5 Ways to Modernize Your Brand (Without Betraying Your Roots)
Your logo hasn’t been refreshed since the 1990s. If people want to contact you, they need to use a phone book to find your number. Your company exudes a cold corporate exterior, rather than personalized service.
Are any of these statements true for you? It may be time to modernize your brand. Here’s how you can do it.
First: Establish Your Brand Values
Before you embark on your modernization process, you need to establish your brand values. It’s what makes your company different from the rest, the core identity of your brand.
Your brand values are non-negotiable. Everything you do needs to be built around these values. Don’t go and modernize for the sake of it, letting go of everything that makes your company. Establish these first before you do anything.
Refresh, Don’t Redesign
Your logo hasn’t been changed since the 1980s, so you think you need a complete overhaul. But before you start dusting off your virtual paintbrush, consider this: you may want a simple modernizing refresh, not a redesign from the ground up.
Why? Because you want consumers to recognize you. To maintain the relationship with the tried and tested, but to see it revitalized for a modern world. Going the opposite way can deliver terrible results.
Case study: Kraft in 2009. They changed their company logo entirely, throwing away 100 years of tradition with a single redesign. It was a complete farce and an expensive mistake. After just six months, the company reversed the decision and made a couple of tweaks to the original instead.
This may seem like a weird one compared to a more obvious change like a logo redesign, but hear us out. The results from Forbes are in: consumers genuinely care about how green companies are. In fact, 88% of consumers want their brands to help them become more eco-friendly in daily life.
Your company needs to exude these values. Don’t put it off. Go green. It’s the right thing to do, and if you want to be callous, it’ll lead to more business. People are sick of companies that don’t deliver their products or services in an ethical manner.
If you’re in charge of a small business that doesn’t directly produce, start small. Switch to renewable energy suppliers. Stop printing emails unnecessarily. Recycle. Start a green initiative in your office.
Plus, renewable sources of energy will save your company money in the long run. According to this report, investment in R & D combined with the economies of scale achieved, renewables are now cheaper than carbon-based products such as oil or coal.
Embrace Social Media
Embrace social media. And we’re not just talking about having a company Facebook page. Consumers want to deal with companies who engage on their terms. If they have to call you and wait in a queue, they’ll go elsewhere.
Be available through different mediums. Offer customer service through Facebook and WhatsApp, for example. Reply to comments on your Instagram posts. Run Facebook ads (Hootsuite has a pretty good guide for this). Don’t fight social media, go with it.
Humanize Your Brand
Consumers also want companies that are more than just faceless logos. They want to feel like they’re dealing with humans, not robots or corporations. Small companies often make the mistake of trying to look bigger than they are, thinking that consumers want something ‘professional’.
But doing that is taking away your very advantage. Big corporations are trying to be more like you, not the other way around. Humanizing your brand is one of the best ways of building a connection with your clients.
Being active on social media and going green are both ways that achieve this. But try and go further. Share your story. Take your audience on a tour ‘behind the scenes’. Get involved in charitable and local causes. Just show people who you are, instead of trying to build a facade.
Don’t Forget Your Core Business
We’ve given you a range of tips to recharge your brand and propel it into the 2020s. But you should never forget your core product or service. Quality always trumps packaging.
Brand refreshes, PR efforts, and a greater social media presence will not cover up a subpar product. Companies often forget that in their quest to become ‘current’. Don’t be one of those companies.