Simple Ways to Refresh Your Brand

Written for EO by Jessica Thiefels, social media coach and organic marketing consultant.

A brand refresh is critical for all companies, from worldwide organizations to small local businesses. “As businesses grow and change, it’s important for their brands to reflect the current marketplace. Simply put, if you stayed the same while all the companies in your industry changed, adopted fresher logos, and newer ways of communicating with their audience, then you’d end up losing your competitive edge,” explains branding experts at Fabrik.

A brand refresh gives you a chance to evaluate both your customers and the evolving industry. Much could have changed since you last re-branded or first started your company. Updating messaging, brand colors and imagery ensures that you’re appealing to the right audience while remaining competitive in your space.

Use these ideas to give you brand a refresh this spring and step out with a new look that says, “We’re here to stay!”

Update Your Logo

If your logo is as old as your business, this may be the time to give it an update. This is common for brands both big and small, as Carrie Cousins, designer and content marketer shows with the progression of the Starbucks logo:

As you consider what your updated logo should be, Cousins explains, “Modern logo styles are streamlined and simple. Most contain a visual element of some sort with the brand name, which may or may not always be part of the logo … Most logos aren’t packed with color—one or two colors are common. And there’s not a lot of graphic adornments, such as shadows or embossing.”

For inspiration, take a look at other people’s business cards, or browse sites like Dribble or Wix. Look for out-of-the box ideas that could apply to your brand too.

Re-Think Your Brand Colors

When refreshing your brand colors, it can be helpful to start at the beginning. While you don’t need to make a drastic change, following best practices for choosing colors that will have an impact, while staying true to your brand, is the best way to ensure your refresh is effective.

Adobe recommends starting with a neutral color. This acts as your base: “One-to-two neutral covers will act as the canvas on which you’ll paint.” Neutrals include, black, white, silver, ivory, gray, brown, tan, gold and beige.

Next, choose two colors that will pop against your neutral. This may be a brighter or more stand-out shade of one of your current brand colors. Adobe explains, “This is the color that grabs the attention of your audience and becomes the star of your visual identity.” If you’re looking for inspiration, check out this example:

Finally, tie it all together with a call to action (CTA) color. This includes the colors for buttons, along with the text. These colors should stand out and be complementary to your main brand colors, advises Adobe.

Re-Design Your Print Materials

Print materials are still critical for businesses of all sizes, especially if you attend trade shows and conferences, or simply promote your business around at local coffee shops and stores. Your print materials—from brochures and flyers to banners and business cards—represent your brand, making them critical for your business. A fading flyer with low-quality images will make a bad impression.

If you’re not a design aficionado, use these three tips to update your print materials:

1. Re-think your font: Choosing a font that’s both unique and legible can be challenging, which is why many big brands actually create their own. While there are no hard and fast rules about choosing a font, make sure your font is easy to read and fits with your brand. Choose just one to three complimentary fonts to ensure you have a variety of options that still tie together.

2. Choose the right images: When choosing images, consider both quality (no pixelation, bright colors, easy-to-see), and the Rule of Thirds. Design experts at MyCreativeShop explain in their guide for choosing the best images for your flyer design:

“When considering what photos to use in your flyer, a Rule of Thirds image can naturally create places for you to include important text alongside an amazing image. Images that disobey this rule can leave you struggling to find places to include important text.” See what they mean in their guide below:

3. Make them interactive: The line between the online and offline world is blurring as businesses realize they can bring the interactive world of online to their offline marketing. For example, check out how 19 Crimes makes their labels interactive.

Refreshing print materials with this digital element is as simple as adding a QR code or shortened link that encourages viewers to further their experience online.

Refresh Your Brand This Spring

Give your brand the refresh it needs as the seasons change. Consider how you can make your brand colors pop, your print materials more engaging, and your logo more modern and streamlined. Use these ideas to get started with your brand makeover.

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