Given the huge amount of uncertainty enveloping the UK and indeed the world during the pandemic, you can see why businesses may feel that now is not the time to be investing in a brand refresh. I disagree (unsurprisingly) and in this blog I will explain why I disagree, but first of all let me ask you a question...with so many businesses altering their offerings, changing their attitudes and essentially adapting the very fabric of their business to adjust to life during and after COVID, isn't now the perfect time to ensure that your branding and brand identity match all that hard work you have put in?
What even is a brand refresh?
Defining what a brand refresh is can be tricky, like trying to define what 'design' is, but I will do my best to lay it out as simply as I can. There are a number of different elements that make up a brand; these include tone of voice, colour palette, logo, typography, website and a whole lot more. Over time, unless these elements are updated and maintained, they can become representative of how a business used to be and not what it currently stands for. A brand refresh addresses the key aspects of a businesses' brand and tweaks various parts to present a new updated image that embraces everything the business currently stands for. In many cases it is only a few elements that might need tweaking, for example, there may not be a defined colour palette, the business may be using way too many fonts, or perhaps the logo looks like it was designed on clipart...
Ok, that all sounds great but I have so much going on right now, I don't have time for it.
The process of refreshing a brand or creating a new identity can be one of the most fun processes a business can go through. It revisits all the reasons WHY the business was created in the first place, what makes it different, what is it trying to achieve, what the business believes in, what it values most, and where it wants to go. Addressing all these points can often ignite a wave of passion and fire that helped create the business in the first place. A brand refresh is certainly not a chore and should be seen as more of a therapeutic journey through what makes your business special...and what business owner wouldn't want to do that?!
I do admit that does sound quite fun, what aspects of my brand should we refresh?
I would always recommend the first step would be a visual and verbal audit (cue the eye roll) . Instead of the scary kind, this audit would simply help a business find areas of strengths and weaknesses in their brand. From then on the three main elements of a brand I would suggest looking to refresh are the logo, colour palette and typography. All three of those elements can wield huge psychological power on the human brain so it is essential to have them all pulling in the same direction.
In such uncertain times I'm not sure we have the budget for it?
It is a crazy world we now live in and your number one priority should always be the sustainability of your business, so it is key that all expenditure is carefully considered. What I cannot stress enough however, is how much a strong brand identity can do for your business without you lifting a finger. Often businesses get stuck in the trap of feeling they need to spend huge amounts on advertising when all that can do is highlight flaws. Humans now in this digital universe can take fractions of a second to decide if they like what they see and with 'every man and his dog' out there competing for attention, now businesses cannot afford to waste fractions of a second. So I would argue that a brand refresh could well be an extremely wise investment.
Good point, I don't want to jump into anything though?
You should never commit to a brand refresh until you are 100% confident that the company you are working with to carry it out understands on an emotional level why your business came to be and what it believes in. As mentioned above, this process can be an enlightening and deeply passionate adventure so it is key you go on that journey with the right people.
Ok, let's go for it! But why should I choose WOOD&HAM?
We were founded by myself (Lewis) and my fiancee Imogen, as we both share a deep knowledge and passion for the arts. We believe that branding is art and should be treated as such. We don't just sit behind screens; we sketch, we paint, we write, we create, we do everything we can to utilise our artistic eye and artistic approach in every project we take on. We only work with businesses that appreciate the power of art.
Branding expert Marty Neumeier once wrote: "a brand is a person's gut feeling about a product, service or organisation" which we believe sums up perfectly the importance of a 'brand'.