For some B2B businesses, the term ‘brand’ means nothing more than a logo and tagline – this could not be further from the truth. Your brand is what sets your organisation apart from the rest. It tells your customers who you are, what you do and why you do it (or at least it should). And it’s for this very reason it’s fundamental that your B2B branding is kept up to date – but how can you tell when it’s time for a brand refresh?
We may not like it, but change is inevitable. With new technology comes new trends, preferences and needs – not to mention new entrants to market. If you want your brand to survive, you need to adapt and evolve. But the trick is knowing when it’s right to do so. Luckily for you, we’ve compiled a handy list of 4 signs that indicate your B2B branding is in need of a refresh. And in today’s saturated market, the more you can do to distinguish your brand and allow your target audience to connect with you, the better.
So, without further ado, let’s jump into it.
#1 Your brand’s visual identity is outdated
The first indication that your brand identity needs a refresh is your look. It’s all very well saying, “Don’t judge a book by its cover”, but the sad reality is, nine out of ten people will. In fact, it takes the average person around 0.05 seconds to form an opinion about your website – so make sure that the first impression is a good one!
For a B2B brand, building the right visual identity is key. You need to consider everything from your logo to your colour palette to your brand imagery. And with the recent pandemic accelerating the move toward a digital world, most importantly of all, you need to consider how your branding will look online.
Take your logo, for example. Whilst an elaborate logo may look great on paper and make a mark on the high street, the detail is unlikely to translate well as a favicon or on a banner ad. Both your brand messaging and visuals need to be flexible for use across online and offline channels. So prioritise consistency and keep your story and visual identity clear and simple.
Top tip: A brand style guide should be in place to ensure everyone within your business has a clear set of guidelines to follow when it comes to your B2B branding. This will help to ensure consistency and, in turn, build a stronger brand.
#2 Your current B2B branding isn’t speaking to your customers
Why does branding matter for your B2B organisation? Your brand helps to humanise your business, allowing you to build bonds and obtain clients that last a lifetime.
Whilst good branding will look the part, great branding will do it all. From building trust and making your brand more memorable to providing purpose for your employees and attracting loyal clients. Branding is responsible for a lot, and when done correctly, can have a huge impact on your business.
But don’t be fooled – whilst branding can bring mass benefits for your B2B business, it shouldn’t have mass appeal. By this, we mean successful branding will speak directly to your target audience – it won’t appeal to everyone. You need to highlight their wants, values, needs and preferences and tailor your branding to suit this. As your target audience evolves and changes, your brand must too.
It’s normal for your target demographic to change as your business grows – just make sure you refresh your branding accordingly. Equally, if your target audience remains the same, the people within that group will evolve, so be sure to carry out regular reviews & keep up with your research!
Top tip: A great brand will be backed by analytical thinking. By doing consumer research, you can tailor your USP and branding to your target audience – and relevance is key when it comes to sales.
#3 Your business is growing (so your brand must evolve)
So your B2B business has expanded – fantastic news! Now, what about your brand? Whilst a strong brand should be flexible and buildable, if you are introducing new services or changing your offering completely, you’ll want to refresh your B2B branding.
B2B software company Zendesk began life with a single product offering. They then quickly expanded to offer six varied products which led them to realise they had outgrown their original logo. In 2016, they underwent a brand refresh to ensure their branding aligned with their goals and appealed to a larger audience of professionals. The results? A sophisticated, impactful B2B brand identity that encapsulates the business perfectly.
Top tip: When rebranding your B2B business, you need to strip it back to basics. Think about every aspect of your business and take a step back to reflect on when you are now and the direction you want to take.
#4 The time is right for a B2B branding refresh
This last one may seem obvious, but the longer you leave your brand the same, the more outdated and irrelevant it will become. Whilst your core offering may have remained the same, have your values, mission and target audience (plus the rest) truly remained the same?
Generally, you’ll want to consider refreshing your brand every 3-5 years. This doesn’t mean a complete brand overhaul, but rather just reviewing your branding to ensure it’s still aligned with your offering, values, goals and target audience. If you’re struggling to get to grips with the need for a brand refresh internally, take it elsewhere. Ask for help from the people that matter most to your B2B brand – your customers.
Top tip: 88% of consumers say they value authenticity when it comes to branding, so ensure your mission & values align with your actions.
This list is simply the starting point. No one knows your B2B brand better than you. So take a step back and leave time to reflect on your brand to establish whether a refresh or complete overhaul is right for you. It’s no small feat, so don’t go through it alone. Get in touch to organise your free consultation and let us guide you through the branding process & build an identity that will be with you for the long run.