Your brand is a living, breathing entity. It might seem like it is etched in stone because it is the north star for the essence of all that your business stands for, but that does evolve over time. Wouldn’t you agree?
Many factors can contribute to this evolution including competition, technological advancements, market demand, and, err pandemics. Evolving with your brand is a nuanced dance that requires a keen marketing eye to get right.
One of the worst things a business can do is take the “set-it and forget-it approach” or take such a left-turn that it loses any equity or recognition that it had built up.
Why does brand evolution happen?
Brand evolution might seem like a jargony marketing term, but what it refers to is an unavoidable growth pattern that happens to all businesses as they navigate the world around them. There are many factors that impact the brand (evolution) and lead it to evolve, such as:
Culture – As you staff up or staff down, your business’s culture begins to take form organically and authentically.
While you will most likely take some steps to mold the company’s culture, some of the ways it shakes out will be a result of your industry, your region, your product, and the dynamics of your team. This internal culture reflects outwardly in the form of, you guessed it – your brand.
Growth – I think it’s a safe and universal assertion to say that most businesses (at least at some point) have a growth agenda. This agenda could involve adding products, increasing market share or merger and acquisition activities – all of which can have an impact on the brand at the cross-section of major changes.
Market – Your brand will likely evolve for many reasons along the trajectory of your business’s life. One of those factors is likely to be related to the characteristics of your market.
External factors often mandate where your brand needs to remain the same and where it needs to evolve.
Rebranding vs. Evolution-Be decisive on your course of action. In order to do that, you need to understand the difference between rebranding and evolution.
Here’s the difference between the two initiatives:
- A Rebrand is a complete shift. Your brand will look and present completely differently. This includes a logo overhaul, a name change, or a messaging shift – or all of the above. Usually, a launch or prototyping initiative is required to explain the new look, feel, and what it stands for.
- Brand evolution is the sum of small shifts in response to business conditions. Brand evolution is more subtle and responsive in nature.
Assessing the audience – Marketers (present company included) are always looking for a show-stopping, groundbreaking idea. This is, of course, important to keeping things vibrant, fresh, and engaging. But, the user, customer, and the marketplace should always be factored into the creativity.
Know your audience and create branding that appeals to them. Just because your brand is uber-creative, does not automatically mean it will resonate with your target customers and prospects. Don’t overlook this key step.
Measuring response, traction, and ROI – As with any marketing effort, metrics should be considered. Understanding how and what metrics should be analyzed is a good step to take before a change is made. Your metrics might include things like customer surveys, social listening, or direct feedback from your sales or customer service team. This will help you gain a deeper understanding of your brand and how it relates (as a living, breathing organism) to its target audience.
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