Strong brands retain their strength by staying relevant, purpose focused and where they continuously add value. Organisations evolve and change over time and effective brands anticipate this and adapt so that they to remain an accurate reflection of what a business is trying to achieve.
So, when should your brand be updated, how do you know?
Keeping your brand fit for purpose requires constant monitoring and adaptation. Brand audits should feature as an integral part of your strategy and will look at a number of key measurables; does your brand align with who you are and where you want to be, so your organisation’s culture and mission? Has your business recently expanded, are you offering new products or services, are you working in new markets? Has recent regular work identified potential opportunities?
Organisations are often put off analysing the performance of their brand because of the time and costs of building a new identity, however it is often possible to make a brand fit for purpose by building on what you already have, developing the original brand rather than starting from scratch.
Following on from a decade of exponential growth, the University of Lincoln commissioned us to evaluate their brand. They needed enough flexibility to allow multiple faculties and departments to put their own stamp on communications but within the framework of the university brand. So, we developed and refined their brand assets, including font hierarchy and colour usage, whilst expanding the number of visual styles which incorporated the use of text and imagery, giving much more freedom but ensuring brand consistency.
Another consideration is whether the visual elements of your brand capture and communicate who you are, and does your brand work across all of the platforms through which you speak to your target audience?
We worked with Modern Livery Company, The Worshipful Company of Marketors to update the application of their brand. By extending colour palettes, adding in alternative logos and creating elements to work across multiple online and offline platforms the brand was adapted in line with the changing communication environment, as well as to create consistency and future proof the brand.
It’s important to assess whether your brand is still fit for purpose. Sometimes an organisation can outgrow its original brand, as in the case of St Barnabas Hospice in Lincolnshire. They recognised that their visual identity did not reflect the quality of the care they provide. The brand needed to reflect the successful charity they had become.
This was quite an advanced brand evolution project, which was to work across numerous deliverables including charity shops, events, fundraising campaigns and their lottery. We preserved certain original elements of their identity, retaining an association with the old brand which was well established and recognised. Building in familiarity meant that a phased roll out was possible, minimising costs and initial implementation time.
To stand the test of time your brand needs to develop ahead of the twists and turns of your operating environment to remain true and competitive so that you continue to deliver against your organisational goals and growth targets.
If you’d like to talk to us about evaluating your brand please get in touch.