A strong brand identity is vital; it’s literally how you present yourself to the world.
And just as your consumers are sure to grow, change and evolve over time, so, too, should an effective brand.
There are myriad challenges to refreshing a brand in the marketplace, especially in the fast-paced social media arena where brands build some of their most direct and effective relationships with existing and prospective consumers.
After all, 70% of marketers say consistent branding is the most important thing to keep in mind when communicating with existing customers, and 63% of consumers say a consistent branding experience impacts purchase decisions.
How do you refresh and revitalize a brand while maintaining consistency, and sustaining consumer trust and loyalty?
Augustine has encountered this plenty of times before, so we’ve developed a guide for refreshing brands on social media:
Conduct a Self-Audit
It’s important to take the time to re-learn everything you think you know about your existing brand. Go back through your creative brief, or even brainstorming notes that might precede the brief, to remember exactly how you arrived at your current brand.
Has this branding accomplished what we sought for it to achieve?
How was this branding received by target consumers, from launch to present day?
Does this brand stand out among industry competitors?
How has your target audience changed or evolved since your last re-branding?
How consistent have you been with your brand identity?
If your brand has done everything you’d hoped it would, consider what themes from this brand should live on in the refresh, and which should be dropped.
But if this exercise demonstrates a different path for your brand than originally planned, explore why that is. Was it for the better, perhaps teaching you something new about your own brand? Or did it lose sight of brand values, resulting in marketing collateral lacking a deeper meaning?
And, of course, audit your social media audiences. Developing things like audience profiles to help steer brand creative and messaging will always have value, but don’t forget to study who it is you’re already speaking to in your owned audiences and what kind of branding might best resonate with those users.
Develop a Brand Guide – And Stick to It!
The same study cited at the start of this blog also reported that only 25% of companies have formal brand guidelines that are strictly enforced. Twenty-five percent.
Was your brand one of the 75%? Inconsistent branding across various marketing touchpoints can fracture trust with consumers and keep an otherwise effective brand strategy from ever fully taking hold. So, before getting hung up in the rollout of a new brand, make sure every detail of your brand has been considered, documented, and enforced.
This will certainly include plenty of familiar elements to any brand guide: color palettes, a brand voice, font packages, etc. But take that all a step further to ensure branding is air-tight.
Do certain colors in your palette pair well together?
Do any clash in a way that should be avoided in marketing materials?
Is there a specific use-case for various typefaces?
And, of course, what are the themes of your brand. Consider how you’ll employ these creative elements in a way that naturally exudes a brand’s values.
For instance, if you’re an elegant brand, don’t leverage your color palette in cartoonish ways if your audience is most captivated by sharp, glossy, stunning imagery.
Map Out a Launch Plan
With an iron-clad brand guide in-hand, you’re now ready to prepare for launch on social media. Things move quickly in this space, so it’s important to have all your ducks in a row for a rollout that could span a few weeks.
First, develop all the necessary collateral for refreshed social channels. This will include profile photos and cover images and could also involve revisions to bios and “about” sections depending on how far your brand voice and messaging have evolved in this refresh. These are all elements you know you’ll need on Day 1 of your launch, and preparing these elements first can help guide other creative efforts that follow.
Next, make sure that all content that follows the launch of a new brand is crafted within your new brand guidelines. This is important to keep in mind when planning a launch date. If you have upcoming campaigns planned using creative that might contradict this refresh, it is worth considering waiting to launch following conclusion of these campaigns. Remember that not every organic follower sees every piece of content on every social media platform, so staying consistent within this new branding will allow it to register with more users over time.
Lastly, consider if you want to run any special tactics around the initial launch date.
Tease the new brand ahead of its launch to pique fan interest and draw more eyeballs for the launch.
On the day of the launch, develop creative that stands out from the more “standard” executions on your page, like an Instagram grid takeover or an Instant Experience ad on Facebook (formerly known as Canvas ads).
And if your brand has merch or free products/experiences that can be used as prizes, consider running a social media sweepstakes in correspondence with your brand launch to drive even greater engagement and growth.
Looking for More Help? Drop Us a Line!
Augustine’s award-winning creative and social media strategy teams are experts in re-branding, and we’d love to learn more about your brand!