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Evolving a brand: giving the house a new lick of paint

We’re all very well aware of how powerful a good brand can be, after all we’ve seen many companies’ fortunes won and lost on the strength of their brand.

Effective branding is crucial to establishing an organisation’s identity and has the potential to either set you aside or ahead of your major competitors. As a brand, you are fighting for your audience’s attention and it is important to stand out from the crowd.

No matter how effective or ‘dynamic’ you may think your branding may be, it is important to ensure your brand is loved, and that includes reflecting and responding to your ever-changing operating environment.

While you might be keen to change your organisation’s brand, it’s something that needs to be done with careful consideration, rather than changing internal whims.

Prior to overhauling your brand, it is important to pinpoint the exact identity and message you want to convey to your clients and stakeholders.

Sometimes your brand may simply need to be evolved or refreshed, rather than completely overhauled.

Think of your brand as being similar to your house. If you don’t like your house’s street appeal or what it is conveying to the neighbourhood or potential buyers, you have essentially two options: give the existing house a lick of paint and tidy up (evolve your brand), or tear down the house and build a new one (rebrand).

This analogy is also useful to highlight that your organisation’s brand is more than just how a house looks, but the whole stakeholder promise and experience. There’s no point luring people inside a derelict house with a shiny exterior paint.

Research has found that customers prefer to do business with organisations they are familiar with, so it is important to maintain consistency in collateral and campaigns, to ensure your customers can effectively identify your brand.

So if you feel that what your organisation is offering is still relevant and engaging, but just needs to refresh the way it conveys itself, then a brand evolution, rather than rebranding, could be a better option.

The tools you use to communicate your brand, such as corporate logos, slogans, websites, corporate materials etc, also need to be refined and refreshed in response to perceived changes in customer needs or other environmental or organisational changes.

This new and interesting content should not only enhance new and existing stakeholders’ engagement with your organisation, but also needs to convey your organisation’s relevancy, identify, perception, mission and values.

In essence, effective branding includes a promise to your customers and stakeholders. Your brand reflects your organisation’s beliefs, values, and services. The ability to fulfil your promise every single time is critical – this is how relationships are built and maintained and is also the defining factor of failure or success in your industry.

When your brand’s promise is kept, combined with evolving and relevant branding elements, your audience will respond confidently and with loyalty to your organisation.