10 Signs your brand identity needs an update
In the world of business, the phrase ‘brand identity’ should not be an unfamiliar term. A strong brand identity is essential to the success of your business as it’s designed to communicate who you are, what you do and what’s your company’s overall message.
Every famous business has its own unique identity, and this is often regarded as the key to a continuously successful business. However, as time goes by, the identity of your brand may become outdated, and failing to realise and correct it may lead to the eventual downfall of the business. Keep reading, and you will see 10 signs showing that you need to update your brand identity.
What exactly is brand identity? Well, it means the way the business wishes to be perceived by consumers. The logo of the company, its tone or even the name of the business itself can affect the brand identity.
1. You want a growing business
It is indeed exciting news when your business is flourishing. Maybe this is due to a new service or product or change of demographics. In this case, you will need to refresh your brand identity. This can help you communicate to your customers that you are changing, and tell them what you are changing. At the same time, your customer will gain more confidence with the brand as they are witnessing its growth. This can, at the same time, assist the growth of the business.
2. Keen Competition
Competition is everywhere in the battleground of firms. How can one beat their competitors? By showing others that you are better—it can be products of higher quality or better services. This is also a great chance to evaluate your current identity and to decide whether or not you differentiate enough from your competitors. If you find that your website and messages are fairly similar to your counterparts, this is not a good sign, and you need to review your brand identity.
3. Company Value not clearly communicated
Getting customers to agree with your company values can be a huge advantage since it means they will be loyal to you. But before that, you need to make sure that the values of your company can be clearly communicated to them. For example, customers should know how your product helps them. If you receive feedback claiming that customers do not actually know what the company is about, then you need to do something.
4. New product or services
This one seems obvious. Launching a new product or introducing a new service can be a fundamental change for the company, especially if the new product is not entirely relevant to the existing market of the company. If you do not refresh your brand identity here, customers may get conflicting messages from the company—Is this company selling books or food? Does this company target the children’s market or the working class? You will certainly want to give a firm and clear answer to customers in this situation.
5. Difficulties in reaching the target audience
A business cannot appeal to everyone—this is not hard to understand. Therefore, companies need to have a target audience. As time goes by, you may find it very hard, if not impossible, to reach out to the target audience that you have selected. This may be due to (some changes in the ideas of your business – not quite sure what to fix) or in the demand of customers. In this case, review your statistics to see who is buying your products and determine whether or not you need to update your brand identity.
6. New company values
This is even more obvious. If the most fundamental values of your company have changed, it is a must for you to communicate it to your customer. Otherwise, customers may find that the actions and behaviours of the company are off track from what the company claims they will do. This can lead to a quick loss of customers’ loyalty and can be potentially fatal to your business. You do not want to confuse your customer in such a way, do you?
7. Overcomplicated brand identity
You may want to update the identity of your brand too if your current brand identity is too vague or complicated. A clear and sharp brand identity is preferred so that customers will not get confused. How can you know whether or not your current identity is too complex? Simply do some surveys and ask the customer to tell you what they think the values or the company is in one sentence. If most of them fail to do so, then it is a red flag for you. Similarly, if most of your answers include ‘maybe’ or hesitations, it means that your message is too vague. Clarify your message as soon as possible!
8. Competitors have updated their identity
The business world is a cruel one. One cannot stay on the same ground without stepping forward—because your competitors do. If you notice that your competitors have changed or updated their brand identity, then you should stay alert. Re-evaluate yours as well to see whether their new identities would mean that you are now not distinguished enough from them. Remember, if you want to be the winner in your industry, then you need to be the leader in determining the pace of evolution of your industry.
9. Your current brand is too obvious
What? Shouldn’t the brand identity be clear? Well, yes—but clear does not mean obvious. Imagine a company with a value of ‘We sell apples’—probably customers will find it too straightforward, and therefore boring. Your brand identity is the core message of your business, and it needs to grab the attention of potential buyers. For example, if your company logo is easily mistaken with other businesses, then you should do something about it.
10. You haven’t updated identity for a long time already
If none of the above potential hazards applies to you, it is already a good sign—congratulations. However, even so, be aware of the dynamic environment. The longer you have not updated your brand identity, there is more risk that your identity is outdated. Be hard-working in collecting feedback from customers and marketing research. You may find out something important that you have overlooked.
Of course, the list is not exhaustive and there are far more signs that indicate a necessity to update your brand. What you need to do is to be observant and look into your business and the market from a macroscopic view. Brand identity is the glue that sticks your company with the market, and potential customers, and whether or not your company can survive to a very large extent depends on an up-to-date message received by your customers.