Your company’s brand is more than the products you sell or the services you offer. Your brand is what you stand for as an organization. It’s your belief system. It’s your philosophy and your credibility, and it translates into the perception your targeted audience will see and experience. An audience’s perception of your brand will ultimately go into their decision to align with your organization as a customer, client, or member. Through informed elements and tactics that support your brand—such as your value and mission statements, messaging platform, logos, taglines, and even the company name—your organization can work toward representing the expectation of an experience or promise to customers, which is ultimately the outcome of a successful brand.
How do you know when your brand is or isn’t working? Staying engaged with how your brand is perceived by your primary markets and how those markets are changing or evolving is key to gauging perception and brand traction. Analyzing that information is how you can determine when it could be time to refresh your brand or potentially overhaul it.
Here are a five reasons why it may be time to re-examine your brand.
- FAQs. If you find your audience is asking the same questions about what you offer again and again, then your brand identity and the communication that supports it may be in need of close examination. Raising your brand’s profile and increasing awareness and engagement with your core members or consumers may require changes to your brand identity. An updated brand identity will require new messaging with a strong brand statement threaded throughout, sending the signal to your audience that there is something different, unique, and refreshed about your organization and its offerings.
- Cultural change. Brands require evolution. Just as marketplaces evolve, and the culture in any given industry changes, so too should the brands of the organizations and companies within them. Technology shifts, user engagement trends, and new methods of operation and communication are all areas where you can gauge the relevancy of your brand against the changing landscape.
- New ownership. In the event of a merger or an acquisition, a concerted look at the two brands and how they align or don’t will need to occur. It’s essential that there is time spent evaluating both brands to ensure a cohesive transition. Sometimes that means a brand may take on the look and feel and brand of its new owner, and sometimes it means a fresh new brand to represent the newly fused entity.
- Bad PR. Whether sudden or gradual, a negative shift in brand perception is every company’s worst nightmare. Although, on the flip side there is also the school of thought that says, “No PR is bad PR”. Whatever the catalyst, a rebrand may be a viable solution if the negative spin cannot be redirected. A strategic approach that focuses on what users or customers need and want from your company, matched up to your company’s unique ability to meet those expectations, is key to reforming perception and resurrecting trust.
- Updates to offerings. If you’re launching a new product or service, or making changes to your current offerings, the same close examination should be given to how this fits into your brand and your customers’ expectations. If your company is well known for one product or service, changing that offering or adding something new could change how people see your organization. Brand management is crucial when it comes to any organizational shift, and ensuring that key messages and visual representations of a brand accurately reflect what it has to offer can ensure changes are effectively communicated and well received.
Consistently evaluating your brand and how it is perceived is key to making and keeping a connection with target audiences. We’ve examined just a few instances that could trigger the need for a brand refresh. Monitoring how your company is perceived in the marketplace and remaining consistent and thoughtful in your brand stewardship will help ensure your brand accurately reflects how you want your company to be viewed now and into the future.