How Often Should You Change Your Brand?

I come across this a lot. We all want new, fresh starts. We all like pretty, slick, sophisticated, attractive marketing material. That does not mean, however, that we need to throw the baby away with the bathwater.

Sorry to disappoint.

Now, I’m writing this article from the perspective that you took some time when you first branded your company to think/dream/meditate on its personality and how you wanted it presented to the world. If you have not gone through this process yet, this article isn’t for you. Please feel free to go forth and brand.

If, however, you have a logo, colours, personality, and style for your company but feel that it’s stale, I’m talking to you.

Believe it or not, consumers don’t only relate to your outstanding customer service, your magical product, or your dedication to staying abreast in your field. These things are great. They’re the backbone of your company, don’t get me wrong. However, when people are wracking their brains, trying to think of someone to help them, they’ll just as often remember you by the colour of your business card, the event they saw you at, or the brochure they have stuck in the back of their drawer (the one they see every time they look for a pen). Branding works because humans use shortcuts to filing away and retrieving information in our brains.

So, if you have spent time associating yourself with one brand and then suddenly switch to something completely different, you will — in essence — need to reprogram every one of their brains to remember your company in association with different items. Why re-do all that work? I will even take it one step further and claim that your customer may not feel the same level of comfort with your business if it suddenly changes identities. It will be unconscious. They will not feel the same attachment and their brain may associate that with a break in loyalty. They will be “on the market” for a new whatever-you-do.

Does this mean you’re stuck with a 1980’s logo? Heck no! I recommend working with a graphic designer who is on-board with a re-stylization of your visual brand, rather than a complete overhall.

Don’t believe it can be done? Here are some companies who’ve done it (and you probably didn’t even realize it!)

Crayola

For the most part, their colors have remained the same. The green stripes on the yellow box has been around almost as long as crayons. Crayola has always made their re-stylized wordmark logo the most important piece of the text. Even in the most modern, slick packaging, these elements remain unchanged. Thanks to sandboxworld.com for the photo!

Coke & Pepsi

Their look has definitely changed but this is a great example how a step-by-step re-stylization can work in your favour, keeping your brand fresh over many generations of consumers. Note how holding the colours steady seems to be key in making major changes successfully. Thanks to underconsideration.com for the image. (Click the image to view a larger version)

See? You too can evolve your brand rather than inflicting shock and awe (and confusion) on your clients. I know that graphic artists exist who are willing (and would even prefer) to work with your existing brand. A great artist knows how emotions, thoughts, and feelings can be enmeshed in a visual object.

If you decide to refresh your brand, I’d love to see the results! Please comment below or send me an email.