To the right person, your brand design should feel like a siren call, irresistible and mysteriously compelling. Imagery and design is often the very first experience we have with a brand or product – so it’s so important to get it right. It’s equally important to know when your brand design is working well for you, and when it’s time to refresh things.
In this article Brand Stylist Meg Harrop goes through some reasons that it might be time to go for that rebrand, and also examines the times when you should hold fire and stick with what you’ve got for a little longer.
There is no rule book for running a business and there are always so many questions circling in your ahead about what should be a priority and what should be put on the back burner.
To a new business I would say that brand design should be high up on the list of priorities if there is the budget to go professional first thing. Read these articles first though if you’re new to branding:
For a more established business though, how do you know when the time is right? Maybe you have been in business for a few years and feel much more set on the direction you’re heading in, or maybe you’ve been in business for a long time and have a niggling feeling that something needs to change.
If that seed has been planted in your mind and you’re at least considering it, it probably is time, but let’s go over a few signs so you can get a clearer picture.
Sometimes that font that seemed to suit your brand perfectly in the beginning just becomes a nightmare to work with. A very fine or thin font won’t have a big impact and when reproduced at a small scale it might well become unreadable.
Fine lined fonts also don’t translate well in a number of other situations – if letters are not thick enough there may be problems with things like hot foil or letterpress stamping, spot gloss printing, screen printing, signage, embroidery – any time that you want to reproduce your logo on products or stationery.
If you want to grow your business and want to be able to use your logo in a wide variety of situations it’s definitely time to rethink your brand design.
Any time that a logo or brand design had been created based on a faddy trend it can start to look outdated after a few years as times move on. This is not what you want, small tweaks to a brand design over time are fine, but the overall feel should be somewhat timeless.
There is a difference between incorporating an element or design tend that feels authentic to your business and having a logo created in a certain style because that is what everyone else is doing.
For example, botanical and floral themed branding is still having a majorly popular moment, but as long as florals and botanicals fit with your brand vision and values then it’s perfectly ok to use them in your branding. Just having a floral logo because it looks pretty however may feel restricting in the future, and you might find that you grow out of it quickly.
Every design decision should be backed up with meaning so that the final outcome is truly tailored to your business – you’ll find that it feels timeless and authentic even though there might be ‘popular’ elements incorporated.
Perhaps you only have a logo rather than a full brand identity. Chances are that things don’t look cohesive and that might be holding you back. Think about how larger brands look, they have set colours, fonts and styling for their products, stationery, website, and social media.
This cohesive and intentional look is absolutely within reach for you when you work with a professional designer. Make sure your designer provides a style guide at the end so you can stay consistent going forward.
If your business has pivoted and the direction you’re heading in has changed or become more clear, or you have new product offerings, then it’s definitely time to rebrand.
Your brand design should be rooted in your vision and all those things that matter to you and your customers. When that alignment isn’t there you can end up with a confusing and inconsistent message which can turn off potential customers.
You might just have a niggling feeling that something doesn’t match up and if you’re unsure, please get in touch with me here for some friendly advice.
This almost goes without saying, but a business name change is the perfect time to review everything and as mentioned in the previous point – make sure your message is still consistent.
A name change often signals the start of a new chapter and your current logo design is probably more suited to your old business name – simply changing the words used within the logo might not be enough.
If you’ve identified that you want to target a different type of customer, a rebrand should definitely be high on you list of priorities. Good design can elevate your offering and connect on a deeper level with your ideal customer.
Customers buy from you over someone else offering something similar because they feel an emotional connection to your business and product. Brand design and your visuals are a huge part of triggering that emotional reaction.
Please also consider refreshing your brand voice and hiring a copywriter if you can in this instance, words and visuals go hard in hand here.
See Charlotte’s article for more information on copywriting and brand voice:
Beyond the blog
I hope this has made things clearer for you – if you are considering a rebrand don’t be afraid to talk to people about it or ask for advice. Talk to existing customers about whether they think your branding matches up with what you offer, you might be surprised what wisdom an outside perspective could bring you.
If you’re launching a new business or considering a rebrand you can see the details of Meg’s Signature Brand Design Service here.
Meg is a brand stylist and designer for small businesses. She’s passionate about helping people build their business dreams into a reality with intentional, thoughtfully crafted brand identities.
After working on branding with corporate clients, Meg longed for a more fulfilling way of life. She set up her design studio, Lemon & Birch, in 2016 to bring her branding design skills to the small business community.