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Is your wardrobe out of date? Maybe it’s time for a brand refresh?

A good analogy for an organisation's brand identity is to think of it as your wardrobe. As people we try our best to dress in a way that communicates who we are, our values, our interests.
Andy Lester

Andy Lester

3 minute read
November 3, 2023
A good analogy for an organisation's brand identity is to think of it as your wardrobe. As people we try our best to dress in a way that communicates who we are, our values, our interests.
Is your wardrobe out of date? Maybe it’s time for a brand refresh? Image

But we all know that times change. That band t-shirt from 10 years ago isn’t quite the accurate depiction of your persona that it used to be. It doesn’t necessarily mean that your values changed, merely how you express them.

Another similarity to the wardrobe is flexibility. A good brand identity should have enough flex within it to show up in different occasions. You wouldn’t wear the same clothes to a wedding as you would for a hike, and it’s the same for brands. Sometimes we need to express in a more formal way, sometimes in a more relaxed way.


Why undertake a brand refresh?

One crucial part of the branding process is figuring out who your organisation is, why you are different, what you stand for and why your clients should care – and then expressing this across your verbal and visual identity.

But great brands aren’t built in a day. And much like the landscape around you continues to evolve, so should your brand. Cue - brand refresh the perfect way to adapt and evolve to the changes around us keeping your brand relevant whilst staying true to your core values.

A brand refresh needs to be done with a strategic approach. And as we’ve recently refreshed our brand at Eleven, we thought we’d share our process with you…


Analyse the market

First things first, do your research.

Carrying out competitor research is a great place to start (more on this here) and review the market to see what’s changed since you last looked at your brand. Are there any new challenges that you might need to prepare for? Or have any new opportunities appeared for you to take advantage of? How are your competitors talking about themselves, what does their visual identity look like?

Also, it’s important to look beyond your own industry too, see to if there are any interesting approaches happening in the wider world.


Ask your audience

Finding out what your audience thinks about your brand is essential, as ultimately what they think matters most. A great way to get your hands on this invaluable feedback is to carry out audience surveys or workshops that enable you to dig a bit deeper.

He’s not exactly a hero of ours but credit where credit’s due:

“Your brand is what people say when you’re not in the room”
Jeff Bezos

Another important aspect is how the brand is perceived internally. Don’t forget to also seek inside opinions on your brand. What your organisation thinks matters too, as you need their buy-in in order for them to authentically manifest your brand.

The brand refresh should be a company-wide process. It’s important that people from all aspects of the organisation have an opportunity give some feedback in bringing a new or refreshed vision to life.


Review your brand position and develop a tone of voice

It’s likely your brand refresh will warrant a revisit of your brand messages, so that they reflect your unique position in the marketplace. Your message should capture WHO you are, WHAT you do, and – very importantly – WHY you do it. This should all be supported by a clear message around HOW your approach is different, and the benefit that has to your audience.

To successfully answer all these questions, your message will need to appeal to your audience’s logical and emotional mindset – taking them on the journey from bystander to believer.


Update your visual identity

Your visual identity is foundational in conveying your organisation’s personality. It should be a good reflection of your key messages and – most importantly – it must be visually compelling and memorable.

This stage of the process won’t always involve changing the logo (or anything else that radical). It could just be things like updates to your fonts or adjustments to your colour palette. Whatever changes you do implement, make sure your brand guidelines are updated accordingly as this tool will be your north star for brand implementation and rollout.


Implement a strategy for rollout

The final stage of the process is to put a plan in place for rolling out the updated brand - both internally and externally. This rollout strategy will vary, depending on the extent of the changes that have been made. The more radical the change, the more likely you’ll require a phased approach to rollout.

Having a strong brand is key to differentiating your organisation in a sea of competition. If you’re feeling inspired by this blog but you’re not sure if your organisations brand needs updating, why not check out our blog 3 signs your visual identity needs refreshing?