By Scott Wallace on February 16, 2022

Time for a Brand Refresh?

Let’s face it, things change. Sometimes slowly, sometimes like a lighting bolt due to a truly innovative product launch.

It is vital to stay in touch with your core customers and evolve with them. If sales are slowing and your presence at retail is deteriorating (fewer facings, poorer shelf positioning, fewer SKUs), that should sound off the alarm bells. Left untouched, your Brand suffers, and your business may not recover.

Can you simply spend more sales and marketing money to slow the decline? Maybe, but it likely will be short lived. Or it may be throwing good money after bad.

But before we continue, let’s be clear. A Brand refresh is required when you are falling behind your customers’ changing preferences or tastes, or a competitor is gaining, or it has simply been a while since you last took a look at your logo, packaging design and messaging.

A Brand relaunch is much more urgent, necessitating a total reimagining of the entire business. From Brand name to product formulation to pricing to packaging to promotional support, you may have a good concept that now is suffering from poor execution. Or, your Brand has been acquired and you now must critically evaluate how you fit in the new product portfolio. A relaunch takes more time and money, as you clearly want to get it right before you reintroduce to the market.

Here are some thoughts on how to go about a brand refresh. There are several steps that are best taken in order.

First, start with some customer research to evaluate whether your Brand is truly meeting the needs of consumers or if you now are off target or not performing up to expectations. If not, ask why not and explore improvement ideas. This step can be quite revealing and can identify the path forward to arresting a decline and getting you back on track. Importantly, listen to what the research says. And, then get your team together to work out a plan to address and fix the issues.

A key part of this situation analysis is to also take a close look at what your major competitors are doing. Have they introduced a product innovation that is providing them with an advantage? Is their messaging striking a chord and propelling them forward faster? Or are they all pretty much the same, which underscores the need to tune up your game plan. Being distinctive and better is always a winning strategy.

Armed with this set of new insights, you can then step back and see what it will take to retain or win back former core customers. Or even attract new consumers that can revitalize your sales. That can be a game changer if those new consumers are a growing target audience while your former customer base may in fact be declining in number or purchasing power.

Once you have identified your ideal customer target, then assess if your product meets their needs or if improvements are necessary. Depending on the findings of your assessment, you may want to take the time (and money) to have your R&D team come up with a clear win over your prior product. A product that is preferred sets you up for an impactful Brand refresh.

Now you can fine tune your Brand positioning and key messaging. Be sure that it resonates with your core customer and that it clearly captures the key differentiating benefits and reasons why to buy your Brand. Do not underestimate the importance of getting this right. A compelling story behind a solid product is a powerful combination.

At this point, it is time to take a close look at your visual imagery including logo, design, and color palette. You may want to be evolutionary here so that your core customer base still recognizes your Brand. But if it has been a number of years since you last did a Brand refresh and your product looks dated or tired, consider a bolder or more provocative approach. This step is where a talented design agency can help you get to where you want to be, with options to choose from before you land on a new direction.

Not quite done yet. Here is where the rubber meets the road. Yes, it is imperative to integrate your new refreshed Brand design and messaging into everything that you do. Your marketing materials, your website, your social media properties, even your letterhead and email signature. And, spread the word! Inform customers, your retail partners, your employees—all stakeholders will have interest in the new direction. This will give your Brand renewed interest and vitality, which will make it all worthwhile.

The benefits of a thoughtful Brand refresh are many.

  1. It demonstrates that you are connected and listening to your customers—taking action to best serve their needs and preferences.
  2. It helps keep you competitive in the marketplace.
  3. It can be a meaningful signal that you are a player in your category, maybe even a leader.
  4. It shows that you are making best efforts to grow and improve your Brand, your business.
  5. All of which are positive contributors to increasing sales, which build your bottom line.

Sounds good, right? Time to get started, or at least take a hard look at a Brand refresh? Many Brands look to outside resources as internal teams may not have the bandwidth or the expertise to push the agenda and critical thinking that can make all the difference.

If you want some expert assistance, give us a call. And we win GDUSA Design Awards every year. Here is a good example of a Brand refresh for Differin acne treatment brand from Galderma: Differin

Damen Jackson was recently named among the top 30 Chicago marketing agencies, and we would be thrilled to share our insights and expertise with you (Chicago’s top marketing agencies).

Take the first step to a more successful business today.

  1. Hit “LET’S TALK” to schedule a free 30-minute discussion. No pressure – we promise.
    2.    We’ll provide real-world case studies showing our process in action.
    3.    If we’re a fit, we finalize details and get started!


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