A New Brand Image: How Businesses Move Forward
A brand’s image evolves over time.
It was perfectly fine when you launched your venture many years ago, but time has passed and things have changed. It seems like yesterday wearing jeans in the office on Fridays was a big deal. Now, your employees aren’t in the office on Fridays and, perhaps, a few other days.
The marketplace has shifted, and your company had adapted. But what about your brand identity?
Brand value stems from perceived value that creates a competitive advantage in the marketplace that can attract more customers and revenue. It may be very difficult to pinpoint on a balance sheet, but it’s there.
Whether you are selling a product or service, there tends to be a fundamental marketing challenge because everything is flat. For example, you may be selling LED lighting fixtures, or finance consulting or legal services. But, you’re not the only one. How do your prospects make up their minds before they purchase your stuff?
That’s why you should wrap your product or service in your brand story, which adds layers of interest. As opposed to selling your products’ features, tell the story through the founder of the company. Tell the story through the customers who benefit and appreciate the product.
Your brand image separates your business or organization from the competition—and that is huge because if every brand is the same, then you will only be able to compete on price—and that’s a race no one wants to win.
More importantly, your brand promise is what you’re known for and remembered for. Having consistent branding across all marketing vehicles is crucial for creating brand value.
3 Reasons to Change Your Brand Image
But what if the challenge is bigger than telling a better story? Rebranding is a marketing strategy that can turn your company around in specific situations. Now, generally speaking, once you have a “story,” you will need to stick to it. However, there are exceptions to the rule.
Like ice cream, rebranding can come in different flavors. Sometimes, you may need a total overhaul, meaning a new name, tagline and colors. Other times, you may opt for a partial rebrand that refreshes the experience for your target audiences.
If your business or organization has evolved or is in a growth phase, it’s important to take a look at your brand and see if it still aligns with your values, needs and perceptions. If not, it’s time to look at rebranding your business. This will allow for you to be known for and seen how you would like to be perceived by your target audience.
Your Brand Identity Has Evolved
Sometimes, your brand identity has adapted to so many changes in the marketplace, you are left with a completely different organization. This situation begs for a rebrand.
To rebrand, you first need to ensure that the key players/decision makers of your business or organization are aligned with who you are and who you want to be. Then, you must take that and incorporate it into every facet of your business including a logo, tagline, messaging, boilerplate, color palettes, graphic templates and more. Start with the “what, who and why”, then build your brand from there.
That’s how we helped the former Rental & Staging Network, which rebranded itself as the Event Production Network (EPN) to capture its evolution from contributor to a full-service event creator.
EPN’s members create 30,000 memorable event experiences annually—from concept to completion—with the latest AV technology that transforms any event into an experience. EPN’s award-winning members set the standard for immersive, dynamic, engaging events, producing in-person, virtual and hybrid events throughout the entire continent.
“For years, we had fought the notion that we are a commodity,” said EPN President Eric Newkirk, who is vice president of design and creative for CEAVCO Audio Visual, an AVFX Company. “During the pandemic, meeting planners and event organizers came to us for our service and expertise—not a bottomless pool of equipment and skilled labor. They had more problems, and we had more solutions. Our industry has changed dramatically, and we must keep up with the evolution.”
The evolution of EPN members becoming full-service, event production companies started about a decade ago, but the trend accelerated during the pandemic. In the last two years, EPN companies began adding new team members on the creative side and investing in new technologies to keep pace with expectations from a world that had quickly embraced high-end programming on streaming services. Earlier this year, EPN published a hybrid event guide for meeting planners and event organizers that shares their best practices for events amid the shift toward more events incorporating a virtual component.
Your Brand Strategy Has Expanded
Over time, some brands grow through acquisition or organically. Sometimes it happens from necessity or opportunity.
New Jersey’s Hunterdon County wanted an expanded website to match its growing brand story. It wanted to promote businesses along its historic Route 579 to build its agritourism sector.
As a result, we created the Hunterdon County 579 Trail, an online guide about more than 50 agricultural and agritourism businesses located on Route 579, a 25-mile strip that runs from Bloomsbury, New Jersey to East Amwell, New Jersey.
Our in-house web team added new web pages, tabs and social media buttons on the revamped website, as well as adjusted the navigation to allow users to find what they want faster. A new “sign-up” was added to the layout of an inside web page so users could easily register for the newsletter. A vertical banner was added to the home page with the option to display up to three upcoming events that link back to the events page.
We also created an interactive experience, where users can plan their trips and stops along the way at a variety of businesses, such as farms, wineries and restaurants. Users can simply download their own itineraries or save their trips to their phone.
The new website also sparked interest from regional media, which promoted the county’s expanded brand promise by publishing stories about the Route 579 trail in NJ.com (Unique Visitors Per Month: 3,095,109), New Jersey Monthly (UVPM: 56,350), Bucks County Herald (UVPM: 25,000) and WFMZ (UVPM: 334,979).
Your Brand Image Doesn’t Stand Out
Building a brand image that keeps pace with the times is vital in terms of public perception and customer outreach. It’s a great way to distance your organization from its competitors.
For example, the International Function Point Users Group (IFPUG) has updated its methods and standards over the years to reflect modern software and app development approaches. So, we developed a new logo that exemplifies IFPUG’s evolution, positioning the association’s brand as forward thinking. The logo also denotes how IFPUG brings its members together and how the community transcends geographic constraints.
In addition to the brand refresh, we redesigned IFPUG’s website, positioning the organization as a resource for learning and sharing knowledge. The website’s navigation was completely reorganized and simplified to make everything easier to find and easier to use.
Communicating the value and benefits of IFPUG’s global membership is also important, so we added full site translation in more than 100 different languages to create a better experience for existing members and prospective ones.
Our in-house web team also added new website features, such as an improved membership and certification directory, a new Learning Management System that features archived virtual events and IFPUG publications, as well as new committees, where members can communicate and share files.
Your rebrand, whether it be full-scale or partial, will need to be part of an overarching, integrated marketing approach that creates an emotional connection between your customers and your solutions. Such an approach guarantees that you’re being consistent with your brand across many different channels and areas for people to learn about your business or organization. The more consistent your brand and messaging is, the more you will be remembered as well as trusted since you are proving your place over and over.
Are you ready to update, refresh or totally makeover your brand image? We are ready to help. Contact us today.