Brand identity refreshes are significantly more common projects than brand creation projects. These sort of projects usually coincide with some sort of strategic shift within and organisation such as a change of focus, a shift in the market or leadership change. After all, a visual identity is the visual manifestation of the business strategy. As Wally Olins points out, ‘Corporate identity makes the organisations strategy, structure and vision, visible.’
There are other reasons too why entities decide a brand identity refresh, also known as a brand refresh or brand rejuvenation, is necessary. For example, to modernise, to be more appealing, be better aligned with current market trends and in step with consumer preferences. The objective of a brand identity refresh is to keep the brand relevant, without completely overhauling the brand. Keeping the essence and thrust whilst sharpening and fettling the areas that need attention.
Here are some key elements involved in a brand identity refresh:
- Logo Redesign: Often, the most visible change in a brand refresh is the redesign of the company’s logo. The new logo may retain some elements of the old one to maintain brand recognition but may be simplified, modernised, or given a fresh look to reflect the company’s current values, mission, or products.
- Colour Palette: Updating or modifying the brand’s colour palette can help give a more contemporary and appealing feel. Colours play a significant role in brand perception, and a refreshed palette can evoke new emotions or associations.
- Typography: Changing or updating the typefaces / fonts and typographic arrangements used in corporate communications and marketing activities can help create a more modern and coherent visual identity. Different typefaces convey different personalities and can affect how people perceive the brand.
- Brand Messaging: Find a brand voice is very important. How an organisation speaks to its audience and to each other is one clear way people can understand where a business is coming from. Revisiting and refining the brand’s messaging, including its taglines, mission statement, and brand voice, can ensure that it resonates with the target audience and reflects the company’s current values and goals.
- Visual Elements: There are many significant graphic elements that can help develop a brand identity way beyond the logo. For example, elements like icons, imagery,, illustration, photography style, typographic arrangemnets, use of negative space and graphic flourishes may be updated to create a cohesive and up-to-date brand identity.
- Marketing Collateral: Existing marketing materials, such as brochures, business cards, websites, and social media profiles, may need to be updated to reflect the refreshed brand identity consistently.
- Market Research: A brand identity refresh often involves conducting market research to understand changing consumer preferences, competitive landscapes, and emerging trends. This data informs the decisions made during the refresh process.
- Rollout Strategy: How the refreshed brand identity is introduced to the public is crucial. Companies may choose to gradually roll out the new identity or make a bold, high-profile announcement, depending on their marketing strategy.
- Employee Engagement: Employees should be informed and engaged during the refresh process to ensure they understand and embrace the updated brand identity. They are often the ones responsible for delivering the brand promise to customers.
It’s important to note that a brand identity refresh should maintain some continuity with the existing brand, especially if the brand has a strong and positive reputation. Drastic changes without a strong thread to the previous manifestation of the brand identity can alienate existing perceptions and begin to erode the brand equity. The goal is to evolve and adapt while preserving the essence of what the organisation stands for and what is important to it.
Read more about our brand identity refresh projects here.