Wednesday, February 15, 2012

What's in a Brand?

A lot of people get excited about branding.  It’s like an art project for grownups.  And who wouldn’t be excited?  It signifies a new beginning.  It’s fun to be creative and produce a sexy new image that incorporates all that your organization is and aspires to be!

But is rebranding always practical?

I worked with a company that had limited marketing dollars and was very surprised to see people advocating for a trendy rebrand suggested by a consultant.  Not only were design fees unaffordable and unbudgeted, but undisclosed costs associated with updating marketing materials, signage, and other branded items would send costs through the roof.  Worse still, none of that expense would have helped bring clients in the door.

Rebranding is an investment, and more so than not, the return on that investment just isn’t there. 

Another company I worked with didn’t know when to stop.  Every year, color pallets changed, requiring disposal of old materials and time spent redesigning and printing new ones.  First, they asserted color was the trend.  The next year, it was white space.  Then, it was back again to color.

Consistency is key to successful branding.  Frequent changes can cause additional expense and confusion among consumers.

Although an updated look can be refreshing and necessary, sometimes rebranding projects become an expensive distraction.  In such cases, our time could be better spent developing the reputation and consistency of our brand instead of changing it altogether.

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