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Is My Brand Outdated? How To Know When It’s Time For A Brand Refresh.

Change can be scary.

When the same thing has worked for a long time, sometimes change doesn’t feel necessary, especially when it comes to your brand. When a third party looks at your logo, do they understand what you do? Does your logo represent who you are as a company today, and not just 10+ years ago? A lot can change in a company in a short amount of time. We’re here to help you figure out if your brand and logo is still relevant, or in need of a refresh.

All Signs Pointing to a Brand Refresh:

Take a look at your current logo. Does it communicate visually what you want your customers to know? Does it appeal to a current audience? Can it be translated into a variety of different mediums? Here’s what to keep in mind when considering a brand refresh:

Marketing conditions can change and keeping your brand current (i.e. avoiding outdated language or technology) will appeal better to your audience . If your services change or expand, you may need to refresh your brand to stay more connected with your customer base.
Think of application: when designing or refreshing a logo it is important to understand how the logo will be used. Will it be used in print and web? Are you ever going to use your logo on promotional gear or uniforms? If so, you have to think about the cost: the more colors you have, the more expensive it is to embroider, offset print, or screen print. Also, the more intricate your logo is, the less it will translate to those items and will be harder to read when it’s sized down.

Branding doesn’t just rely on a logo. Evaluate your colors, patterns, typeface and any photos you have. Are your colors contemporary? Do you use outdated gradients? (And if your typeface is Papyrus, please stop reading and call us ASAP). What about your imagery? Are your photos of this decade? Do you use cheesy stock photography?

All in all, when you look at your brand make sure it is thoughtful, cohesive, and complements your company. Your brand should tell a story and be something you are proud of. If you are missing any of those things….you may need a brand refresh.

Different Levels of Refresh:

A brand refresh can range from simple logo updates to a full-on rebrand. Rebrands can include a new logo, colors, patterns, icons, imagery, website, and print collateral.

successful logo is typically fairly simple with less than 3-4 colors. The logo can be made up of a word mark, an icon, or a combination of word and icon. You can determine if you need a simple refresh by evaluating the spacing, typeface, and color of your logo. A lot of people who need a brand refresh typically do not have a vector file (.ai, or .eps) of their logo. If you don’t have one of those you are most likely putting out pixelated and distorted logos for your company, which is not a good first impression to potential clients or customers.
The next level would be a brand new logo and color palette. This could also include patterns and typefaces. (This is a pretty typical brand refresh.)
Usually the companies who have never had a real web presence and who come to us for website design are most in need of a new brand. A successful website should have a strong brand presence. Without colors, patterns, and imagery it could be very difficult to design a website that has a nice UI (user interface).

Of course, there are levels in between. Maybe your logo is perfect, but you don’t have any brand elements (secondary color palette, patterns, or imagery) to complement it. At any level you would get a folder with all file types (Vector, PNG, JPG, TIFF) and variations(Stacked, Horizontal, Icon only, CMYK, Black and White, Web, PMS) of your logo and a brand guideline on how to use your brand elements.

Evaluate your current brand and make sure it still meets your goals and holds up as a strong and recognizable brand, without becoming stagnant or old-fashioned. Almost every recognizable brand has gone through a brand refresh at a point in time (Apple, Coca-Cola, etc.). Small tweaks like colors and fonts can make a big difference, but still keep the integrity of your brand (it’s like getting a face lift). There is no reason to reinvent your brand completely if it’s working for you. Sometimes you just need to make strategic and thoughtful updates to show your customers that you care about the integrity of your company and brand.

Think your brand could use a refresh? Contact VSG Marketing to put your ideas into action.