In today’s business world, it is a continuous effort to fight for a leading position in your specific industry. It seems like everyday there is some new and flashy marketing item being offered that can help put your brand or business at the top:
- Social Media Marketing
- The Latest and Greatest Promotional Products
- The Latest and Greatest Networking Group
- The List Goes On
I’m not saying these aren’t important. I am part of a Chamber of Commerce. I have done Social Media Marketing. But with all of the options thrown out at you, it is important to make sure that you first pay attention to your company; not the various marketing strategies. Because of this, it is important to have ingrained within your business a continual state of self-assessment. Why? Because self-assessment in a business breeds humility in a business. And humility is where growth happens.
Below, I want to offer four things a company can assess and have done in order to refresh their brand or business. All four suggestions are various ways a company can ensure they are remaining relevant. They can be done collectively or individually.
1. Rename and/or Redesign Your Logo.
Sometimes a business needs to change things up. Whether it be to better communicate to the public at large or to just give some spark, renaming and/or redesigning a logo can be a good choice. As many of you know, this is something that I recently did myself.
Redesigning a logo can be all that is needed. We see this happen all of the time in the business world.
During my years in college, Walmart, Gap, JC Penny, and Yahoo all had their logos redesigned. Of course, being in school for a design degree, those logos were discussed often. Regardless of what my professors and fellow students thought of the designs, it was an intelligent move from a business standpoint. It gained them not only a fresh look–it gained them publicity.
Renaming a company is something that needs to be carefully thought through. A few key questions to ask before doing this are…
Is there another company with a similar name?
Is the current name potentially causing confusion?
What do I stand to gain from a name change?
When I renamed Relative Creative, I had three companies in the U.S.A alone with similar names. While they had all been started after Relative Creative, I knew that it could begin to cause confusion. In fact, it already had begun to cause some confusion with another company from New York City.
I had also noticed some confusion caused by the public. Some people thought Relative Creative only did marketing. Some thought RC only did websites. Others thought RC only did graphic design. And some thought we offered services that weren’t even offered by Relative Creative.
For me, changing the name and creating a new logo (this time, a simplified word-mark) would help separate myself and communicate more clearly. Decree Design Company stated who I was and what I did just in the name.
2. Clarify Your Message
While Decree Design is a graphic design and web development company, I continue to provide a marketing mind when providing services. But, I don’t consider myself a marketer.
In order to effectively serve clients, I have found that they are better served when the design process involves helping the client strategize their message (this is all part of what is called Brand Strategy). This involves making sure that they have a clear message to the public.
If you think that your message could be clearer, a great way to refresh your brand is to restrategize your message to the public. Keep in mind that this does not mean “mission statement”; that’s different. Your message to the public should be a concise statement that clearly speaks to the public at large about what it is you provide.
In today’s competitive market, the clearer the message, the more you stand out.
3. Have Your Website Redeveloped
Nowadays, websites become outdated within 5 years. Yes, websites can still look good after 5 years, but most successful companies contually have their sites redone in order to continue to lead in relevance in their industry. To be honest, this year alone I’ve redesigned websites for three clients that I did work for within the last five years. This is more common than you and I would think!
Last year I spoke with a representative for a world-renowned institution. This place managed three sites as part of the overall organization. I was shocked when I learned that each site got a complete redesign every two years. Of course, being a world-renowned institution, they had the funds for this sort of cyclical process. But not every company does–especially small businesses.
A website should not be created and forgotten. If you own a website, you should continually be viewing it to make sure it is up-to-date; even if it means setting aside a budget for a redesign every 3-5 years.
For a little more on this topic, check out my 4 Quick Tips for Websites.
4. Redesign Ancillary Materials
Lastly, updating support materials (print materials, promotional products, etc.) are another way a brand or business can refresh. Typically, businesses go out and quickly get print materials and products to “get the word out”. And there is nothing wrong with that! But as the company grows, so should the taste in what is provided to the public.
Make sure you have ancillary materials that are up-to-date and that represent your business well!
Relative Creative began in 2013 as a creative marketing agency, but 2017 brought some big changes to the company. Those big changes taught me a lesson on the need to always be assessing in order to make sure the company stayed relevant. For me, I walked through and did all four suggestions.
For you, it may just be one or two of the suggestions. Whatever it may be, remember that your visual representations to the pubic are often times what get you customers. The more professional and up-to-date your design and messaging are, the more clearly you’ll be heard and the more seriously you’ll be taken!
Think about it. We assess our clothes, the model of phone we have, our profile pictures, our cars, houses, etc. We worry about making sure all those things are up-to-date and looking good. Why would we think any differently about our businesses?