Is Your Brand Outdated? Here’s What You Can Do.

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If these 5 telltale signs describe your brand, it may be time to consider a rebrand or a brand refresh.

Your brand is one of your company’s most valuable assets. Why? Because it’s the most powerful way you can tell buyers who you are and what you stand for. Strong brands attract more customers who are willing to buy at a premium price. And they help deliver increased revenue by driving customer loyalty.  In fact, B2B buyers say that while brand, features and price are the most important drivers of their purchase decisions, brand ranks at the top of that short list. (Losasso).  Continue reading to learn how to tell if your brand is outdated and what you can do about it.

In today’s world, your company’s online brand experience matters more than ever. Spurred on by the pandemic, B2B buyers have fully adopted a digital-first mindset when looking for a new product or service. Gartner estimates that by 2025, 80% of B2B sales interactions between suppliers and buyers will occur in digital channels. So, if your company is struggling with a subpar digital brand experience, you’re at a competitive disadvantage.

Many companies tend to take their brand for granted. They assume it’s still working just because it’s always been there. So how do you know if your brand is outdated, like those vintage ‘90s jeans gathering dust in the back of your closet? Here are some telltale signs to watch out for.


Signs your brand is outdated

These are some common red flags that indicate a brand in need of updating. If any of these ring true for your company, you should consider doing a brand audit to evaluate your brand’s overall health. A brand audit is an analysis that shows how your brand is performing in the market compared to your competition. It offers insights into your brand’s strengths and weaknesses and helps identify key areas for improvement.


1. Your website looks like it belongs in 1998

Vintage isn’t a word that should be used to describe your website. Yet this is a common issue we see with many of our clients. As the online experience has gone mobile, web design principles and aesthetics have changed dramatically.

Does your website have very little imagery, huge chunks of text or a lengthy left navigation menu? What does it look like when viewed on a smartphone? In a recent survey by Top Design Firms, 42% of respondents said they’d leave a website that had poor functionality (HubSpot).

It’s clear that a dated website translates to a poor online experience for your customers. And in today’s world, it’s more likely than ever that a potential buyer’s first experience with your company will be a digital one.


2. Your logo isn’t flexible

Our digital world has introduced a whole new era for company logos. If your logo mark is too detailed or lengthy, it could be problematic in an online environment. For example, a logo that features an intricate background won’t translate well as a social media avatar. And one that has a long tagline is likely to be problematic in a digital ad.

Ideally, you want a logo that is simple, clean, and displays well at any resolution. If your logo is causing issues in your digital marketing activities, it may be time to consider a refresh.


3. Your brand identity is inconsistent

Great brands deliver a distinctive, cohesive experience that makes them instantly recognizable to buyers. In fact, consistent brand presentation across all platforms can increase revenue by up to 23% (Forbes). While consistent imagery and messaging are the foundation of a strong brand identity, achieving that consistency every time is often harder than it looks.

To see where you’re at, take a quick look at your company’s website, LinkedIn page, and a few marketing emails. Do they look like they belong together? Or do they appear to be from different companies altogether? You should recognize instant similarities in both the design elements and in the overall tone and messaging.

If you don’t, this could be a good time to revisit your brand – and strengthen your brand identity guidelines. Too many companies see their brand identity guidelines as simply an occasional reference for design and messaging rules. But when brand identity guidelines are developed thoroughly and applied consistently, they can be an invaluable tool to drive brand equity.


4. Your brand doesn’t reflect your company’s values

This issue is more common than you may think. Many companies experience significant changes to their mission, vision and purpose throughout their lifecycle. As a result, they begin to outgrow their brand. For example, the perfect company name 15 years ago may not resonate in the same way now. Or a tagline that used to be highly effective might no longer be relevant if the company has gone in a new direction.

Every key message and visual element is an opportunity to communicate who you are and why you’re special to a potential buyer. If you’ve outgrown your brand promise – or if you never really articulated an effective one to begin with – then it will be tough to stand apart from the crowd.

For tips on how to articulate your brand promise and message, check out this blog article: B2B LEAD GENERATION: WHY MESSAGE POSITIONING MATTERS.


5. Your prospects don’t understand what you do

One of the best ways to tell if your brand is working is to pay close attention to your conversations with prospects. Ask your salespeople about the most common questions and misconceptions they hear about from prospective customers. If you hear some consistent themes, it’s a sign that you should dig in further to determine if you’re making the right impression. And don’t forget that your first impression is likely an online one!

You may be surprised at what you find once you lean into what your prospective customers are telling you. Some of our clients have discovered new ways to position themselves in the market or unearthed key differentiators that weren’t previously on their radar.


Rebrand vs. Brand Refresh?

If these signs that your brand is outdated describe your company, it may be time to consider a rebrand or a brand refresh. So, what’s the difference between the two? A rebrand means that you’re completely scrapping your old brand and building a new one from the ground up. This may be needed if your current brand identity is confusing or misrepresents what you stand for.

A brand refresh improves and builds upon your existing brand structure. Instead of a complete overhaul, it involves making tweaks to enhance or update your existing messaging and visual elements. The results of your brand audit should tell you whether your company could benefit from a brand refresh or a complete rebrand.

To maintain the overall health of your brand in the long term, you’ll need to plan for regular checkups and maintenance. We recommend making it a habit to conduct an annual brand audit to help ensure optimal brand health.

Many major companies will go through a total rebrand at least every 10 years. And while yours may not need to rebrand that frequently, you should expect and plan for smaller, more frequent brand refreshes at least every three to five years. If you’ve been in business for more than 15 years and you’ve never conducted a rebrand or a brand refresh, chances are your brand is outdated.

Here at GrowthMode Marketing, we can help you build a brand strategy that drives customer loyalty and grows your business. Contact us today to learn more.

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