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A Post-Pandemic Brand Refresh?

In a couple of days, on January 20, Joe Biden will be sworn in as president. On that same day exactly one year prior, the first case of COVID-19 was confirmed in the United States. What a terrible anniversary. Hundreds of thousands of Americans, gone. Thousands of businesses, shuttered. Tens of millions of jobs, lost. The economy in shambles. And, right now, the plague as bad as it’s ever been. So even though, in the next couple of months, we’re likely to get a better national plan for testing and contact tracing, and even though vaccine distribution and actual inoculations should ramp up, and even though there’s likely to be another, bigger economic rescue coming, right now we’re still very much in the tunnel. But there is a tiny pin prick of light at the end of it. If all goes well, we should start to begin emerging from the worst of the emergency by summer. If your business is still hanging on, you’ll soon have an opportunity to show you’ve not only survived, you’ve thrived.

What better way to demonstrate to your market that you’ve emerged, Phoenix-like, from the flames of 2020-21 than to launch a refreshed brand? OK, I know, it’s a little self-serving for me to make such a recommendation. And, yes I know, a brand refresh in the new year is something I seem to suggest every January. But, because the last twelve months have been so very awful, every business should do something dramatic to show their market they’ve endured. A brand refresh, or even a complete rebrand, shows the market you’re here and you’re investing in yourself because you intend to grow and move on.

But the planning has to start now. The first task is doing the market research to learn what your market needs you to mean to them in the upcoming months and years. Then, those insights have to measured against your competitive environment to see if your positioning needs to be adjusted in any way. Next step is to write, design and integrate any changes that may be needed to your brand identity. Finally, launch. If you start now, you ought to be able to time your launch to right about when the coronavirus is fading into the rear view mirror.

Of course, nobody knows for sure when we’ll actually emerge from the tunnel. But when we do, there will be a universal uplift, a collective feeling of renewal. The closer you can tie your brand’s re-launch to that joyous energy, the better.

For added effectiveness, try to tie your re-launch to some other significant event in your company’s future. I know a business that’s been serving northwestern Arkansa for 30 years. After working out of the same old building for all that time, in Q3 2021 they’re moving to a brand new facility twice the size. They’ll be timing the development of the of their new brand to launch concurrently. And hopefully, by that time, the coronavirus will be on its way to eradication. More to the story, more to the coverage, more awareness, demand and revenue.

Think about what a brand refresh in mid-summer might mean for your business. Let’s get to work on making it happen.

BEST BRANDING READS – WEEK OF JANUARY 18, 2021

GM unveils new logo, plans new website in shift to electric vehicles
There’s something symbolic, I think, about going from upper case to lower case, from steely blue to sky blue.

Why Your Innovations Aren’t Working
Something to think about at the start of the new year.

How Strong Brands Embrace Emotional Insight to Drive Growth
Again, we make decisions with our lizard brain so that’s where brands need to make their appeal.

Aligning Brands With Shifting Demographics
COVID-19 is altering society more dramatically than we realize.

What 2021 requires from leaders
Denise Yohn shares thoughtful insights in this short video

Increasing Brand Awareness with AR
Only the biggest budgets can handle this now. But it will soon become more accessible.

How Purpose Is Driving Financial Performance
An excellent recipe for how a brand should align with the right social purpose.

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