Fight Brand Boredom!

Why you shouldn't give your brand an extreme makeover (and what you should do instead)

Many times, I get comments like, “We need a new look,” or “I see the same photos and lookalike layouts until I’m sick of them.”

Being bored with your “look” is a terrible reason for changing it. To be frank, your feelings don’t really matter. A company’s catalogs, ads and commercials may be gaining momentum at the same time you’ve become bored with them. That’s right: when you become bored with your logo, ad format, color scheme or commercial, the general public may have just remembered it!

To help learn your customers’ feelings, start by asking these questions:

  • Are overall sales trending up, down or flat during a similar time of year?
  • Are customers coming back to purchase?
  • Is your 12-month buyer count remaining steady? Growing? Declining?

If indicators are good, chances are your customers are mostly happy. The old adage, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” is a good rule to remember.

Now, that doesn’t mean you can’t freshen up some things. But, make it evolutionary, not revolutionary. Your customers appreciate familiar things about your brand. Familiarity is comfortable and helps build confidence. However, customers like fun and interesting changes within the context of your familiar and comfortable brand, so small changes are good.

Keep in mind that successful brands should gradually evolve to stay relevant. Even the most successful companies change over time. Here are some steps to consider in your evolution:

  1. Keep track of changing design and color trends, especially in your industry.
  2. Watch your competitors and monitor your customers’ behaviors in other areas. For example, if they’re reading Architectural Digest, they’ll respond to a much different design style than if they’re reading Midwest Living.
  3. Watch for new competitors. Are they copying you? If so, remain a step ahead of copycat competition by finding ways to appear innovative.
  4. Follow your competitors and study not only their advertising and marketing efforts, but study their products, prices and service. If what you really need is a product/service reboot, new ad designs won’t help much.

Even when indicators are good and sales are growing, a fresh infusion of design is good. However, do it in baby steps to align with your customers’ evolving design perceptions, while also staying inside their comfort zone.   

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