Brand reassessment is an essential, ongoing part of any business. For instance, you may notice that the 1995 Pepsi can looks much different from the 2012 Pepsi can, or that the Chuck E. Cheese character looks quite a bit different than he did when you were a kid. Even Mickey Mouse has gotten a face-lift or two, and remember when Taco Bell restaurants included bricks, arches and actual bells? Yes, businesses are constantly scrambling to reinvent themselves and keep up with the times, but how do you know when it’s actually time to reassess your branding?
Keeping it Fresh, Keeping it Real
When it comes to branding, there is no rule as to how often you should revisit your current strategies, designs, logos, slogans and other personal touches, because it all boils down to how well your current efforts are working for you. Look at a company like In N’ Out, one of the most popular hamburger chains on the west coast. This company has maintained virtually the same image since it first opened its doors in 1948: same red-and-white color scheme, same menu, same logo, same paper hats. That’s because In ‘N Out has remained hugely successfully on its simple branding, and like they say, “Don’t fix it if it ain’t broken.”
This approach works for In N’ Out because the company appeals to people’s sense of nostalgia: it’s the archetypal old-fashioned, California hamburger stand. Technology companies, on the other hand, will sometimes update their brand on a yearly basis, because they’re all about staying on the cutting edge. Apple is a prime example. You no longer see the “Think Different” slogan or rainbow-colored apples in their materials. Even candy-colored desktops and laptops have become passé.
How to Decide for Yourself
If you’re thinking of hiring a branding company to give your own brand an overhaul, first ask yourself some key questions:
- Are your current branding efforts working? In other words, are people connecting with your brand? Are you achieving your goals? If you answered no, or if your profits are starting to slip, it may be time for a reassessment.
- Have you recently launched a new product or introduced a new service? If so, you may want to consider a reassessment. By amending your branding strategy, you can reinvigorate your image and project a sense of rebirth to complement your expanding services.
- Has anything about your company changed since you implemented your most recent branding strategies? For example, MTV started out as a network for showcasing music videos, and has evolved into a network that primarily specializes in reality television. Quite understandably, the company has shifted its branding efforts quite dramatically over the years to reflect these changes.
- Does your business appeal to rapidly changing trends, such as fashion or music? If so, you may want to reassess your branding quite often, even on a quarterly basis.
Ultimately, you know your business better than anyone, and the more you stay connected with the needs of your clientele, the easier it will be for you to recognize when it’s time to give your branding a makeover. So always pay attention to the writing on the wall.