Company brands should never be static. To stay relevant and better position themselves in the ever-changing minds of customers, they must evolve. Mainly, this is to reflect the maturity of the business, its products or service, and its target market. For instance, consider how brands only have a few seconds to capture the attention of a customer. At every point of contact, your audience is seeking validation. This is why elements of your brand’s visual identity are one of the most important to evolve.
Why evolve your brand’s visual identity
Think about it. A business’s visual identity is one of the first things a person sees when they recall a brand (think of McDonald’s M or Nike’s tick). As the first touchpoint with prospective and current customers, it’s the first piece of information they will use to understand you – Remember it’s not just who you are and what you offer, but what you stand for.
Truly, it’s a part of our human nature to prefer to learn visually. This tendency on its own is enough of a reason a company’s natural progression must be reflected in its visual identity. However, what is as equally important, is that your visual identity communicates your brand’s legitimacy, contemporaneity and reliability. What this means is, that if you don’t ensure your brand’s visual elements are fresh, modern, and present the same visually across all platforms, it won’t reach its full potential.
Refresh or Renew?
To strengthen your brand and solidify what it stands for, you must first decide what is necessary to achieve this. This will either be through an entire rebrand, built from the ground up; or a refreshed brand, where only minor changes need to be made.
Strong brands like Apple, Coke and Starbucks continuously chose the latter. Above all, they refine and update their brand’s visual identity to keep up with the times while maintaining their overall look and feel.
These slight modifications are often the safer option for those who don’t wish to lose their brand equity or brand awareness. (Brand equity is the commercial value that comes from customer perception of the brand name – rather than the product or service). Only when you are considerably unsatisfied with your current business should you start again with your brand’s visual identity. You should pursue this type of rebranding when you want to present yourself in a new market or industry.
Refining your visual identity
First and foremost, keep in mind the goal is to present continuity in your brand. To do this first, find an ideal style that will translate well on business cards, banners, product packages, and all your business collateral. Then, to match this unified style and clarify your values, update the elements of your brand’s visual identity.
Clean up and systemise your style
Companies have practised brand evolution for decades. Make small changes in typeface, colours, logos and stationery design and, in essence, ensure your brand’s central idea is communicated across all collateral. This will elevate its visual impression.
Again, and whichever area needs a touch-up, remember the goal is clarification and not confusion. Maintain key, successful and trusted components of your established brand because familiarity is a must! For example, take a look at the evolution of Coca-cola and Mercedes-Benz over the years:
Solidifying your evolving brand identity
Investing in your brand can lead to spectacular repayment. Build and maintain a strong, articulate brand, rolled out across multiple channels, and you can create ongoing leads and customer loyalty. But if you don’t – and your brand remains static, it’s safe to say, you will lose momentum.
If you would like to learn more about how you can develop your brand’s visual identity to drive better results, our team of experts are here to guide you.