What’s hard at first, messy in the middle and gorgeous at the end?

Is it time for your brand’s visuals to change?

Change often hits us from behind. And it’s usually either inevitable or beyond our control. Change is everywhere; in our personal lives, in our professional lives, and in our brands’ lives. I’ll personally be confronting one of the biggest changes of my life this August when I prepare for my first child to enter this world, joining my husband, myself, and her or his eldest sibling: our perfect goldendoodle, Indie. No matter if you are going through a slow change, small change or life-altering change, it’s important to adjust to the new normal. Life transitions can provide a productive time to introspectively understand ourselves. The same is true for our business and our brands.

Sometimes we come to our own realization that it’s time to make a change. We’ve stagnated. Screwed up. We are looking for a new beginning or have gathered up the gumption to pursue a dream. Such changes don’t come easy. Pulling ourselves off our current path and onto a new one can be excruciating. So how do you know when it’s time to make a change and how big of a change do you actually need?

When it comes to changing your brand’s visuals and forward-facing identity, just how much change is enough? Do you need a complete overhaul of your strategy from the top down? A new logo? Or is just an updated brand toolbox enough to change your path? Here are some things to keep in mind when you need to make the choice between a complete visual rebrand or a less-intense refresh.

Refreshing your visuals & maintaining current brand connections

A brand refresh is a small change for your company; think of it as a personal makeover… a better haircut, up-to-date outfit, and new shoes that transform how a person is perceived. It’s the same with your brand. A refresh can keep or update recognized visual elements. A brand refresh maintains visual connection to how the brand identity is currently seen, but with a “new suit” makeover that is up-to-date, vibrant and designed for today’s audiences.

A visual brand refresh could include:

  • Keeping the logo but shifting the brand look to be slightly different or modern to match your brand story and messaging
  • Freshening the design language with new assets like an updated color palette
  • Expanding the brand toolbox to include updated photography, iconography, typography or patterns
  • Updating the logo slightly while retaining a visual connection to the current logo treatment

Rebrand & build new connections

A total rebrand goes beyond the makeover. It’s plastic surgery and a change in hair color. A total transformation, a new identity and re-designed toolbox will reinvent your brand visuals to catapult your organization forward. If you think your brand is ready for a dramatic change, here are some things you should be prepared to re-work from the base up, in collaboration with verbal story and messaging strategy.

Competitive audits: A view of the competitive landscape is key to understanding where you have a right to play in your industry. It’s imperative to know where you stack up visually, so you can stand apart but still look like a legitimate and strong leader in the category with a true sense of belonging.

Define and visualize 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.

Mentor brand: Intrinzic uses mentor brands as strategic inspirational tools to look further than the expected solutions and learn from companies
 in different categories who have overcome similar challenges. We can apply some of those learnings and approach to your brand to make you unique within your market place.

Brand worlds: Before we begin the process of defining brand visuals, we start by constructing a series of potential models. We arrange and rearrange visual, sensorial and emotional cues in any number of ways, prioritizing certain elements in one model, de-prioritizing them in another. We will use this tool to help us (and you) make important choices that will lead the direction of your brand development. Visual inspiration that is curated to create proprietary spaces for your brand sets the tone for the brand toolbox to follow.

Brand pathway: With your strategic brand world, or curated inspiration solidified, you need to begin to roll out initial brand design elements. At Intrinzic, we combine design assets, sensorial and emotional cues and verbal strategy to create a customized look, tone and feel unique to your brand. The brand pathway helps us make important choices that will continue to guide the direction of your brand development forward into a new territory for your business.

Logo: Is the brand identity, or face, of your organization still working? Is it accurately visualized so that your internal and external audiences can understand who you are and what you do? Do you stand out against your competitors? Does the logo match the brand strategy and messaging? If not, you may have an opportunity to redesign your brand logo. Intrinzic specializes in brand logos being a true reflection of your brand, personality, culture and market to tell a truly unique and proprietary story.

Brand toolbox: Your refreshed brand toolbox will consist of a chosen logo, typefaces that reflect your brand look, patterns, textures, iconography, color palette, distinct photography styles and 3-4 examples of how this complete, strategic toolbox comes to life across several touchpoints for different audiences in the marketplace. By this time we have aligned your customers needs to those of the market, and your brand perfectly reflects that alignment.

Brand guidelines: Brand guidelines are the last step in your brand makeover. This is a final document capturing how and when to use all your new and shiny brand assets in a consistent and holistic approach that will build and maintain your new brand equity.

Is a refresh or rebrand in your future?

Is it time to focus around new products, services or audiences? To increase visibility in your market? To claim your position and rise above your competitors? The rebranding process is not a simple or quick task. It takes time, attention, and a deep dive into who you are now and how you want to be perceived in the future. Just like me having a child in August will turn my life upside down in a good way, brand transitions can flip your organization upside down and provide a whole new perspective to your business. For proven experience and extraordinary creative work that demands attention and inspires responses from your audiences, talk to us about a brand refresh or brand redesign.