There are several reasons why branding may not feel aligned or right anymore. When our business grows or when your business plan changes then your branding can feel misaligned and you need to be able to re-evaluate your business.
Here are a few common factors to consider: 1. Your business has grown When your business grows and evolves, it's goals, values, target audience, or offerings may change and become more refined as you figure out your target market and get feedback from customers. If you branded your business in the early stages of your business now you're five years in it probably feels misaligned and needs to be reevaluated. If you love your brand this doesn't mean that you have to redesign the entire brand if you don't think it's necessary. If you feel like only the fonts need to change to match your new brand vibe or to be more eligible then just change the fonts and keep everything else the same. Or if you feel like the colors are a little bit too bright and you want to mute them a little to be a little more sultry then just update the color palate. You get the picture. Of course, if you feel like you need to update the whole brand then restart your brand strategy to match your newly evolved, values, services, and offerings.
2. You no longer stick out from the crowd In the business world, it's important for your brand to stand out and differentiate itself from competitors. If your branding is unable to state what makes you different it may feel generic or average. Average will never be able to standout from the crowd. The businesses that stand out from the crowd are businesses that have authentic beliefs, values, and a memorable look and brand personality. What are you going to remember more? A business with a generic minimalist look or a business with a personality-filled layout, and custom color palette with minimalist touches that is filled with their unique personality and brand vibe. In a world where way too many small businesses don't see the importance of branding know that if your business is branded you're going to automatically stick out from everyone else and have a competitive advantage.
3. You have an Inconsistent Brand Experience Branding is more than aesthetics. It's about the entire customer experience. Let's step away from the aesthetics of a brand for one moment. Something that can be inconsistent is your brand voice. If you're messaging, promises, and values of your brand have inconsistencies then it will confuse your customers. All of this comes down to clarity in your business. If you're not sure what you want to sell yet or what your values are, then the messaging of your business might be a bit messy. Let's look at a real-life brand as an example. Suppose Nike, a brand known for its inspirational messaging and dedication to helping athletes meet their needs, suddenly starts promoting luxury fashion items, like high-end handbags and designer watches.
This new direction creates a mismatched message because it deviates from it's core values and target audience.
Nike's customers, who are used to associating the brand with sports performance and athletic gear, may feel confused or disconnected by this sudden shift toward luxury fashion. The inspirational and athletic brand that Nike has built its reputation on would no longer align with the new product line.
This mismatched message could lead to a loss of brand identity, customer trust, and loyalty. It may also cause potential customers who are looking for athletic gear to look elsewhere since the brand's core message no longer resonates with their needs. Back to the aesthetics of a brand let's say that you sell makeup to women over 45 but your visual brand uses bold bright colors and brand elements and patterns that look like they were created for teenage girls. You're branding is going to feel misaligned and not make sense to your target market. Another way you might be giving your customers an inconsistent experience is if your website, social media, and flyers use different, fonts, colors and styles. You always want to make sure that at every touch point, where customers interact with your business matches and looks like it's coming from the same business. 4. Outdated Visual Elements
If you created your brand from trendy styles like colorful gradients or a cool pattern that was in at the time then your brand is not going to feel like you because these visual elements are now outdated and no longer trendy. When you go to rebrand this is a great time to pull elements that reflect your values and how you really want your customers to perceive you rather than just choosing elements because its trendy. You really want each design choice to be intentional.
Rather than trying to be trendy, you really want to embrace your unique identity and showcase your authentic personality in your branding. This way your brand stands out and with your audience on a deeper and more meaningful level. 5. Cluttered or Busy Design Overly complex or cluttered designs are super overwhelming to the viewer and make it difficult for them to understand or connect with your brand. Know that you don't need to fill in every single inch of space when you go to create your marketing materials. In fact, having white space or just empty space in a design gives your eye time to relax. The more simple and easy it is to understand the design the more professional it looks. When you walk into the dollar store there are so many things on the shelf and everywhere you look. It's super overwhelming and really gives off that cheap vibe. If you were to walk into a Coach store there is space in between each bag. Maybe there's only one bag of each style that is displayed and having their store on the simpler side makes everything more luxurious and high-end. If you're finally at the point of your business where you want to look more professional and high end then maybe it's time to take a look at your graphics to make sure things don't look cluttered and overdesigned.
6. Misaligned Color Palette Colors evoke emotions and convey meanings. If the colors used in your brand design don't align with your brand values, target audience, or industry expectations, that can certainly create a sense of disconnect. Let's say you've got this amazing idea for a brand-new line of eco-friendly and sustainable skincare products, perfect for health-conscious consumers like yourself.
Your brand is all about embracing natural beauty, being environmentally responsible, and sourcing ingredients ethically – a true reflection of your values.
If your brand uses bold and aggressive colors like red and black they might not be the best fit for your vision. Those colors are also not industry expectations, you don't ever see a health-conscious sustainable brand using red and black as thier main colors. Red and black give off feelings of excitement or urgency, which, let's be honest, don't really align with the calming and nature-inspired message you want to convey.
Your target audience, who are environmentally conscious individuals, love soft and earthy tones that mirror the natural ingredients in your skincare products. Choosing the wrong colors might leave them feeling confused and you feeling disconnected from your brand and its values.
7. Ineffective Logo Design
Your logo isn't the end all be all of your brand but it is a crucial element of brand design. If your logo lacks impact, fails to communicate your brand essence, or doesn't resonate with your target audience, it may be time for a redesign.
Imagine you're a startup company that specializes in creating premium, handmade chocolates with unique and exotic flavors. Your brand is all about luxury, indulgence, and delighting chocolate connoisseurs with extraordinary taste experiences. You've been in the market for a while, but you notice that your logo isn't quite hitting the sweet spot.
The current logo features a simple, generic font with the name of your brand in standard black color, and it's accompanied by a small, nondescript chocolate icon. While it may be clean and straightforward, it lacks the impact needed to stand out in a competitive market.
The problem lies in its failure to communicate the essence of your brand. The logo doesn't exude the luxury and uniqueness that your chocolates offer. Instead, it feels ordinary and fails to capture the attention of potential customers who are seeking an extraordinary chocolate experience.
The logo doesn't resonate with your target audience – those sophisticated chocolate enthusiasts who appreciate the artistry and craftsmanship behind your products. They would resonate better with a logo that gives off a sense of elegance and luxury, something that reflects the handcrafted nature of your chocolates.
To fix this misalignment, a logo redesign that aligns better with your brand's values and message will do the trick.
Consider incorporating elements that represent the artisanal aspect of your chocolates, such as using a custom, elegant font that exudes luxury. Additionally, an intricate chocolate illustration or a visually captivating pattern could better convey the uniqueness and excitement of your flavors.
If your logo doesn't feel right or excite you anymore it's definitely time for rebrand so your brand can feel like yourself again.
8. Your Brand Personality is Misaligned
Your brand design should accurately represent your brand's personality. If there is a disconnect between your brand's personality and the visual elements used in your design, your brand isn't going to feel right.
Lets say you have a brand that focuses on eco-friendly, sustainable, and ethically sourced fashion products.
Your core brand personality revolves around being down-to-earth, authentic, and environmentally conscious. Your target audience consists of environmentally conscious consumers who value ethical practices and appreciate nature-inspired aesthetics.
If the visual elements used in your branding has bold, flashy colors, and edgy, futuristic fonts, your giving off a completely different vibe rather than an eco-conscious, sustainable one.
The mismatch between your brand personality and the visual elements used in your branding can lead to confusion among your audience.
Your environmentally conscious customers might question whether your brand truly aligns with their values and whether you genuinely offer sustainable and ethically sourced products.
The inconsistency in brand personality can undermine your brand's alignment and credibility. Your audience might find it challenging to connect with your brand on a deeper level, affecting their overall brand loyalty and trust.
This would be the time to reevaluate your branding and make sure that it accurately represents your brand's personality. Consider using earthy, natural tones and organic shapes to evoke a sense of authenticity and environmental consciousness.
Use sustainable materials in your packaging and visual elements to reinforce your commitment to eco-friendliness.
Aligning your brand personality with the visual elements in your design will help you feel more connected to your brand. By doing so you create a cohesive and authentic brand experience. This connection will strengthen your bond with your target audience, building a loyal community of environmentally conscious customers who truly resonate with your brand's values and mission.
And those are 8 reasons why your branding doesn't feel like you and here they are again
1. Your business has grown and evolved, needing a reevaluation of your branding to match your refined goals, values, target audience, or offerings.
2. Failure to stand out from the crowd and differentiate yourself from competitors can make your branding feel generic or average, hindering your impact and recognition.
3. Inconsistent brand experience, whether in messaging, promises, or visual elements, can create confusion among customers, affecting brand clarity and loyalty.
4. Outdated visual elements, such as trendy designs that have become passé, may make your branding feel disconnected from your current values and message.
5. A cluttered or busy design overwhelms viewers, making it difficult for them to understand or connect with your brand.
6. A misaligned color palette that doesn't reflect your brand's values or resonate with your target audience can create a sense of disconnect.
7. Ineffective logo design can diminish your brand's impact and fail to communicate your brand essence or resonate with your target audience.
8. Your brand personality and the visual elements used in your design should align to create a cohesive and authentic brand experience. If your branding doesn't feel like you evaluating your branding and refining your brand elements; such as colors, fonts, patterns, images etc are essential to maintain alignment and relevance. By addressing these potential misalignments, you can make sure that your branding effectively communicates your brand's values, resonates with your target audience, and reflects the current state and aspirations of your business. Remember, branding is not a one-time activity; it requires continuous evaluation and adaptation as your business scales and shifts. If your branding feels misaligned or disconnected, it may be an opportunity to revisit and refine your brand strategy, messaging, visual identity, and customer experience to better reflect the current state of your business and resonate with your target audience.
If you need help with brand design and you would rather have someone to for you I would be happy to help check out my website at www.zsquaredstudio.com to see my work and if we're a good fit.
If you are looking for a cost friendly option of less than $300 and would rather rebrand your business yourself. I have a DIY brand yourself minicourse which you can find that www.zsquaredstudio.com/diybrand
And that's all I have for you today. I hope that you have gained a little bit of clarity in your branding journey and I hope to see you next time. Have a good day and happy designing bye.