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Your Brand Identity Needs to Grow

The times change. Your market changes with the times. That means you have to change too. You have to change with your market or you risk weakening your brand relationship with it. Your brand will be diminished and become less valuable. One of the most effective ways of maintaining that close relationship with your market – and protect brand value – is to make sure you brand’s visual identity is aligned with current tastes and aesthetics. After all, that’s what your market sees of you. If your brand looks stale and behind the times, it’s not likely your customers or clients will invite you into their lives. After all, they’re not old and stale, are they? They’ll start looking for a replacement for you. Yet, sadly, too many businesses invest in a logo and then just ignore it for the next 30-40 years. These businesses, no matter how profitable they may be, will never be market leaders. They just don’t care enough about their markets to want to appear relevant to them. Believe me, the markets notice. If you want to have a shot at phenomenal success, you have to “refresh” your brand identity from time to time. That doesn’t mean you need a whole, new, start-from-scratch logo. But it does mean your logo needs periodic adjustments to still seem modern and meaningful to your market. Look at the market leaders in every sector.

Their logos have histories! You can see Coca-Cola’s here. Scroll to the bottom of Coke’s time line to see the histories of other famous logos.

But refreshing a logo, of course, means further investment in it. Many business people think that even the initial investment in a logo is a necessary evil – an expense with no ROI. It’s just something to put in the top left corner of the website. Once that expenditure leaves the coffers, they are loathe to spend another penny on it, even years later. They fail to grasp that a logo’s upgrade signals the business is still here, still engaged, still current. The entire market will see this – customers, job-seekers, competitors, everybody. It will make the brand more meaningful to the market. A meaningful brand is every marketer’s holy grail.

It’s a mistake to hold the narrow view that the visual identity of a business is an expense. As prospective customers get to recognize a logo and understand what it represents, the sales process gets easier and easier. Year over year sales goes up. So spending money on a good logo and supporting identity system is an investment in the future marketing of the business.

But, as mentioned, times change and public tastes evolve. Even the most well-designed and modern identity system will eventually seem old-fashioned or stale. That’s when it’s time to re-invest. Refreshing the visual identity keeps your brand close to your customers. Has your logo has been doing a good job for you for 10 or 15 years but is now looking a little worse for wear? Invest in a brand refresh and get another 10-15 out of it. Maybe, once your business is 135 years old and has refreshed its visual identity several times over, your brand will be as ubiquitous and beloved as Coca-Cola.

BEST BRANDING READS – WEEK OF SEPTEMBER 21

Why HBO Max’s Branding Guru Built His Own ‘Anti-Racist’ agency: Uncomfortable Conversations
We need to hear more exchanges like this one.

Entertainment companies still have no idea what to name their streaming services
They should just go with The Flow.

How The Element Of Surprise Impacts Brand Loyalty
Ask yourself: What can I do to positively surprise my customers/clients today?

Twinning – Harness the Power & Avoid the Pitfalls of Digital Twins
It’s new to me too, but we’re going to be hearing a lot more about twinning in the coming years.

10 Requirements For Driving Brand Growth
How many of these could you apply to your own brand?

How to Appeal to Your Customer Base
Get your branding right and maintain its standards.

Hitting the Clear Branding Strategy Bullseye
This is a short, worthwhile read even if you’re not a bank.

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Best Branding Reads
Week of October 19, 2020

The wild history of ballot designs—and what they say about our democracy
This is a brief but fascinating glimpse into our past. It used to be much worse.

The Harmful Effects Of Business Growth
Growth is change. And change is the enemy of the brand. Proceed with care.

Everything I Know About Naming I Learned From 'The Simpsons'
Actually, a pretty good article. Pretty funny too.

Exclusive Interview with Philip Kotler, Distinguished Prof. of International Marketing
I bought his book “Marketing Professional Services” back in the 1980s. It’s still on my bookshelf.

Medium reveals (another) new logo – and it's a head-scratcher
Third rebrand in five years. What’s going on?

Smucker unveils new corporate identity
My guess is this is a corporate brand change only and won’t appear on their packaging. Or will it?

A Simple Definition of Brand Positioning
The author quotes Philip Kotler.