Is your brand’s story ready for a new season?
Spring fever. I’m feeling it. Aren’t you? That tingle of excitement, anticipation and wanderlust started rising in late March and is in full force now that the solstice is getting near. It can’t be helped—we’re biologically incapable of resisting the warmth of rising temperatures and the energy that comes with longer, light-filled days. The lush greenness of the natural world has made itself known, and the earth has recreated herself one more time, a new and incredible variation on a beloved theme.
This desire for change usually has me re-evaluating everything from the trivial to the profound—my personal style, my health and wellbeing, and even my life path. Can I satisfy my itch with a new pair of shoes and a fresh red lip? Or is the universe calling me to go deeper and do something more dramatic?
You can bet that most of the people who interact with your brand are also craving some kind of change. And I’m not just talking about your customers and clients. Your employees, partners, and vendors are searching for it, too.
When it comes to telling your brand’s story, just how much change is enough? Do you need a complete overhaul of your strategy from the top down? A new story? Or can you focus your efforts on just the ways you tell that story? Here’s what to keep in mind when you need to make the choice between a comprehensive messaging rebrand or a less-intense refresh.
What a little freshening up can do
If you’ve already established the fundamental and compelling reason why your brand exists and it resonates with the right audiences, you should still be evaluating how you are bringing your brand to life across all of your touchpoints. You’ve probably found that you need to update the way you tell your story on a regular basis, to make sure your message is standing out and ringing true above the noisy clutter of marketing and online content. Maybe you can better address a current market or cultural condition. Perhaps a product or service has been added or changed. Or your audience’s behaviors have evolved and you need to evolve with them.
Now, if you haven’t established your purpose and brand strategy to guide you, or if you discover insights that indicate what’s driving your audience’s decisions has sharply changed and you are being left behind, you’re probably going to need to go deeper than just a refresh and take the time to revisit your brand strategy. More on that to come.
A verbal brand refresh could include:
• Applying an updated tone of voice and assessing brand vocabulary across all messaging to stay relevant to your audiences and rise to the top in online search.
• The addition of a new key message that communicates changes to the brand’s offering, culture, or operations.
• A new tagline that reframes your brand promise in a way that it hasn’t been said before.
• A marketing and/or social media campaign with an of-the-moment take on the brand’s story.
Going all the way
When your brand is no longer getting you where you need to go, it’s time for a rebrand. In other words, if the story you’re telling and the messaging you’ve been relying on are no longer helping you grow your audience or move forward with your current one, you probably need to consider a rebrand.
If you’re rebranding your message, be prepared to tackle the following parts and pieces of your brand:
Brand attributes: If you haven’t established the core characteristics, rooted in fundamental human needs and desires, that drive the culture of your brand and connect to your audiences, you’ll need to do this first. Your attributes will guide everything from word choice to tone to content strategy.
Audience profiles: Researching and seeking a deeper understanding of the lives of the people who interact with your brand will help you identify new and emerging insights. How are your audiences making decisions today and how will they make decisions moving forward? Create inspirational write-ups to keep your most important audiences front of mind when writing for your brand.
Mentor and competitor brands: Document your competition and their communication strategies. Seek out-of category brands whose stories and tone inspire you, or who solve a challenge similar to yours in a new way.
Brand positioning: With your audiences and attributes solidified, you need a simple, memorable statement that encapsulates how your culture, products and services connect uniquely to your audience’s needs.
Brand architecture: Is the structure of your organization still working? Is it accurately communicated so that your internal and external audiences can understand it? Evaluate how your structure allows you to deliver on what your positioning promises and you might find opportunities to streamline or innovate.
Brand story: Your positioning should be strong enough to drive an anthemic narrative that your audiences—both internal and external—can rally behind and be able to retell on their own.
Key messages: Your inspirational story needs to be believable. A suite of key messages, grounded in the proof points of your products, services, and experience will further connect your narrative to your audience insights and build credibility in their hearts and minds.
How to know what’s right for you
So, how are you going to move your brand forward in the months and years to come? At Intrinzic, we know that not only are no two brands the same, every project is different, too. Our branding process can be customized to account for your brand’s individual circumstances and stakeholders, and is designed to find the right balance between valuable equity and inspirational change. We’d love to talk about how we can make an impact for your brand and ultimately, your business.