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6 Signs It's Time To Refresh Your Brand

If you've been in business for any length of time, you've probably heard the secret to a strong brand is consistency (that's what we preach here at Happyland Creative®! 🙌)

But a common misconception is that this means you shouldn't change anything about your brand EVER (yes, even your logo).

In fact, that kind of thinking can hold your business back from growing and keep you from reaching the level you want to be at.

Now, to be clear, you shouldn't be overhauling your brand every few months. There's no need to try to keep up with the ebb and flow of whatever's trending at the moment. Rather, think of your brand like a plant. 🌱

A plant needs water and sunlight to thrive. Sometimes you need to move the plant to a different window if it's getting too much sun, or sometimes you need to water more or less depending on the symptoms the plant shows you. And when you're caring for your plant just right, it flourishes and eventually outgrows its pot.

Your brand needs to be monitored and tended to just like that plant. Keeping a watchful eye on it and making adjustments as needed will help ensure your brand will flourish and eventually grow so big it needs to be repotted.

So how do you know when it's time to rebrand?

Here are six of the most common signs and symptoms letting you know you've outgrown the brand you started with.

1. Your brand feels amateur

Other ways you may describe this feeling could be using words like "young," "homemade," or "DIY." You may feel like people are incorrectly judging the quality of your product based on how it looks. You may feel embarrassed to send someone to your website, or maybe cringe a little every time you see your logo because, whether you like your logo or not, it just doesn't feel like a good representation of where your business is now.

How a brand refresh will fix this:

You need to have confidence in your brand in order to grow it. If you're embarrassed by your logo you're going to have a hard time showing up and putting your business out there to take risks. If your brand looks too homemade you're going to miss out on opportunities. We've heard it from the mouths of Target buyers themselves that branding needs to be on point if you're plan on wholesaling. A brand refresh will give you the confidence you need and help you rest easy knowing your brand was professionally and strategically created to reflect your unique business and attract customers who will love your product.

2. Your brand feels disorganized

It may be literally disorganized with assets scattered in various folders in different places. Or you may have files with unhelpful names like "logo-final-1" and "logo-final-FINAL-1a." Or maybe you only have a few types of files that feel really inflexible, like a JPG with a white background or a PNG that's too small and always looks pixelated when you try to use it. It could also be that your brand feels visually disorganized, mismatched, and lacks overall cohesion. Maybe you are never sure what font or color to use, or you adopt different styles from whatever Canva template is trending that day, leaving your brand a mismatched mess. No matter what kind of disorganization you're experiencing, the result is that nothing looks like it goes together leaving your brand feeling confused and you feeling frustrated.

How a brand refresh will fix this:

Any branding professional branding project should result in some kind of organized asset folder for you. Here at Happyland we deliver a complete and organized brand asset library with an easy-to-understand structure and clear naming conventions. This means all variations of your final logo suite, color codes, font files, and supporting assets, are exported, organized, and ready for you to use. It's a structure that you can add to and build on as your business continues to grow. You can drop in any other folders you might need such as copy banks or product photos so you have all your assets in one place, saving you hours of time and dozens of headaches in the future.

3. Your brand doesn’t feel unique

It feels like everyone else is using the same fonts or colors you are and you're having trouble standing out from all the noise online. You feel like nothing about your brand feels meaningful and custom to YOU, like your logo could belong to anyone. Plus, your audience is getting you confused with that other business that does the same thing you do and you're losing business because of it. You may notice this by a lack of engagement or repeat customers.

How a brand refresh will fix this:

A strategic brand project will get to the core essence of your who your business is and bring it to life through visual design. A strong brand is about more than just looking good, it's about creating a personality for your business—something by which your business can be recognized. Like people, brands are best recognized by how they look, act, and sound. If you want to get the most out of a brand refresh or a rebrand project invest in a strategy that will touch on all of these points. (Which, our Strategic Brand service does, by the way!) 

4. Your website is hard to maintain

If you're struggling to update or maintain your website, it's time for an overhaul. So many times we've heard from clients that they are afraid to update their website out of fear they may break something. Or they are misusing elements on their website, affecting customer experience and usability, because they aren't sure how to get the platform to do what they want it to do. And many have broken links, missing carts, empty collections, or buttons that don't work because they feel overwhelmed by the mess in their content management system (CMS) they can hardly find their way around. Sound familiar? 

How a brand refresh will fix this:

It doesn't matter if you've been on the same platform for years or the audience facing part of your site looks great—if you can't easily manage the back end of your website you'll end up putting off updates and your website will quickly (VERY QUICKLY) become an outdated digital cobweb collector. You need to feel confident in your ability to use and understand your CMS so you can continue to build onto and grow your website along with your business. If you feel like you want to throw your computer out the window every time you need to make a change on your website or you find yourself often saying "don't look at our website, look at our instagram instead," don't wait another minute to reach out and get help to create a website you're excited to use. Here at Happyland, we first seek to understand the issues you have with your platform, or the things that feel the clunkiest to you and then aim to streamline them without sacrificing the customer's shopping experience. In fact, updating these things so you have an easier time managing your site will often result in a better shopping experience for your customers, leading to more sales and higher cart values.

5. You’re not reaching the right audience

You may first start to notice this by a lack of sales. Perhaps you're getting lots of traffic but few people follow through on actually making a purchase. Or it could manifest in lots of inquiries but no sales. You might be hearing this a lot: "I love your business! I hope to become a customer one day!" If you've got lots of eyes on your business but your sales don't seem to match, there's a disconnect in your brand somewhere.Maybe you know what that disconnect is or what caused it and can steer your new brand in a more aligned direction. But many times you may have no clue what caused things to go off the rails and it will take a bit of strategic detective work to figure it out.

How a brand refresh will fix this:

It all comes back to strategy. Stripping your brand down to the core pillars will oftentimes uncover the issue and illuminate where it might be missing the connection with your audience. If you'd like to dip your toe in before booking a strategic project, a brand audit may be exactly what you need. We offer affordable brand audits that will give you a high-level, outside perspective of your brand and business and will help uncover inconsistencies that you can improve in your brand. And, if you end up booking a service with us, we'll even apply the cost of the audit to your project so you're not spending any extra money.

6. You’re shifting the direction of your business

If you're restructuring your business, buying a new business, changing your products or services, or rethinking the kind of customer you want your business to reach, a core shift in your business means it's time for a rebrand or a refresh. People change and businesses evolve. It's totally normal, and it doesn't always mean you have to burn the whole thing to the ground. Sometimes a strategic refocusing or visual refresh is all it takes.

How a brand refresh will fix this:

Tackling a rebrand or refresh project at the beginning of any major shift will make sure your brand stays in alignment with your goals, connects with your audience, and grabs attention to attract more eyeballs to your business and let people know what you're about as you embark in a new direction.

And, of course, every situation is unique. You may be feeling completely different symptoms in your business that are showing you its time to refresh — or maybe you just feel like you're ready for an upgrade!

Whatever the reason, when the time comes Happyland Creative® has got your back. We'll help you determine the right course of action so you don't lose traction in your business and you can stay focused on growing your business to the multi-six and seven figure business you know it can be. Reach out today to start a conversation and see what's possible for the 2.0 version of your business by booking a complimentary info call.

We help our clients make more money with their brand and website by designing engaging visual identities and strategic websites.

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About the Author

Brittany Wong

Brittany Wong is the Founder and Creative Director of Happyland Creative®, a design studio helping small business owners make more money with their branding.