Sometimes it’s easy to spot when certain things need changing: a light bulb, the litter box, or the TV channel. Your branding, however, is not as obvious when it’s in need of an update. Because you are your brand, it is highly likely that at some point you've gone "brand blind".
So...how do you know when it’s time for a brand refresh? What does ‘brand refresh’ even mean? Think of a brand refresh as a personal makeover. A new haircut or an up-to-date outfit or even a new bag is really all it takes to transform a person’s presence. Branding, or the design language, of your business, works in the same manner.
Refreshing your brand can help improve the way your business is perceived.
Making small updates to your brand can:
Inject new energy into your business
Ensure your company’s image stays relevant
Expand your reach and create excitement within your clientele
Ask yourself the questions below. If you can answer yes to more than one, it might be time to consider refreshing your brand.
Is your branding outdated?
Let’s face it: some things just don’t age as well, and your branding can be one of those things. (We’re looking at you, rustic vintage.) Dated design aesthetics can signal a lack of relevance or even the neglect of a company and in turn, have a negative impact on your business. Every aspect of your 'look' should feel current and relevant to the work you do or want to do. So take an objective look at your branding, (the logo, fonts, imagery you use to present your business to the world), and ask yourself, "does my brand look outdated?"
Not sure how to tell? We recommend taking a peek at the Design Section on Pinterest to see what the current design trends are. Try to stay away from other photographers’ sites and pages to avoid having a too-similar style. By keeping an eye on trends outside of your industry, you can get perspective on how to add, or what to take away from your brand, so your look can be more relevant and up to date with the current landscape.
Is your branding is inconsistent?
If you’re using one logo for your website, another on your packaging, and something different on your invoices, with various fonts, and colors, that change across them all, it’s time to streamline. Choose one logo, a simple color palette, two fonts max, and just stick to it. You don't have to reinvent your look from one environment to the other. Inconsistency is the number one brand killer.
If you need some guidance and tools to help streamline, take a look at our post Crafting a Brand, that gives you an overview of our Brand Design Themes aka 'Brand-in-a-Box' tools for photographers.
Have you changed what you offer?
Are your branded materials an accurate reflection of who you are and what you offer today? If you’ve made some major changes to your business operations, you need to make sure your branding mirrors those changes.
We recommend: Remove anything from your site or materials that you are no longer offering. You don’t want to accidentally make false promises to your clients because a previous offering was overlooked. Have you added anything to your business that’s helped increase your revenue or makes you stand out against your competitors? Those are things that you should think about highlighting in your branding and marketing.
Are you gearing up for some serious growth?
Expecting or needing growth in the near future? Maybe you’ve doubled up your marketing efforts, or you’ve introduced a new product line into your business. Whatever the reasoning may be, make sure your branding can support you and your business through the big change.
We recommend: Compare your branding to those within and outside your industry, especially those who are dominating the market. Again, take a look at the Design section on Pinterest, and see what design elements are trending. Changing subtle design elements like color and shape could be all it takes to update your brand.
Refreshing your brand and look may seem intimidating, but we promise it won't hurt. It's in fact often rewarding. And it doesn't have to be hard. It could be as simple as picking a new color palette or updating the copy on your site or materials to reflect your current (and future!) business. Don’t worry if you’re not a seasoned designer or copywriter, you can easily hire out for these tasks or do it yourself with some helpful templates.
Change is always on the horizon. Make sure your business stays relevant with a simple brand refresh so you can stay on track with your business goals.
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