Rebrand or refresh? How to make sure your brand is fit for purpose

Your brand tells potential customers who you are and what you can do for them. It sets the tone for all of your advertising and marketing collateral, including your website and social media. But how do you know if your brand is working, and how do you decide between a rebrand and a refresh?

Content Empire recently reviewed its own brand, which then led to a new website. Our Directors Clare Murphy and Cathy Wever share their insights and advice on how to review your brand.

What were Content Empire’s motivations for the brand refresh?

Clare: We developed our brand back in 2016 when we were bringing Content Empire to life. We’ve always loved our branding and it has stood the test of time. We just wanted to add a bit more fun to it, to really match the personality of our team and the confidence we have in our services. Retaining our crown and our business name were essential. But we have refreshed the look with a pop of red and our new Gotham font.

Cathy: After close to six years in business, the Content Empire name and brand is really strong. We get a lot of referrals through word of mouth. For these reasons, a complete rebrand was out of the question. We simply wanted our brand to help us stand out in the competitive digital marketing space.

How often should brands be reviewed, and how do you know if a rebrand or refresh is required?

Cathy: A brand ‘health check’ is worth doing every five years or so. Look at all the elements of your brand together and question whether the brand has evolved with your business. A brand is like everything – it needs to change with the times to stay fresh and continue to appeal to current and new audiences. Whatever industry you’re in, looking out of date is never a business objective!

But we do advise caution when altering your brand. It is no small task to build up brand equity in the market.

One big question to consider is whether your brand name easily conveys your value proposition to customers. For us, our business name is highly descriptive of our services, and content continues to be in demand, so there is no way we would change it. But if your business name is making it harder for customers to find you, you might need to think about solutions.

Clare: A rebrand may be needed if the business has changed direction or if the brand looks and feels really outdated. But in most cases, an update will be sufficient to ensure you continue to connect with your audiences. One of the most efficient ways to update a brand is to simply create a new tagline, or slug. In our case, a pop of colour and a new font have positioned our brand exactly where we want it.

From customer surveys and focus groups to social listening, Search Engine Watch suggests excellent tools to formally measure your brand equity.

What process did Content Empire follow to refresh its brand?

Cathy: Our brand review actually started with a business ‘deep dive’ we undertook with a business consultant. Through this process we refined our value proposition and service offering. Internal workshops with our team and ongoing conversations with clients were really valuable in confirming what our brand needed to say.

Clare: We treated our brand refresh like we would any branding exercise or visual design project for a client. We always go through a process of defining the brand personality, brand truth and the unique selling proposition. This thinking enabled us to create a design brief for our designer Afra Mullins. We gave Afra plenty of room to create something that had her stamp on it but we set a few key objectives:

  • a more contemporary font
  • introduce a fun colour, or consider how we can be slightly more playful
  • retain the crown
  • retain the simplicity

Once we settled on the new brand, Afra looked at how it would be applied across various settings, from our website and social media to client proposals and strategy work. She also developed a range of design devices that give us flexibility. We can present key facts in coloured circles or use super-sized red quotation marks for testimonials. With all that in place, we got to work on our new website.

How can a tagline be introduced to complement the brand?

Clare: Also known as a slug, a tagline is usually three to five words long. It sits alongside your business name and brandmark to tell your customer something more about the business or to (hopefully) create a particular emotion. Coke’s ‘Taste the feeling’ in 2016 was aspirational while NAB’s current tagline ‘More than money’ is a values-driven promise. Taglines are an effective and relatively easy way to update a brand.

Cathy: Content Empire’s tagline is ‘Engaging audiences, building brands’. Content Empire remains a great descriptive business name that tells you immediately what we do. But our tagline goes a step further and spells out what our content can do for your business. If you are thinking about adding a tagline or updating an existing one, think about using it to clarify your business proposition to customers. You might like to read our blog ‘How to create a memorable tagline for your brand‘.

Would you like help reviewing your brand? Get in touch with Cathy and Clare to talk about how your brand can help achieve your business goals.

Key Points

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