HAVE YOU OUTGROWN YOUR BRAND?
I’ve had a few conversations this week with business owners regarding the age and relevancy of their marketing and branding. Just like with any delicious food, there is a shelf life for the aspects of your brand; those items include the images, message and how you reach clients. In the same respect, your company’s morals, values, mission and core message are more like a fine wine and only get better with time.
Four years ago we created a marketing presentation kit, sourced custom photography and created a website for a contracting company in Southern Maryland. These pieces met the needs of the time, who they wanted to target and how they wanted to portray their business. Since then, they’ve doubled their staff, added dozens of projects and expanded their service offerings. While maintaining the website with new projects over the years, they’ve now outgrown the structure of that website as well. And on the web, a lot changes in four years. We’re kicking off a new marketing brainstorming session in a few weeks to talk about who they are as a company now and how they want to be portrayed. From there, we’ll create the new message and update their look to match their growth.
We’ve found that 3-4 years is a healthy life-cycle for a company’s campaign look. From the time we launch a website, a campaign look or core marketing materials, the shelf life depends on the growth of the company and overall structure of the marketing. One thing that you don’t want to change every few years is your core visual identity including your logo. Do logos evolve? Absolutely, but only with need, reason or purpose. Changing the logo for the sake of changing it can actually do more harm than good, losing valuable brand awareness and equity in the marketplace. But changing it because your business is going through an evolution and growing can boost customer engagement, reinforce your expertise in the industry and show the health of your company.
If your marketing materials and message no longer feel like “you” it may be time for a brand evolution. Here are a few key reasons that it may be time to upgrade your stuff:
*The content is outdated, things are missing and it has statements or services that are no longer relevant.
*You’ve run out of original printed pieces years ago, are photocopying photocopies and writing missing content on them.
*You have new things to show – new portfolio pieces, new work or case studies.
*You’ve changed your focus and it’s not reflected in your marketing.
*You’ve outgrown the look. Your materials are 2.0 of your company but you’re operating on 4.0.
*You haven’t defined your message or created a consistent look so everything looks different.
*You’ve created materials yourself because that’s what time and budget allowed for, but now you’re ready to grow your company and bring in a professional.
When using your branded materials, there should be a sense of pride an accomplishment in handing them to someone. Great materials support your mission and are tools to help you in your role. They shouldn’t be complicated or cumbersome… that’s how people end up with boxes of unused brochures in the closet. When your brand supports you, you support your brand. Keeping them up to date not only keeps your business relevant, but it reinforces who you are, what you do and how you’ll make a difference in your customers’ lives.
Ready for a brand evolution? Our kick-ass brand experts are here to guide you. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 240.347.4833
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