Leadership must clearly understand, embrace and communicate a brand direction for their firms. When is it time to develop or reconsider a strategy? Chromium offered five clues that you’re ready for a brand refresh (https://chromiumbranding.wordpress.com/2015/08/19/5-signs-youre-ready-for-a-brand-refresh/). Each is worthy of some expansion.
Your identity (name, logo, tagline) is the physical manifestation of the brand itself, which is the intangible set of expectations and memories that reside in the minds of all stakeholders.
Ask yourself a simple question. “If this brand identity were an employee, is it pulling its weight for this firm?” If the answer is “no” or “not sure,” consider an employee evaluation – and maybe a firing. Moreover, that evaluation process should trigger a broader, strategic, forward-thinking look at the brand. The whole point is to be unique.
More specifically, let’s consider the three components of the brand identity.
Name. Your brand name isn’t what the lawyers make you submit on your government filings. What do people actually call you? Sometimes the full name you insist on using in your materials actually doesn’t even get traction. What do your employees say? Customers?
Moreover, do today’s product and service offerings create a scenario where your brand name no longer suffices? It’s interesting how things can evolve. For instance, in the insurance industry, some firms have dropped “broker” or “agency” or even “insurance” from their names. And for good reason: Those monikers sound transactional or tactical – not strategic.
Perhaps your firm has pivoted, expanded, divested, acquired, merged – more good reasons to consider a name change or refresh.
Logo. If your once-snazzy logo features a weak semi-red-colored arc, circle, globe or other sort-of-dated icon, please, I’m begging you, consider a refresh. And be open to a new color palate.
Tagline. “On Main Street Since 1896” probably isn’t a tagline that works anymore. Give this word or short phrase some genuine consideration. The tag should put an exclamation mark on the identity, providing a bit more information for the consumer. You don’t necessarily need a tagline, so don’t rush it.
Final tip: Don’t let your board of directors run this creative process during some weekend retreat. Get your rank-and-file employees involved in some way, as well as other key stakeholders, such as customers and business partners. After all, the brand identity really is about them.
In one of the industries in which I spend time, I like these:
What are some of your favorites?