Evolution, not Revolution, is the key to a successful brand refresh!
If you think about companies that have been around for decades, most of them go through a brand refresh at some point. Think about Pepsi, Starbucks, and even Google! It is rarer that a company undergoes a complete overhaul, but it happens when an opportunity is identified. AFLAC is a great example of this, trading their outdated typography and icons of people to a more-modern font in cool blue and a duck.
How to tell if your brand needs a refresh:
Rarely do I suggest a full brand overhaul as my clients have worked hard to establish their brands and often a refresh will do the trick. The nice thing about a refresh is the essence of your brand is still there so when a client receives an email from you with your signature line, they receive your newsletter in the mail, or they go to your website, it isn’t like they are encountering a whole new company. They can easily make the connection to the new brand.
For example, when Pepsi updated their logo a few years ago, they didn’t get rid of their iconic blue and red, nor the circle, but they did update the font and the wave. If you were at your corner market, looking for a Pepsi, it was easy to find. That is a successful brand refresh.
How do you know if you need a refresh? If your brand elements are outdated, it is no longer functional, you aren’t excited about it, or it is no longer telling your story, then a refresh can be just what your brand needs!
An elemental approach to a brand refresh:
The first step is to assess what is and is not working with your brand to focus the brand refresh. Here are some elements to review individually:
- Photo – A great first step is to take an objective look at your photo. Is this how you look when you show up to meet with a client? Is your hair still styled in the same way? Is your hair color the same? Are your facial features the same? Has the style of your clothing moved on? If any of these has experienced a shift in how you show up day-to-day, this is a great time to get a new photo. Often, the photo itself is an instigator for refreshing a brand.
- Logo – Due to the rise in social media and the expansion of online profiles, the need has never been greater for a strong stand-alone logo. The photo and logo together are the two strongest elements of the whole brand. Therefore, having a strong logo with your business name clear and easily-readable is critical. If your logo is too busy, with too many colors, or hard-to-read fonts, getting your logo refreshed may be a great starting point. Additionally, you may need a logo that has horizontal, square, and vertical options for the various ways you utilize your logo online.
- Structure – How one’s brand and templates work together also has some looking for a refresh. Perhaps due to the types of property marketing photos they take, they want a center-aligned brand versus the sidebar-aligned brand they preferred originally. Take a look at the structure examples below. You will gravitate more towards certain structures dependent on your preferences and how you might use your branded materials:
- Function – Some agents need a brand refresh because something in their brand is keeping them from utilizing it the way they want or across all the platforms they want. For example, sometimes agents will come back to us after using, say, their house flyer, for a while. Perhaps they are printing it at their office printer due to the speed of the market and they just don’t like how the color is coming out. They want to keep the color, but use less of it so on one particular piece and then apply that change universally. Or another example might be an agent who wants to create templates for posting on Facebook and Instagram but they don’t have elements of their brand that will allow them to do that. Sometimes just a few tweaks are needed or additional options created to increase the functionality.
Do any of the above challenges sound familiar? In that case, a brand refresh may indeed be in order. Not sure where to start? Get inspired by some of our Before-and-Afters!
Before and Afters:
We have tackled many brand refreshes over the years and love seeing how our clients’ businesses evolve. Here are three brand refresh success stories:
We originally helped June with her brand in the early 2000s. She had wanted something at the time to be eye-catching and also work cohesively with her Windermere brand – hence the red with the blue color palette. Since then, June had really honed her market to focusing on higher-end listings and had made a name for herself in her highly-competitive farm area. Design preferences had gone away from so much color and instead the focus needed to be on the photographic elements of the listing rather than on the colors of the brand. Therefore, her brand refresh required more white space and some much more-refined visuals with a single repeating graphic (see the hidden Js and Gs?). She enlisted the help of an artist to create her custom signature (so unique!) and had an updated photo. Wow! What a great After!
Barbara had been utilizing her original gold and brown brand that we built for her originally for over a decade. It had served her well, but she was ready for a fresh update. She wanted to keep a color close to the gold, but fresher, and wanted the whole brand to feel lighter so her listing photos would really pop. The artistic swirls we built for her originally got to come out of the box and serve as a nice organic element. Barbara also had a unique vision for her monogram logo which, when tied to an updated version of her name logo, pulled everything together and it can also stand on its own for social media purposes. And of course, her new photo is amazing!
Kitty had also used her original brand for about a decade, honoring the four seasons of her unique Cle Elum market. While previously, shades of blue framed up the wave with the photos of the seasons, Kitty wanted more white space to allow those colors in the photos to really pop. We also created a texture with shades of gray for providing additional structure to the brand. Her logo underwent a slight update as did the fonts. Her updated photo was the icing on the cake AND her amazing mane of red hair helped the colors in the photo wave really pop!
I am not sure if I need a brand refresh or how to get started.
That is where we come in! Even if you had a brand or logo created with another company or designer, we would be happy to provide you with our honest assessment, even if that means it is perfect just the way it is! We want to see your photo, your brand, your logo – whatever you’ve got!
Schedule your complimentary consultation at the link below and we will be in touch with an email to set up the Zoom or phone call (your choice). From that call, you will be sure about your next step in your brand refresh process.
Interested in learning more about presenting the market to sellers? Need more sellers in your pipeline? Want to learn how to manage conflict, speak your truth, and make more money?
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By Denise Lones CSP, M.I.R.M., CDEI – The founding partner of The Lones Group, Denise Lones, brings nearly three decades of experience in the real estate industry. With agent/broker coaching, expertise in branding, lead generation, strategic marketing, business analysis, new home project planning, product development, Denise is nationally recognized as the source for all things real estate. With a passion for improvement, Denise has helped thousands of real estate agents, brokers, and managers build their business to unprecedented levels of success, while helping them maintain balance and quality of life.