitable marketing channels
Rebranding is about more than keeping up with market trends (design or otherwise). It can be a powerful engine for growth – but only if it’s deployed at the right time, in the right way.

Once sign that your existing branding is inhibiting your growth is your marketing channel performance. Say you’ve been successfully generating leads through paid social media ad placements, but over the past few months, have seen a decline in lead quantity or quality (or an increase in ad costs).

While there are a number of different factors potentially at work, it’s worth considering that your brand may have achieved full market penetration; that you’ve connected with all the consumers who are likely to respond to your brand as-is. In this case, refreshing part or all of your brand could open the doors to engagement with new groups of prospects.

Lacklustre NPS reports
Great brands make consumers feel something. Think of the slavish devotion Apple inspires. Consider how strongly some people favor Coca Cola over Pepsi (and visa versa).

If your brand isn’t inspiring similar levels of engagement, you’ll find the evidence in net promoter score (NPS) polling. If implementing your own NPS poll reveals an average response of 7-8 (or worse, 0-6), it’s possible that uninspiring branding is at work. Fix it with a refresh, and you’ll benefit from stronger referral growth and more repeat customers.

If you see evidence of these or other signs – or if you’re simply concerned that you’re overdue for a refresh –reach out to Windsorborn for more information on how to turn your branding into a major driver of growth for your company. You can also start a project with us.

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