Brands, and supporting branding, are traditionally established in the very early stages of a business. The core elements — brand name, logo, positioning, visual identity, and key messaging — then follow the company as it progresses. Over time and periods of growth, it’s important to make sure the conceived of branding continues to align with business goals and that it continually resonates with its target audience. If there’s a disconnect, then updates may be in order, but that doesn’t necessarily mean overhauling every part of the brand.
The creative industry often thinks of these updates as a “brand refresh,” a term that may make some brand managers a little nervous. With so much work already invested in developing your current brand, the thought of sudden change can be jarring.
Instead, we think of these crossroads as an opportunity to “recalibrate” your brand. Is your brand helping you achieve success? What parts are working, and what no longer suits your organization’s values? Brand recalibration is an opportunity to honestly assess how well every aspect of your brand — both internal and external — lines up with your current vision.
Checking in with your brand doesn’t mean throwing out everything you’ve built. Many companies have considerable equity in their existing brands and simply need to build on what they’ve done in order to stay current. Other brands may find a more dramatic reimagining necessary for their continued success. Wherever brands stand on the refresh-recalibration spectrum, they all need constant attention in order to thrive in dynamic industries.
The next step for your brand should align with your company’s current vision and goals. Whether that means a moderate shift or a complete refresh of your identity depends where you stand with your business. Being open to bringing fresh eyes, fine artistry, and keen strategy to your brand — and evaluating the ongoing maintenance that could add value in the long-run — will help keep your business moving forward.