It’s been an interesting month. We moved our offices into a brand new space after 16 years at our old location. And in doing so had the opportunity (or was is the requirement) to re-address and revisit our brand. And while we still love most of what we’ve developed, we tweaked a few concepts and visuals to better reflect our ever-evolving brand. It was our own little ‘brand refresh’. Which, not surprisingly, is what a lot of our clients are now contracting with us to do.

Do a little homework on the subject of brand refresh and you’ll see there is much chatter about the need for brands to refresh frequently.

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After all, how else do they stay relevant in today’s marketplace? Forbes recently published a Leadership article titled ‘6 Brand Strategies Most CMOs Fail To Execute’ and within it, stated that brands should refresh EVERY year:

This is why it’s so important to give your brand a refresh every year (not every 3-5 years).  Remember that consumers are reevaluating their needs more often than you might think.  Instead of being reactive to your audience needs, be on the front end and help guide them as they reinvent themselves.

(full article: http://www.forbes.com/sites/glennllopis/2014/03/10/6-brand-strategies-that-most-cmos-fail-to-execute/ )

Makes sense, but anything with the word ‘brand’ in it sounds like a major undertaking. (Read budget issues, equity concerns, employee buy-in, not to mention the 800 coffee mugs with the current logo on them that sitting in the reception coat closet.) But not necessarily. We’re not talking about a complete rebranding initiative, nor even a repositioning of the organization (unless that’s what is needed). We’re talking about tweaks. Better alignment. Sharper focus. Degrees of greater resonance with the audience. As stated by Neil Johnston of Lippincott when asked how a refresh is different from repositioning:

“It’s less of an overhaul, and more of a clarification. Infiniti is an example. We had developed the original Infiniti name and logo in the late 1980s when Nissan launched the brand. More recently, management has begun to evolve the brand to a positioning of “Modern Luxury.” Our refresh work has helped the brand tell its story more clearly, aligning all the existing elements. And we made sure the experience of the brand matched that slightly broader luxury positioning, evident not just in the more luxurious and dimensional logo and symbol, but throughout the dealership network and online, as well.”

I like that. A clarification. It can be reflected in a change to the visual brand, to the messaging, or to the communications channels. Agreed, sometimes big changes are required to keep an organization healthy and viable. But many times it’s simply a matter of staying on top of changing attitudes, staying ahead of competitors and staying relevant to your clients and prospects. A refresh.

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