Revitalizing your brand is not often easy and means assessing where you came from, where you are now, and where you want to go from here. It can often feel like you are starting your branding process over from the beginning, and though it will be a lot faster this time around (there is a lot you already know), you still want to ask yourself the hard questions and begin…well at the beginning. They say it is a very good place to start.
1. What are the core values of your business/organization? What are some key words, short phrases, and descriptions that best depict what you do or want to be doing? What do you want your brand to “feel” like? Your brand has a personality and so needs to be thought about like you would a person. It will have a distinct way it talks, sense of humor, things it cares about, positions it agrees or disagrees with, etc. If you are stuck here, sometimes doing a visual exercise like creating a mood or vision board is helpful.
2. What is the purpose of your work? Has this changed over time? What was it when you started and what is it now? What makes you unique and different from your competitors? What role do you provide in your partnerships with others? (ie. key stakeholders/constiuents/clients/fans, etc. depending on what type of business we are talking about) This information is what becomes your new mission statement and/or company description.
3. What are your goals? What do you want to accomplish over the next 1, 3, 5, 10 years? Think big and keep referring back to your core values, being reminded of what you value and will keep you interested in your work are they same things that will be engaging to other people. Make sure to also think about tangible and actionable goals, ie. things you can quantify and “check-off” when complete. Asking yourself these questions are the beginings of a new strategic plan.
4. Who are your key stakeholders/constiuents/clients/fans, etc.? What are their “demographics”? (likes, dislikes, places they go/events they attend, other organizations they are a part of, etc… be specific on gender, age, social/political/cultural activities) Have these people changed since you began, if so, how? Are the people you market to now the same people you want 1-5 years from now? These questions will help you identify your target market(s) and in turn how you want to communicate your brand moving forward.
5. Does your brand identity still “look” and “feel” right? Is the way you talk about yourself (written and visually) still inline with your core values and goals? Are your marketing materials consistent? Do they share the same basic theme and information, and are these clear to your readers/viewers? Either way, if you are considering a brand revitalization, something probably feels off to you, so taking a look at the fonts, colors, imagery, and textures you are using is probably a good idea. This will help you create a new visual language and identity. For a more in-depth exercise than what is listed below see 4 Quick Tips For Visual Consistency: A Quick and Dirty Guide to Unifying Your Marketing Materials.
- Fonts: If your company/organization were a font, which one would it be? Visit Myfonts.com or Google Webfonts and type in your core values/key words and see what comes up.
- Color Palette: In general, what kind of colors are you drawn to and would best portray your core values? Try playing around with Colourlovers.
- Textures: Do you prefer smooth and clean vs. tactile and layered? See SubtlePatterns.
- Imagery: What kind of imagery are you drawn to? What imagery do you think best portrays your core values? Visit istockphoto.
Once you have finished going through the steps above, I think you will find you have already revitalized your brand. It is not one simple action that changes things, it is a transformation in how you are thinking about your company/organization and then choosing words and a new visual language that “feels” in alignment. Try to stay focused on your core values before you focus on who you are trying to reach. If you stay grounded in what you value, your purpose, and goals, you will attract the right people to your community. Then it is just a matter of choosing the right marketing channels for sharing and broadcasting. (print, web, social, email, etc.)