Optus Telecommunications, for example, recently adjusted its brand to “build greater positivity, optimism and an emotional connection with Optus’ customers.” This brand shift included a colour change, using yellow and teal as the two primary colours in Optus’ identity. It also included a hand-crafted typeface, new taglines, and an emphasis on humor.
You don’t need to start over as Optus did, every time you want to update your brand’s image. However, it is a good idea to regularly review and update your branding, to make sure it is in line with both your company’s mission and your target market’s needs and concerns.
When you update your brand identity, you change your company’s appearance and materials to reflect new cultural touchstones. Often, this means changing several parts of your brand simultaneously:
Companies choose to update each of these brand elements for different reasons. A tagline change reflects a brand’s decision to align with new public concerns like health or environmentalism, while a website redesign helps prevent a brand site from falling out of date. Companies may choose to work with a brand design agency to guide them through a staged process and manage all of the moving parts involved in updating a brand identity.
Coca-Cola: Coke has an amazing history of brand design. Although its bottles, packaging, and website elements have all changed over the years, its central logo has remained untouched for more than a century. As the Coca-Cola website notes, the words “Coca-Cola” have been printed the same way, every time, except for a brief period in 1890-1891. This is a great way to handle brand evolution: keep your central symbol constant, no matter what.
Undertake a review of your brand every time you have a company strategic planning session, which ideally takes place every 2-4 years. During that brand review, make note of which brand elements are strong, as well as any cultural changes with which your brand might want to resonate.
Plan for a brand evolution every five years, during which you work with a brand design agency to use this knowledge to update your brand. A brand evolution doesn’t necessarily mean a total redesign, but it may mean incorporating tonal shifts, like switching from “Let’s Eat Out” to “I’m Loving It,” or dropping an outdated mascot in favour of something new.
Your brand represents the face your company puts forward to the world. Reviewing your brand helps you make sure that public face is exactly what you want it to be. Taking the time to regularly review and update your brand identity is an important part of running your business, and will ensure you stay relevant and reflect the changing needs of your consumers.
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