As one of my final projects for 2016, I had the pleasure of working with Bethel from Bethel Ann Photography to launch her new brand identity and website.
Motivated by her decision to focus her photography business around destination elopements and intimate weddings, we set out to create a brand identity that captured her natural, honest, and vibrant style.
I begin each design project with in-depth strategy work including a client questionnaire, visual inspiration board, and brand consultation. After completing the strategy phase with Bethel, we had a solid and creative direction outlined for her new brand identity that I couldn’t wait to begin designing.
How do you know when it’s time to reband your business?
I have to admit – as a graphic designer, I’m tempted to “update” the brand & website design for Jobson Studios all the time. I’ll learn a new technique or read an inspiring design blog and I’m suddenly eager to give my business a whole new look.
But new isn’t always good.
Rebranding your business is a huge undertaking with real consequences. Often, those consequences are positive ones. But if your business isn’t ready for a rebrand, the consequences can be harmful.
So how do you know if rebranding your business will have a positive or negative effect?
After working with many small business owners to rebrand their companies, here’s my reliable list of questions to ask yourself before rebranding. Your answers to these questions will give you a clear idea on whether you should jump into the branding process or stick with what you’ve got.
For each of the following questions, jot down your answer of true or false:
True or False: You’re inspired to rebrand your business based on a current trend.
A new trend in branding and design often sparks the idea for a rebrand. While remaining modern and relevant in your branding is important, it’s almost always a bad idea to rebrand based on a flashy new trend that has caught your eye (or swept your industry).
Why? Because, by their very nature, trends fade. A brand should be built on unique, lasting attributes that help your company stand out in the marketplace and become memorable for something.
A brand that is designed to conform to a trend is anything but memorable – it just blends in with the rest of the trendy crowd.
Rebranding your business to fulfill a trend also sets you up for the need to rebrand again once the trend is no longer popular (which equals more time, energy, and money spent).
If you decide to rebrand your business, you should do so with the goal of creating something unique, memorable, and long-lasting.
True or False: Your current brand appeals strongly to your ideal audience.
A major role your branding fills is attracting your ideal audience.
A good brand is designed to appeal to a very specific set of people – not the general population. This allows you to become memorable and distinct in your industry and bring in more of the right type of customer.
If your current branding isn’t appealing strongly to your ideal audience (either because it wasn’t designed for that purpose in the first place or because your ideal audience has changed), that’s a very good reason to rebrand.
If, on the other hand, your current brand already appeals to your ideal audience and helps you bring in more of your best clients or customers, your current branding might be worth sticking with.
True or False: Your current brand reflects the quality of your business.
Another important job your branding will do is help you demonstrate the quality of your business instantaneously.
This one’s pretty simple: when we see cheap design and marketing, we quickly associate that level of quality with the business using it.
So if you’re running a successful, quality business but using low-quality, cheap-looking marketing and design elements, you’re missing an important opportunity to convey your quality to potential customers.
There’s nothing wrong with working within your budget and using affordable resources for branding, website design, and marketing (or doing it yourself) while your business is growing. But if you’ve reached a new level of growth in your business but haven’t yet updated your branding there may be a big gap in the quality your prospects perceive of your business and the actual quality you deliver.
True or False: You haven’t made any changes to your business model, offerings, or direction.
Another big (and smart) reason for rebranding is after a change has been made to your business model, offers, or general direction.
If you’ve made shifts – like offering a new type of product or service, focusing on a new audience, or working toward a new business goal – there’s a good chance your current branding will no longer be as effective or relevant.
On the flip side, if none of these major components have changed, you should ask yourself why you feel your brand is no longer effective before jumping into a rebranding project.
True or False: Your current branding & website feels modern, streamlined, and meets your prospect’s needs.
A good brand is designed to last, but even the best branding can become outdated and need a refresh.
Regardless of its style, your branding should be modern (in its user experience and application), streamlined (implemented cohesively across all of your business and marketing platforms), and meet your prospect’s and customer’s needs (which can change over time).
If you feel your branding has grown outdated in any of these ways, a rebrand (or a brand “refresh”) is a smart move.
Time to evaluate:
If most of your answers were “true”, a rebrand is probably not the right move for you and your business right now. By answering “true” to all or most of the above questions, you’ve confirmed that your motivation for rebranding might harm your business more than help and/or your current brand is already performing its most important tasks well.
If you answered “false” to all or most of the above questions, rebranding your business would be very beneficial. Unlike your current branding, your new brand designs should be focused on appealing to your unique target audience, instantly conveying your value, staying in line with your business goals and offerings, and appearing modern, easy to use, and relevant to your market.
If you don’t feel clear on the answers you got from this quiz, leave your results below in the comments section and I’ll weigh in with my opinion on your unique situation.
call - 616.821.7244 | email - email@example.com | follow along - @sonjajobson
Grand Rapids, MI