What is branding, exactly? Many businesses often mistake branding as simply having a logo. While a logo is an important piece of your brand, it isn’t your brand itself. More than just a logo, name or style guide, it’s an emotional connection – what people see, think and feel about your business. Your brand is everything from your story – your values, purpose, personality, and voice – to every single one of your customer touchpoints – website, social media, advertising, promotional material, collateral, and so on. It’s your company’s whole package.
What is Brand Evolution?
When it comes to branding, many businesses think they have to invent the most perfect, timeless logo that will stand the test of time. The truth is, change is good. The real question is when do you change, and how much do you change? The trick is to align your brand development with your business objectives. As the world changes, your business changes with it. Your company grows, customers change, the industry evolves, and design trends come and go. As your business evolves with the times, you need to make sure your brand evolves with you.
Brand evolution isn’t giving your brand a full 180, but rather updating or revamping your brand to attract new customers while remaining recognizable to your current ones. Out with the old, in with the new!
Where to start?
Unfortunately, there is no crystal ball to tell you when you need to evolve your brand. As a general rule of thumb, you should prepare to review your brand every five years to ensure you’re keeping up with the latest trends, styles and customer expectations. Of course, this isn’t written in stone, as each company or organization is different with its own goals. When reviewing your brand, make sure you consider each and every brand touchpoint. Even the smallest changes can have significant effects. A brand evolution can include an update of your company’s logo design, a slight tweak to your company name, taking your brand voice in a new direction, redesigning key collateral assets, or all the above.
To help you determine if it may be time to make changes to your brand, here are a few questions you can ask yourself:
Has my brand become outdated?
Nothing remains relevant forever. If your brand looks like a blast from the past, people may perceive your company as an organization that is out-of-touch with modern practices.
Does my logo stand out from the crowd?
Does your brand look similar to thousands of other companies in your industry? Do people often confuse your company with another? Your brand is the key differentiator that sets you apart, so make sure it doesn’t get lost in a sea of carbon copies.
Has my target demographic changed?
As your company grows and offerings shift to new demographics, you need to ensure your brand appeals and captures the attention of your new audience. Updating your company’s image will help you to appeal to a broader audience and keep them engaged with your brand.
Has my company changed over the years?
Chances are your business is not the same as when you started. Just like people, businesses learn, grow and mature. As a result, you need to make sure your branding evolves with you. Ask yourself, does your brand still represent who you are as an organization today? Evolving your brand is a great way to show your customers that you are a company that is always learning and growing, is proactive in your market, and committed to continuous improvement.
Array’s Brand Over Time: A Case Study
Whatever the reason may be, change is inevitable for every brand, from the biggest multi-billion companies in the world to your local ma and pa shop. To give you an example, let’s look at five versions of Array’s brand as it has evolved over the years…
1. The Beginning: Formed in 2009, Array was started under the name “Array Studios.” Primarily a custom web development company, we built highly customized websites for businesses and organizations and provided technical support, including website maintenance and IT support.
2. The Expansion: As our company began to branch out and transition into more of a creative agency, we added a second side to our business and started helping companies with their brand development by offering a variety of services, including promotional collateral design, print & online advertising campaign design, marketing, graphic design, web design, custom programming, SEM/SEO and mobile website development. With the addition of our Creative Services division, we grew from a group of 5 to a strong team of 11 and added a secondary brand “Array Creative.”
3. The Rebrand: By 2013, Array wasn’t just a website development company, nor a creative agency. We were both. Our services included everything from websites, advertising strategy and media buying to content creation, brand promotion, design strategies and everything in between. Organically, we evolved into a fusion of our previous brand iterations, and so we revamped our brand to “Array Web + Creative.” With this new name, we introduced a more bold, modern typography, revamped our brand colours, and completely changed our logo design to symbolize Array had now entered into a new era.
4. Simplifying: As time went on, we continued to grow our team, develop our skills, and find new ways to diversify and innovate our offerings in a digitally evolving world. We weren’t just a website development company, a creative agency, nor a marketing agency; we had now matured into a hybrid of all three. We dropped the “Web + Creative” from our company name and rebranded to “Array,” a full-service multi-channel, multi-disciplinary marketing and advertising agency.
5. Celebrating: Did you know this year marks Array’s 10+ years in business? If that last decade has taught us anything, it’s that businesses must be able to prove that they can evolve and adapt to thrive in a competitive marketplace. As business owners, we must always set short and long-term goals, strive to keep learning, and have the courage to embrace change, adapt and evolve so as businesses we can continue to grow, compete and succeed. A celebratory short term logo was released this year to share this success!
Brand Development Services from Array
Are you thinking about refreshing your brand? Let us know! We’d love to talk to you about your company’s journey – how you started and where you want to go – and how we can help you achieve those goals. Whether your logo needs to be updated, you need a complete rebranding, or you’re starting a new brand from the ground up, we offer a range of brand development services to help your brand stay ahead of the curve. If you’re ready to set-up a free consultation, then let’s talk!