Your 6-Point Brand Refresh Project Plan
Welcome to your 6-Point Brand Refresh Project Plan! Here, you’ll learn how to successfully refresh your brand and make it stand out from the competition.
This expert guide will cover everything from finding inspiration for your brand redesign, developing a strong brand strategy that reflects the core values of your business, creating visuals that express who you are as a company, and more.
We'll also discuss why it's important to stay up-to-date with trends in order to ensure that your brand is always relevant and engaging for potential customers, and how to establish whether you need a brand refresh or a full rebrand.
By the end of this project plan, you should have all the tools necessary to give your brand an exciting new look and feel!
Brand Refresh vs Rebrand: Which Do You Need?
A complete rebrand involves a lot more than just refreshing your brand. The extensive rebranding process requires significant effort to ensure that all aspects of your brand identity are properly aligned. This includes defining your company's mission statement, values, and updated ideas about marketing and advertising to establish a strong foundation for your new look.
On the other hand, a brand refresh works to freshen up your visual identity and other brand elements in order to solidify a strong brand identity in the eyes of your customers. It is often simpler to complete and involves less effort than a full rebrand, although it can still be an involved process.
A brand refresh may be right for you if:
- You already have an established brand image but need to update it.
- You want to keep the core elements of your brand identity, such as your name and logo, but would like to make tweaks in order to create a more modern look.
- Your target audience has shifted slightly since the launch of your brand and you need to adjust your messaging and visuals accordingly.
- Your brand is out of line with current industry trends and needs to be updated.
A rebrand may be right for you if:
- You want to completely overhaul your brand identity in order to reach a new target audience or stand out from the competition.
- You have a strong idea of what type of brand image you would like to create and need the resources to bring that vision to life.
- Your business has grown significantly and you need to develop a new look that accurately reflects the expanded scope of your business.
- You want to completely rebrand in order to start fresh with a distinct identity from what you had before.
Now that you understand the differences between brand refresh and rebrand, it’s time to start planning for your own project.
Getting Started With Brand Refresh Project Management
A successful brand refresh needs a strong brand strategy - and even stronger project management - to power it.
That's where experts like Huddle come in. You might already have the basics of project management down, but Huddle's experts can help you take your brand refresh to the next level.
Branding professionals like ours have extensive experience in managing complex projects with multiple touchpoints and stakeholders, as well as creating timelines and setting deadlines that will keep your project on track. They'll also provide useful insights throughout the process to ensure a strategic brand refresh that will engage and delight your customers.
Once you've assembled the team and set goals for the project, it's time to get started on the fun part: finding inspiration and developing a strong brand strategy.
With the support of the 6-point project plan outlined below, some expert project management expertise, and your own team’s creativity, you'll be able to transform your brand and truly take your business to the next level.
Your 6-Point Brand Refresh Project Plan
Undertake research and discovery
Research and discovery are essential to developing a successful brand refresh project - which is why it's the first point in our project plan.
Start by getting the team together and conducting interviews with key stakeholders on the team, as well as customers and prospects who will be impacted by the changes. This is your chance to gain valuable insight that will inform every step of your project plan.
When undertaking brand research and discovery, aim to answer these questions:
- Is our current brand still meeting its initial objectives?
- Is 0ur branding still in-keeping with modern digital designs?
- How will you measure the success of a brand refresh?
Audit your brand
A brand audit can give your business model the competitive edge it needs to succeed. But what is a brand audit and how can it help you in your brand refresh project?
A brand audit is a deep dive into the health of your brand, looking at the elements that make up your branding and assessing if they are meeting the needs of your business.
At Huddle, we provide a no-obligation, free brand health check that can get you started on your brand audit. We'll analyse everything from your visuals and messaging to user experience, colour palette and more, before making recommendations on what needs to be improved and the steps you can take to make it happen.
During a brand audit, you should consider points such as:
- Market competitors: Has their brand evolved? How?
- Areas of brand misalignment: Are there any promises that your brand or business is not currently fulfilling?
- The website: How does it look? What is the UX like? Does it serve a purpose? Is it fulfilling that purpose?
- Your brand images strengths and weaknesses: Can any improvements be made to your website and marketing materials?
- Current (and future) trends within the industry: What is going on in the wider market sector? How is your market position utilising the latest industry trends?
Develop customer personas
Now it's time to look at the people who will be using and engaging with your product or service. Whether you are looking for new customers or trying to better serve existing ones, understanding customer personas is key.
This research should take into account age, location, gender, lifestyle, job title and interests. It should go beyond just the demographic profile and consider their motivations, behaviour and goals.
Once you have a better understanding of customer personas, you can begin to tailor your branding and messaging to better meet the needs of your target audience.
Questions to answer at this stage in your brand refresh include:
- Have the priorities and tastes of our customer base changed? If so, how?
- Has the ideal customer we’re targeting changed since the last brand refresh? If so, how?
- Is there a way to reach totally new customers? If so, who are they? What desires and needs do they have? How can our brand fulfil those wants and needs?
Assess brand positioning and messaging
Your brand positioning should be focused on how your company or product stands out from its competitors. It should communicate the unique value that you offer, which will draw customer attention and help to clearly define the target market for your business.
Your messaging, meanwhile, should reflect the brand personality that you want to portray. Your brand voice should be consistent across all messages, from your website and content marketing to social media posts and customer service.
Questions to answer at this stage include:
- Does our messaging align with our brand positioning? Do they need updating? How?
- How can we ensure any updated messaging connects to new customers, without losing any existing ones?
- How can we ensure our updated messaging communicates the true persona of the brand, the values of our business and the promises it offers?
- How is our messaging clearer, stronger and louder than competitors?
Upgrade your visual identity
Your brand's visual identity is what will make customers remember you. It should be consistent with your brand’s positioning and messaging, as well as relevant to the industry it operates within.
Reviewing and updating your visuals can be an effective way of refreshing your brand identity without straying too far from the core values of the business. This could include changes such as updating your logo, creating new colour palettes and using more engaging visuals across all platforms.
Questions to answer here could include:
- Does the new visual identity tell your brand story? How do your customers feel when they see your branding?
- Does the new brand identity communicate your brand values? How will this impact our consumer perception?
- Is the visual identity liked or disliked by existing customers? This may require market research.
- Is your brand's identity practical for everyday use?
- Is your current visual identity working? (I.E. is it drawing in the customers you expected?) Which aspects of your brand identity are working and which aren't?
- Is the visual identity the best it can be? (Nobody is ever satisfied, but if a plethora of changes come to mind this indicates a more serious problem with the identity itself)
- Is the visual identity inspiring to both you and your ideal customer?
Roll out your refresh
To implement your brand refresh, you must make sure your own team is updated and informed of the changes. From there, roll out the new branding to customers, partners, suppliers and other stakeholders.
Make sure that any customer facing elements (websites, customer service emails etc.) are all updated with the new visuals. This will make it easier for customers to recognize the brand's new identity.
Key steps to remember during rollout could include:
- Create new brand guidelines and other brand materials explaining how the refreshed elements align with the overall objectives of the brand.
- Introduce everyone within the organisation to the overall brand refresh strategy and refreshed brand elements so that they can be comfortable adhering to any changes going forward (especially for details like email signatures letterheads.)
- Supply everyone that needs them with refreshed brand assets (like new logo files, brand imagery, and font packages.)
- Update existing digital and print design templates to ensure consistency no matter who is creating new brand materials.
- Redesign major design assets to fit into the new stylistic choices (e.g. main website pages, marketing materials.)
Your Final Brand Refresh Checklist
- Have you conducted research and discovery?
- Are your customer personas accurate, up-to-date and relevant to the brand refresh?
- What messaging will you use to express the new identity of your brand?
- Is the visual identity updated and fit for purpose (i.e. does it tell your story)?
- Do all staff understand the brand refresh and are they all using the same updated elements?
- Have you rolled out the new refreshed materials across digital, print and other mediums?
- Are there any misalignments between your messaging, visual identity and overall goals that need rectifying?
- Is the refreshed identity helping to draw in the customers that you expect?
If you can answer ‘yes’ to all of the above, then congratulations! Your brand refresh is complete. All that’s left now is to ensure consistency and monitor the success of your refreshed identity - good luck!
A brand refresh is a crucial task for any company, and it can be daunting to undertake. However, with the right research, strategy and implementation your refreshed identity can reach new heights and help to increase customer loyalty.
If you're looking for some expert support with your brand refresh project, our branding professionals are always happy to help. We understand the complexities involved in creating a successful brand refresh project, so let our team of professionals manage it for you - freeing up your time.
Grab your free brand health check today to get started!