We are so pleased to welcome Alison Joshi, founder of JWJ Design as our guest blogger for March.
JWJ Design offers a full suite of brand and design services ranging from workshops that introduce clients to the benefits of branding effectively; right through to developing a brand and rolling it out across all touchpoints and marketing channels.
This blog takes a look at rebranding your business – when is the right time and what should you be focusing on.
As a small business owner making sure your business brand image is the best it can be is extremely important, and yet when you are so close to something it can be difficult to know when you might need to rebrand your business. For many businesses that set up 20 years ago there was no such thing as social media marketing and they probably just about had a website. Today your brand is everywhere, from your social media business pages, through to your website and printed marketing, so you need to make sure it is working as best as it can.
Since the Covid pandemic hit last year many businesses have turned their attention to their online presence and realised that the visual message they are putting out there is not necessarily communicating their services, product or business personality effectively.
This sudden focus on your businesses in the online environment is a catalyst for thinking about the visual image you are projecting to your potential clients. One of the first signs that your brand image is in need of some attention is when people start confusing what it is that you do and the service you offer. Perhaps they assume you are too cheap or too expensive for them, either way if they are your target market then you need to reassess how you are talking to them visually.
QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF
Here are some questions you can ask yourself about your business that may help outline if you need to invest in your branding:
• Has your business changed direction? Are you now specialising in a different sector or offering a slightly different service?
• Have you started losing out to competitors? Has a new business launched in your market and taking away some of your clients?
• Is the company a family-run business that has stuck with the same brand focus for the past 20 years? The world is a very different place to 20 years ago and your target market will have possibly changed, or their shopping habits and how they purchase goods and services definitely will have.
• Are you bored and tired of your business brand image? Do you dislike the way everything looks and feels whenever you create any marketing?
• Does all your marketing look and feel different? Are there different fonts and colours used in your social, online and printed marketing pieces?
• Do you only have a logo and no brand assets to use in your marketing? (For example; fonts, colours, graphic or image assets.)
• Do you apologise for the way your business looks when speaking to new clients or when networking?
If you answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions then you do need to think about a rebrand or refresh.
SO WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A REBRAND AND A REFRESH?
Rebranding a business from scratch
When rebranding a business JWJ Design would look at your business in detail; who your target market is, what values you want to project about your business and how that can be reflected in your logo, colours, fonts, graphic shapes and imagery. It is starting from the beginning and stripping back what is essential and important about your business. It is not just simply designing a pretty logo, it is making sure that the logo and brand is right for your business and that it will last as the business evolves and grows over time.
A brand refresh
A refresh is as it says, just refreshing certain elements of the logo and brand. It could be that when looking at the business the main emblem or logo still works but the colour palette or supporting fonts need to be updated and modernised.
Sometimes clients with limited finances may choose to go for a refresh in the short term with a long term plan to rebrand in a few years. This short term option just helps lift their business image and ensure they start to talk in the right way to their clients or customers.
Alison Joshi is the creative director and founder of JWJ Design, a design studio dedicated to elevating small and medium businesses in their respective categories through the use of strong, consistent branding in print and online.