By Mark Wilson, Creative Director

Brand development can sometimes be a daunting task. The thought of overhauling your brand changing everything and moving away from what you know is a big undertaking. But brand development may not be as daunting and fear-inducing as you first think. In this article, I’ll be delving further into why brand development doesn’t necessarily mean a complete rebrand by answering three questions.

What is brand development?

Firstly, branding is very much the face of your company; it’s how people perceive you and governs their instant reactions when they hear your name or see your product. Brand development is how that brand evolves and develops to ensure that they are staying current. Development can take different forms, such as imagery, tone of voice, messaging, typography, colour, communication channels.

This leads me to my next point, about how brand development isn’t all about changing everything. There are many different intensities to brand development. It could be small tweaks to your imagery and icons or it could be a complete rebranding with a name change and new messaging that is aimed at a new target audience.

A good example of tweaking your brand to constantly evolve is Google – they are always updating logos and icons that generally goes under the radar but ensures their look is current.

Why is it important?

The importance of brand development is easy to understate and sometimes companies don’t realise the importance of it. It’s the face of your company – it’s the first thing people see and think of when your name is mentioned. I always compare it to a news feed; when you look at a news feed that is out of date your perception of it changes and you are unlikely to spend much more time looking through that feed. Whereas, if it’s current, you’re likely to revisit.

Brands are very much the same – you need to stay current to make sure that people trust you are up to the task, especially in comparison to your competitors. It’s no use if you’re a cutting-edge tech company that sells state of the art software but your branding is dated. Your brand needs to reflect the product or service that you are selling.

Where do you start?

This one is a hard one because different factors determine how you develop and what you develop. I look at it in two ways – do you have an old brand, where your brand is established and been around for a long time but needs to be updated? Or are you a new brand that has finished the brand launch and are unsure where to go from there?

Looking at it from the old brand point of view – you may have a good offering and a healthy client base but need to re-energise the brand. My first recommendation would be to look at the core messaging to make sure that it is still relevant and resonating with the audience. From that you can evolve your visual identity, by creating a new website, introducing more colours and imagery to give your brand a modern look and feel that can give you a competitive edge.

Now to look at the other position of the new brand, where it hasn’t been long since you introduced the new brand. Should you develop the brand any further? If the brand is very new, then you need a ‘settling-in’ period to make sure that you get some time to increase brand awareness. If you start changing bits about your brand straight away it’s an uphill battle to create some awareness with your target audience. Then I’d recommend starting slowly – don’t jump straight into changing the logo or colours, it can be as simple as changing a few images on your website to keep it modern and up to date. Once you have some brand awareness then you can start to look at refining and moving into new areas, such as channels.

It’s easy to want to constantly update and develop your brand but before you do make sure to look at whether your brand is still resonating with the audience. If it is then there is little reason to make drastic changes. But if you feel that your brand isn’t working with your current audience or are aiming at a new audience then it might be time for a refresh; feel free to get in touch with me to discuss how we could help develop your brand.

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