A brand review – what is it and why you might need one

A brand review – what is it and why you might need one

A brand review – what is it and why you might need one

Brand Review

Your brand isn’t just your logo – it’s the entire identity of your business. And if you’re not seeing the growth that you think you should, it could be that your business is struggling with a mistaken identity. That’s why it’s vital to regulary review your brand and ask yourself a few honest questions such as:

– Does your brand truly capture who you are?

– Is what you’re saying about yourself line up with what your customers are saying about you?

– Can your target market easily recognise your brand and identify with its values?

– Does your brand set your business apart enough from your competitors?

If you don’t know, or you’re not sure about any of these questions – then your identity could be having a severe impact on your business.

 

What is a Brand Review?

A Brand Review is an exploratory study that aims to understand your current brand’s effectiveness, evaluating your brand and combining a range of objective observations, factual data and marketing analysis to see how your brand aligns to its stated goals. It applies this data to the wider landscape, checking how the performance positions your business within the market.

A Brand Review will determine where you need to invest in your brand, and how much to invest. The goal is to save your company valuable time and unnecessary spending in the long term by making the changes you should make clear, right now.

 

The Brand Review process

A branding agency should cover these 4 keys areas in a Brand Review.

1. Consultation
The process starts by gathering information from a client about the current state of their business and establishing immediate and long-term goals. Using evidence from any existing marketing plans the agency identifies the mission, USP and positioning of the company. In doing this, they can compare the objectives of the business against the motives, likes and dislikes of the target market, thereby identifying the challenges the consumer faces and what your brand can promise them.

2. Evaluate the competition
In most cases, your business won’t be the only show in town. You may believe it offers the best in service, but the competition will believe they do too. A Brand Review looks at competitors and weighs up the potential implications of their branding and marketing – and, crucially, the impact that has on the client’s business.

3. Assess the effectiveness of the marketing assets
The agency will collect and critique everything from a company’s logo, business stationery, brochures and sales sheets to its online presence such as websites, email marketing campaigns, digital newsletters, social media profiles and content marketing strategies and ask:

– Is there consistency across all media?

– Do they answer to the brand values?

– How effectively does each piece target the core customer?

4. Identify opportunities for growth
Investing in a brand is about positioning the business in the best possible place, where the target audience can clearly see it and understand what benefits it can offer them. Overall, a Brand Review is designed to highlight the challenges a business is facing and provide its owners with potential areas for improvement – whether it’s making strategic adjustments to an existing brand to enhance its performance, or taking the opportunity to refresh the branding completely.

5. Define a direction for change
Change can be hard for any business owner, but sometimes the world shifts and forces a company to evolve with it. With a Brand Review, creative minds with decades of industry insight and design nouse can analyse your current brand offer and define not just where it sits right now, but where it could sit in the future – saving you time, money and effort in the long run.

 

Contact us if you would like to undertake a Brand Review.

Think! Associates Limited
Victoria House, Victoria Street, Taunton TA1 3FZ
+44 (0)1823 423212
studio@thinkassociates.co.uk

© Think! Design Associates Ltd

Website designed by us, naturally!

© Think! Design Associates Ltd

Website designed by us, naturally!

The basics of colour psychology

The basics of colour psychology

The basics of colour psychology

Colour psychology is the cornerstone of good design. What does your brand’s hue say about your business – and even you as its owner? In the first part of a series, design partner Alan Grant explains colour psychology and how it applies to every industry.

For a more in-depth look into specific colours and their perceived values, we have another blog post you might like to read here.

Think! Associates Limited
Victoria House, Victoria Street, Taunton TA1 3FZ
+44 (0)1823 423212
studio@thinkassociates.co.uk

© Think! Design Associates Ltd

Website designed by us, naturally!

© Think! Design Associates Ltd

Website designed by us, naturally!

Five reasons your business should evolve during the pandemic

Five reasons your business should evolve during the pandemic

Five reasons your business should evolve during the pandemic

The current crisis could be the perfect time to rebrand your business

The coronavirus pandemic has touched us all in more ways than we ever could have imagined. From unprecedented restrictions on our freedom of movement to state-implemented economic intervention, it seems as though things may never truly go back to how they were at the start of 2020. Bizarrely, that makes it potentially the perfect time to rebrand and rethink your business. Hear us out.

As a society – one driven by business – we’ve learned a number of industry-altering lessons since the first UK lockdown started in March 2020. Sectors that seemed untouchable were suddenly rocked by uncertainty and brands we thought would stand the test of time reported losses their shareholders could never have seen coming. It’s a changed world for many businesses, who are either battling to survive under the severest of restrictions on their manufacturing, distribution and day-to-day operations, or enjoying a boom in popularity that’s already starting to attract competition.

In times like this, buzzwords like ‘pivot’ and ‘strategise’ start to infiltrate business columns and board meetings – but what does ‘pivoting’ actually look like when it comes to your brand? Should you strip away the old and wow customers with something new and shiny, hoping it’ll attract their attention away from competitors… or even just remind them you’re still around? Here are five big reasons this crisis could be the opportunity your business has been waiting for.

 

Embrace the uncertainty

Taking advantage of a seismic shift in market profitability and consumer behaviour is just good business sense – after all, how many opportunities do you get to roll out that long-gestating logo rebrand or key messaging whilst everyone’s attention is elsewhere?

Many businesses are busy making sure their assets are secure for the foreseeable, so a change in your branding and strategy could be welcomed rather than simply dismissed or copied. It’s a chance to make your mark on your own terms, rather than having your hand forced by a shift in an otherwise healthy market that has your team scrambling for solutions.

 

Your current customers matter

Brands live and die on the people who rely on them, so unless your business offers a service that’s been all but made obsolete by the coronavirus pandemic, someone somewhere still wants what you have to offer. That’s something to treasure, and a pivot in marketing or product strategy could make your current customers value you even more, as well as giving you the edge over your competitors.

Remember, innovation isn’t just about designing a new product or changing your branding: a new content strategy, showing how customers are using your product or service during the crisis and encouraging them to provide and share their content with the world, can increase your visibility and importance in the market without costing the earth.

 

A serious brand audit takes serious focus

When trade is steady, we often overlook those quietly important elements of our business. Perhaps you’re a business owner with the majority of staff on furlough – using this time for activities you might have long put off, or not even considered, can pay dividends. When was the last time you looked at your branding critically, checked in on the effectiveness of your website copy in generating new leads, or identified the weak points in your communications strategy?

These things may not matter to you right now, but they’re likely to become more glaring as time goes on, and the current situation could be the opportunity to focus on key issues that would otherwise take your attention away from demanding daily decisions.

 

The market landscape is changing apace

When something as unprecedented as the Covid-19 outbreak happens, it makes changes to our world that we’d never have considered. This is especially true for businesses offering a service that other businesses have realised they can pivot to offer when times are tough: see dine-in-only restaurants now offering hitherto-unavailable takeaway and delivery services, directly competing against urban takeout stalwarts whose menus often mimicked those of their rivals precisely because they knew these businesses didn’t offer anything other than seated service. After all, catering for delivery services is inconvenient and costly when you’re running a restaurant, but easy when your venue is closed and you’ve got a series of fully-operational kitchens and staff who are used to getting meals out at speed.

When the market demands a change, businesses are the ones that need to respond. If not, it’s virtually guaranteed that another business will launch or rebrand to take the consumer demand from right in front of you.

 

You might not have a choice

Business is hard, and life is frequently unfair – just ask some of the small businesses who’ve seen their niche sectors infiltrated by bigger brands with more funding who have the capability and clout to take it from them.

The kind of crisis we’re in can show up certain market demands we always knew were there, but never truly appreciated: see the sudden dependency on the oft-overlooked delivery sector, which now tackles the high demands of both retail and commercial customers under scrutiny it’s never experienced before.

Taking the time to look at your business and understand where it’s going can prompt a determination to refocus that’s never been harder to ignore. Now more than ever, responding to market trends – such as recognising certain essential or on-trend products you could potentially offer, or identifying how your brand’s visual identity has drifted away from its core values or needs of its primary customer base  – puts you in a greater position of power… not just for the short term, but once this current state of global upheaval has settled into something we can all agree is the ‘new normal’.

 

Thinking about your brand in a new way this year?

Think! Associates is offering a Brand Review to businesses who are reassessing their market position in light of the Coronavirus pandemic. A Brand Review aims to understand the effectiveness of your business by combining a range of objective observations, factual data and marketing analysis.

Your Brand Review will show how your brand aligns to its key goals and determine where, when and how much you need to invest in your brand – saving you valuable time and money, and establishing long-term changes to put into practice right now.

Ready to explore the possibilities of your business? Get in touch today to find out what happens next.

Think! Associates Limited
Victoria House, Victoria Street, Taunton TA1 3FZ
+44 (0)1823 423212
studio@thinkassociates.co.uk

© Think! Design Associates Ltd

Website designed by us, naturally!

© Think! Design Associates Ltd

Website designed by us, naturally!

Five reasons why brand design is a must

Five reasons why brand design is a must

Five reasons why brand design is a must

Brand ColoursA business knows it’s onto a winning formula when its name, logo, colour scheme and values become instantly recognisable. A brand that reflects the business’s personality – communicating its purpose and key selling points with ease – builds familiarity and loyalty with customers.

What’s the secret to the formula? Does the secret even really exist? To find out, let’s break down the five key reasons why great brand design is a must for businesses and look at why it’s crucial to get each one right.

 

 

 

Nike swoosh1 – Branding is more than visual identity

Increasingly, a strong brand includes values and propositions that echo consumer sentiment: things like being open about diverse hiring practices, ethical credentials and responding effectively and transparently to market needs. The gold standard is when that simple logo makes people instantly think of the service and values that are important to them.

 

 

Uber on mobile phone2 – Branding makes your business stand out

The world is a crowded marketplace where even disruptor businesses like airbnb and Uber have had other disruptor brands trying to disrupt them. Despite this, the one thing a competitor can’t take away from a rival brand is that business’s identity – which is often so strong, people remember a logo, colour scheme or unique proposition long after that brand has disappeared from the marketplace. It’s why another car-sharing service would look too derivative if it named itself with a single German word or used white sans serif font on a black background: for better or worse, Uber has that branding cornered.

 

Chanel No 53 – A strong brand attracts loyal customers

When it comes to customer loyalty, often the smallest things are the most important: returning a product for free, getting an exclusive discount, or being open at times when people need to use the service most. The same goes for branding – having a clear, consistent visual identity engenders people’s trust and makes you a go-to business.

 

 

Apple Store Logo4 – Good branding keeps things consistent

With strong branding – which includes everything from logos to sales lines – a customer can expect the same visual and verbal messaging on whichever of your channels they land on. This gets more important as time goes on and your web of marketing channels increases. A customer might end up on your Instagram account before they’ve ever seen a social media ad or Google search result that takes them to your website, so it’s essential to make sure they know they’re interacting with the same brand.

 

Brand strategy5 – Branding needs to be done right

The problem with branding is most people think they know how to do it. In reality, creating a truly unique logo, verbal proposition and sustainable, long-term brand plan takes deep knowledge of the brand process. If you’re starting up a business and want to define the brand, get some advice from a branding professional and they’ll help you bring your brand dreams to life.

 

 

Time to rethink your brand strategy? Perhaps you don’t have one yet. We’re here for free advice and a friendly chat – get in touch.

Think! Associates Limited
Victoria House, Victoria Street, Taunton TA1 3FZ
+44 (0)1823 423212
studio@thinkassociates.co.uk

© Think! Design Associates Ltd

Website designed by us, naturally!

© Think! Design Associates Ltd

Website designed by us, naturally!

Five rebrands that didn’t work, and why

Five rebrands that didn’t work, and why

Five rebrands that didn’t work, and why

Because all the money in the world can’t make a design misstep look good.

 

A rebrand is an anxious time for business owners: what will it say about their brand, how much will it cost and – crucially – how will customers take it? So, you can imagine the mortified looks when a costly change of positioning (and we’re talking *millions*) doesn’t take off – or even fails so spectacularly you wonder why they bothered changing things in the first place. Here are five of the most notoriously negative rebrands.

 

Tropicana

Staple of hotel breakfast buffets, Tropicana juice cartons had a sleek makeover in 2009 that swapped its hallmark logo and lush fruit imagery for a pared-back but ultimately ubiquitous redesign.

Consumers failed to recognise the cartons as the brand they’d become accustomed to and domestic sales dropped by around 20%, hitting both the juicemaker and the farmers who supply it. Observing the poor reception, Tropicana swiftly reverted back to the original branding and pretended the whole thing never happened.

 

Mastercard

Sometimes it’s adding elements, rather than taking them away, that causes the issue. Mastercard did the opposite of Tropicana and made their branding design more complex, adding in a new element between the two iconic circles that have become synonymous with the credit card issuer.

The redesign was not well received, although the logo did need an update: Mastercard simply made the circles intersecting block colours, giving their infamous logo a more contemporary edge. The design with three circles is now used for its corporate communications instead.

 

Weight Watchers

The weight management company decided to do away with not just its old logo but its entire identity when it rebranded in 2018. The CEO said the ‘WW’ insignia doesn’t stands for anything, but the ‘Wellness that Works’ strapline might be – according to some – a cynical ploy to pivot from its traditional dieting model into something that promotes more sustainable changes to health and lifestyle. By overhauling the design into something simpler, and adopting a darker shade of blue than its previous branding, many felt WW’s identity looked too ubiquitous and corporate: not ideal for a product that’s designed to be approachable, accessible and concerned about the health and wellbeing of its users on a personal level.

Like Tropicana, this *ahem* slimmed-down reimagining of the Weight Watchers identity both won and lost consumer support, with many left confused as to what services the company would now be offering them. Customer concern wasn’t enough to deter WW though – the brand has stuck by its new identity to this day.

 

PwC

When most people think of accounting powerhouse PriceWaterhouseCoopers, they thankfully don’t remember the failed 2002 attempt to rebrand its consulting arm to Monday. Achingly on-trend at the time, it was perhaps too cool for its own good, seeming a great distance from the altogether corporate functions of the business.

The brand was met with unsurprising derision and, despite its parent firm’s continued support, it was bought by IBM and the Monday identity was expunged by the merger. The twist in the tale is that PriceWaterhouseCoopers then decided to rebrand their own identity, producing the actually-quite-sensible PwC logo– because who really ever said the name in full anyway?

 

Pepsi

Whether you’re a creative or a brand owner, sometimes your desire for a change in design can turn a straightforward process into a parody of itself. Take the example of Pepsi, which spent a considerable amount of money with agency Arnell to turn its iconic logo into something… well, basically exactly the same. Apparently, the agency’s rationale for the reimagined logo was extensive and abstract, which makes the near-identical design of the ‘rebranded’ identity rather perplexing.

Perhaps reassuringly, the public seemed largely apathetic to the rebrand – possibly because Pepsi’s subsequent advertising missteps were so infamously ill-judged.

 

 

Are you thinking about rebranding but want to avoid a design disaster? Get in touch to find out more about brand consulting and how it can transform your business.

Think! Associates Limited
Victoria House, Victoria Street, Taunton TA1 3FZ
+44 (0)1823 423212
studio@thinkassociates.co.uk

© Think! Design Associates Ltd

Website designed by us, naturally!

© Think! Design Associates Ltd

Website designed by us, naturally!