Is the look, feel and tone of your brand no longer cutting it in the marketplace? Or has your product and service portfolio changed, but your brand isn’t reflecting this new reality?

Maybe customers’ main experience of your brand is online, but your online presence hasn’t kept up with what they expect – a streamlined, fast and easy way to do business with you.

The need to increase customer connection and revenue by enhancing the digital component of a brand is often what drives companies to embark on a brand refresh.

If you’re nodding, maybe it’s time to think seriously about refreshing your brand. To show your customers why they should engage with you. And to demonstrate that you’re listening, honest and transparent. To remain relevant and competitive in your target market, the quality of your brand experiences is crucial. Giving your customers new and innovative ways of engaging with you across multiple channels is one of the main reasons to carry out a brand refresh.

Clarify the why

Do you need to:

  • Demonstrate a change in your company’s focus?

  • Create excitement about changes to your product and service offering?

  • Redefine your values and voice, and clarify your messages?

  • Introduce new market insights – eliminate the disconnect between your current brand and the needs of your customers?

  • Appeal to new and different customers across new channels?

If any of the above apply to your brand, here’s what you should consider before you jump in.

1. Identify your various audiences (internal and external) – have they changed?

Assessing how your customers are experiencing your brand and introducing new ways for them to engage is part of the refresh process. Do you know what they want? Are they emotionally connected? If their experiences don’t satisfy them, they’ll soon switch to brands that do meet their expectations.

It’s a good idea to revisit your latest research and remind yourself about any insights it uncovered. Have you done focus groups lately? Review the marketing personas for your customer profiles, the influencers and your brand ambassadors to see if they need updating – you might discover new pain points to address and messages to share. There may be new sub-groups you could tap into.

2. Identify any positive aspects of your current brand that should be retained.

Before you throw the baby out with the bathwater, assess what needs to be kept, thrown out or modified. Gauge your level of comfort about making full-scale changes. Maybe you only need to update a few things to breathe more life into your brand. This can involve assessing how well your website is serving your customers; the ease and speed of transactions on tablets and smartphones; and identifying any inconsistencies in the ways your brand works in-store, in advertising and on the phone.

3. Outline the scope of the work – the key updates and requirements.

Once you’ve addressed the points above, you’ll be in a better position to understand the scale of the work required and what you need to accomplish.

4. Tips for working with your creative agency.

Both your team and your creative agency will have fresh ideas to bring to the discussion. You’ll develop a more effective brief and better results if you take a collaborative team approach from the start. Bringing an open mind to the problem and what it will take to solve it is a no-brainer. And so is giving your agency the opportunity to explore the “what ifs”. This can lead to ways of refreshing your brand that you hadn’t considered, which will take customer experiences to a new level.

5. Clear communication to explain the changes.

Make sure you get your own people onside with the brand refresh. Help them to understand the reasons behind it. Convincing them that it signals an exciting new direction – one they can believe in and feel enthusiastic about promoting – is half your battle.

Then show your customers what’s positive and different, and how they’ll benefit. Whether you choose to make a big splash or opt for a soft launch, share your story – a refresh is a great way to talk about yourself to new customers and remind existing customers why they like you.

Dave Clark is the principal of Dave Clark Design.

Artwork by: Jacinta Mauga, Senior Designer, Wellington studio.