How to know when it might be time to do a brand refresh…

How to know when it might be time to do a brand refresh…

It’s always a difficult thing to broach. Almost a bit like telling someone ‘um, you have food on your face’ when you don’t know them that well. You know, one of those scenarios where you  don’t know if you’ll cause deep offence, or the person will be genuinely thankful that you pointed it out to them. I’m talking of course, about when you need to point out to a client that they may be in need of a brand refresh!

Every day, brands from a wide range of locations and industries present to us in all shapes and forms. We may be about to embark on a website with a client, only to discover the brand is old, daggy and definitely going to bring the website’s overall design down should they move ahead with it. This same client may not have given the branding process much thought when they originally created something ‘just to get up and running’ so in this scenario we may ask the question of whether the client would consider a rebrand before we move further ahead with the website. 

At the other end of the spectrum we meet clients who have already called in all the big guns and invested heavily in a brand at some point in time, perhaps undergoing a huge facilitated process to come up with the end result, but sometimes their business or industry has changed so much since the process was completed, the brand is rendered ‘unsuitable’ to continue to convey who they really are and what they really do.

Whatever your situation is, the fact is, ALL brands generally need a review, if not a refresh of some kind, every 2 to 5 years. And the faster your industry and the world moves (just think over the past 2-3 years and what has happened!) the more important this becomes. 

Why Might You Need a Brand Refresh?

Well for starters, to stay competitive (and let’s face it, who isn’t operating in a competitive marketplace these days!) and to continue to appeal to your target market, it’s generally important to revisit and refresh your branding. Or at least take a look at it and consider if it is still as relevant to your target audience as it once was. 

For seconds, there are now as many millennials in the job market and living as consumers, as there are baby boomers. To them, aesthetic appeal REALLY MATTERS. If a company looks old and daggy, chances are you will be brushed aside with an internal, or possibly audible ‘ugh’, without a second chance ever given again for you to win their business. Whilst it may sound incredibly petty and superficial, just stop and think about how many incredibly aesthetically driven young ones are coming through the ranks each year. If you intend to remain in business for a few more years to come, if your brand doesn’t resonate with the up and comers, you may be kissing goodbye to a lot of potential customers.

So before we go on to offer you some options for a brand refresh, first let’s consider what a brand even is, to make sure we are all on the same page. To us, a brand is certainly not just a logo you got on Fiverr last week. A brand is the pertinent picking of a colour palette by a trained design professional. It is the carefully curated fonts stipulated for use on all brand materials. It is the deep thinking that goes into who your organisation is and why people should work with you to come up with a suitable personality and tone to convey, along with the key messages and calls to action you need, the images and design elements you use across all materials, and a whole lot more. 

So when was the last time you had a look at these foundational marketing assets which permeate into every aspect of your business? If it’s been a while, it might be time to have a chat to us!

Fortunately for you, we’re here to help you navigate through the brand refresh process or to even consider if you need to embark on one (and don’t worry, we won’t push you into one unless we really think you need it!)

How does the brand refresh process work?

If you see some value in what we are talking about, we will generally start by recommending a brand strategy. In one of these sessions we will spend at least a couple of hours together with any key stakeholders gaining a deeper understanding of the organisation you represent, and the current state of the brand. Key considerations may include what your business objectives are, how long you’ve been in business, the nature of your business/industry, your target audience segments, your products or service categories and more. We’ll also take a good look at your ‘brandscape’ meaning the other competitor brands which also compete in your same marketplace. This could be because they are in the same location as you, the same industry, or because they are targeting similar customers to you. There may be some you are aware of that you can suggest to us, and others we can suggest to you having completed a little research. With everything laid down, expected guided by one of our highly experienced brand strategists, usually it will emerge from one of these sessions exactly what the best course of action will be.

In some cases we will recommend you leave the brand as it is, but perhaps create a brand style guide, or expand on a basic brand style guide so the use of your brand is kept more consistent and professional. In other cases, we may recommend amalgamation of brands subject to whether there is one uber brand or main brand, and several sub brands. We may recommend to leave the main brand and tweak the sub brands, perhaps bringing them more in line wiht the main brand and differentiating them thereafter by colour. What we recommend overall is always very custom per client, and depends on a variety of factors such as exit plans and more, as rebranding, whilst it may be an outlay in the first instance, can add significant value to the business if done well down the track.

We may also recommend the development of key messages as a result of a brand strategy if we do not feel you have strong key messaging, secondary messaging and so on. In short if we review your marketing materials such as flyers, websites, your website about us page and more and it is not immediately clear to us who you are and what you do, we may suggest we do some work here, which is also all part of the storytelling of the brand.

Where there is a desire, and a need, we may look at tweaking the brand’s design i.e. logo and design elements. This may be done in a very minor way i.e. simplifying the brand design or reducing the colour palette (as a general rule no more than three colours in a brand are recommended) with no font or word changes, or it may be a full rebrand scenario, where we take a brand from zero to hero. 

Here’s some examples of different brand refreshes we have worked on to show you just how different each project each project we’ve worked on has been:

CASE STUDY 1: Spacefinder brand family creation

SpaceFinder is a buyer’s agency that provides an outsourced solution to investing in commercial real estate. Based on the Sunshine Coast and launched in 2010, historically they have helped 1,000s of RTOs into real estate handling millions of dollars of 9b commercial leases each year. Due to COVID restrictions, the business pivoted and are needed to reposition their brand to be commercial real estate buyers agents. We were pleased to work with them on a rebrand project, which commenced with creating a new and modernised professional brand. Following the rebrand project we then moved onto:

  • Graphic design work & print for multiple marketing documents including business cards, corporate folders, brochure
  • Website overhaul
  • Photo shoot

The result was a much more professional brand which communicated their new offering and a range of professional marketing documents. We then rolled into completing a full brand strategy and creating x3 more sub brands for other divisions for their business – Training Space Finder, Commercial Spacefinder and Campus by Spacefinder. Ever the entrepreneurs, we were then also contracted to create a further brand, the Million Dollar Buyers Club. Whereas Commercial SpaceFinder is a service whereby the owners are engaged by their clients to conduct bespoke property tenders to source & negotiate commercial properties purchases for their clients, the ‘Million $ Buyers Club’ is a product for the more sophisticated investor that typically has purchased commercial investments previously, but lacks the time to continually hunt for deals. The result was this family of brands for the client.

CASE STUDY 2: Headway minor brand refresh

Headway ABI began in 1986 when a group of people on the Gold Coast, each with a family member who Acquired a Brain Injury (ABI), recognized the need for specialized care and support for their loved ones. Fast forward to today and Headway ABI are a fully certified NDIS service helping providing services to people with complex disabilities, caused by an ABI from Coolangatta to South Brisbane. They established the first transitional disability ABI accommodation on the Gold Coast as well as the Wings Wellbeing Centre, which provides cognitive and functional rehabilitation through exercise therapy.

Having been contracted by this  client for a photo/video shoot, we identified that they had a lot of colours in their brand, and suggested their logo could be modernised and simplified prior to the shoot. The client agreed to a simple but effective brand refresh.

Key outcomes were that the ‘butterfly brain’ symbol was simplified to have the butterflies be solid in nature, allowing the brand to be more easily transposed into other marketing formats. The butterfly brain was also moved in its placement from being at the left of the brand name, to be placed in the middle of the brand name, thus making the overall brand more cohesive. Finally, the font selection was updated to something more friendly and modern in line with the client’s desired brand positioning.

CASE STUDY 3: PGSR Full Brand Overhaul

Owned by Toshiba, PGSR is an industrial solutions provider for customers with requirements for Turbo Machinery and Rotating Equipment Maintenance such as power stations, industrial manufacturing plants etc. PGSR provide a scalable solution – including the provision of a specialised casual labour resources, right up to providing complete outage preparation and management. PGSR approached The Creative Collective to help build the brand and better communicate their capabilities so that they could expand their client base in new verticals. 

We were pleased to work with PGSR on a brand and marketing strategy and followup with a 12 month marketing plan. Activities thereafter have included:

  • A full rebrand
  • Copywriting & development of key messages
  • Collateral roll-out including a capability statement
  • Website development
  • Ongoing Marketing recommendations including recruitment campaigns, Search Engine Optimisation, LinkedIn Advertising & Internal training. 

CASE STUDY 4: Care Activities Brand Strategy, Brand Development, Brand Style Guide & Website

Care Activities OOSH services operates Before School Care, After School Care and Vacation Care services across Lake Macquarie and Port Stephens. As an Approved Provider eligible to provide Child Care Subsidy, they pride themselves on being an active part of the school community and providing safe, quality activities for primary school aged children.

Care Activities originally approached The Creative Collective to create a branding strategy as they had no formal brand in place. We therefore commenced our engagement by running a brand briefing session and later preparing them with a new logo and style guide which brought a higher level of professionalism and consistency across different marketing mediums. We then moved on to rolling out the new brand on a new website, which can be seen at careactivities.org.au.

Ok I’m curious? How much will a brand refresh cost me?

We do understand that considering a brand refresh may sound like a huge and expensive process, but we can assure you that under the professional assistance of our knowledgable team, you’ll be expertly guided through whether you need a brand refresh at all, and if so, what kind of brand refresh you need – a minor tweak or a major overhaul. They’ll take on board all of your considerations and generally be able to work within a set budget, as well as give you some guidelines of different price brackets and outcomes you could expect.

The process doesn’t have to be drawn out either. You’ll be challenged to quickly iterate through key considerations, and it is our goal to ultimately give your brand a refresh that you and your team will love, for a long time to come.

Your new brand will be modern, relevant, appealing to your target audience, and (subject to which brand refresh packages you go for) you’ll be supplied with all the assets you’ll need to continue to manage the brand thereafter including a brand style guide, brand elements, fonts, colour breakdowns and more.

We look forward to hearing from you on your brand refresh requirements. Book a complimentary chat with our design team now.