4 ways to easily update your brand


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Brands should never remain stagnant. Just as the world around us constantly evolves, so should your brand. However, a full rebrand can be a complex and lengthy process, not to mention costly. A poor rebrand can prove disastrous. In 2009, Tropicana’s sales dropped 20 percent after it doled out $35 million to rebrand its traditional design for a more modern look. After a month and losing about $20 million in revenue, the beverage company pulled the new packaging and reverted back to their original artwork. Tropicana’s rebranding efforts are a cautionary tale proving that even with an astronomical budget, you truly need the right team to bring a rebrand to life.

Still, ensuring that your brand stays relevant is vital to remain competitive in today’s oversaturated marketplace. Minor updates will reinvigorate your audience and the company’s bottom line. After all, 77 percent of consumers make purchases on a brand’s name alone according to a report from the Integer Group. Meaning audiences are paying attention to branding and a well-positioned brand will solidify your company’s authority yielding exponential results over time. For many companies, it might be safer to dip a toe in the rebrand water before a risky plunge.

Here are four simple ways you can update your brand without investing the time, effort, and funds into a full rebrand.

1. Update your slogan.

Most recently, KFC made headlines for suspending its slogan of 64 years, It’s Finger Lickin’ Good. The Global Chief Marketing Officer recognized that the age-old tagline no longer fit the current climate and global concern to protect health. While the use of this slogan is only on pause, it still made a large impact on audiences signifying attentiveness and acknowledgment as to what’s happening in the world. But marketers beware. Make sure that your new tagline is rooted in substance, not trends. Audiences want to see that brands are being genuine. In fact, 90 percent of consumers said that authenticity is important when deciding which brands they support according to a Stackla survey. If you’re unsure how the market will respond to a slogan update, it may be helpful to audience test or crowdsource fresh concepts for your brand.

2. Add a plus.

Disney+, Walmart+, ESPN+, Google+, Apple TV+, and Paramount+ are just a few conglomerates who have either updated their brand or extended their brand. Instead of spending millions in an overhaul on logos, designs, name changes, and identity, the companies simply took their powerhouse brand and added a plus to their names. By simply adding a plus symbol, audiences know exactly who the brand is already and can identify that there has been an update. In schools, we’re conditioned to recognize the plus as a positive emblem, an A+ is better than an A. Therefore, seeing the plus signals to consumers that there is something bigger and better associated with this brand.

3. Tweak the logo.

Mastercard underwent two years of research before finalizing their logo refresh that removed their name below their signature intersecting yellow and red circles. Market research found that 80 percent of individuals recognized the Mastercard symbol without the word ‘Mastercard’ underneath. Therefore the company simplified its look to a wordless logo. Mastercard’s subtle update was an easy change that aligns with today’s modern branding that is both clean and minimalistic. A brand’s logo is a visual representation through shapes, texture, and colors that audiences will remember. Logos can be tremendously powerful because they can sell your brand without you saying a word. But you don’t have to undergo an entire logo facelift. You can slightly tweak your logo by removing text or toying with colors. Other brands who’ve made slight changes to their logos over the years include Starbucks, Slack, Domino’s, YouTube, and Visa. Fine-tuning a logo is all part of a brand’s evolution.

4. Refresh design.

Updating design elements to what’s in vogue is an uncomplicated way to update your brand. Fonts add to your company’s personality and emphasize your brand story. While logos remain minimalistic, font trends of lately have embraced bold or vintage typeface with a modern twist. Color trends change nearly every year with Pantone recently releasing their predictions for color palettes trends of Spring/Summer 2021. Typically, color palettes range between one to three primary colors and two to three secondary colors. A refresh could be strategically incorporating or replacing a few new colors into your brand’s palette. If your brand is more than seven years old, you may consider revisiting your brand’s stylebook and compare it to the latest design trends where you can identify areas of improvement.

Grant Polachek
Grant Polachek is the Head of Branding at Inc 500 company Squadhelp.com, the world's #1 naming platform, with 25,000+ customers from early-stage startups across the globe to the largest corporations including Nestle, Philips, Hilton, Pepsi, and AutoNation.


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