By: Denise Blackburn-Gay, APR
President & CEO
Marketing Strategies, Inc.

How many times have you looked at your brochure, your website or even your logo and thought it looked tired? If you think that, others may be thinking the same thing.

We have clients who approach us with the idea that in order to refresh their brand they need an entirely new logo. That’s not necessarily the case. Sometimes things as simple as changing colors, the typeface or even altering the position of the graphic elements may do the trick.

Fourth quarter is a great time to refresh your marketing materials and set the stage for a new year. Along with your logo, take a look at your website, your brochure and any other collateral materials–even your forms. All of these speak volumes about your business and are important in building the brand. Yes, continuity is important.

With a brand ‘refresh’, you’re not throwing the baby out with the bathwater. You are simply updating your look. You are retaining the brand equity that over the years your logo has helped established. If you’re thinking about refreshing your look, but you’re not quite sure this is the right approach, here are some of the reasons businesses like yours are hitting ‘refresh’:

•You need to compete at a higher level in your marketplace or you are thinking about expanding your geographic territory

•Your overall brand no longer reflects who you really are

•A merger, acquisition, or change in ownership has occurred

•Your internal structure (your team members, and/or products or services that you sell) has changed

•You need to simplify and focus your message

When you have determined that rebranding should be your next strategic move, it is important to do the necessary research that will ensure that the choices you make are sound. Take a close look at your firm, your clients, and your competition. Your goal is to have a clear understanding of your current brand perception and your competencies.  This is often one of the hardest steps.  As a business owner, you think you know the answers. You may have some insight, but the best way to determine brand perception is to ask others. Yes, this can be painful, but in order to rebrand you must understand your strengths and weaknesses. Ask key employees and if possible, hire an independent firm to conduct focus groups. The time and money spent will be well worth the investment.

Once you have determined your brand perception, you can use this knowledge to help you solidify your strategy. Along with your new logo, develop a positioning statement. In a few short words, this tells the general public what you are all about. It positions you in their minds. If you choose wisely, it will be a tagline that not only tells the story, but also is one that will be remembered. Make it short, make it catchy, and make it stick.

The final element in rebranding is to develop your brand building strategy–your blueprint for success.  How will you launch it internally? How will you introduce it to your customers and beyond? Will you introduce it one fell swoop or gradually roll it out?  All of these are questions you must answer. We know all too well. After several years, Marketing Strategies, Inc. is launching a rebranding of its own. You’ll see it in our logo, our positioning statement, and soon in our new website. Let us know what you think and let us know if we can help you rebrand your business.

Just hit ‘refresh’!

 

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