Strategy: Does Your Brand Need a Makeover?

Should your brand get a makeover?

This is one of those “that depends” questions.

Before we get to the answer, let’s talk about what a brand is and what a good brand does. We can hone in on the definition of “brand” with three more questions:

  1. Is your logo your brand? Not exactly. But it does play an important role in your visual identity.
  1. So, what is your brand? Visually, it’s a combination of style (bold or subtle, simple or complex), fonts, colors, and positioning of your graphic and text. These elements are consistent in multiple environments.
  1. And what does your brand do? Not only does it communicate what your business is about and who your customers are, but it also sets your business apart from the competition. The best brands convey a personality and evoke a positive emotional reaction.

Take Coca-Cola® for example.

Coca-Cola logo sml

This brand is recognized around the world. It’s fun. It flows. It’s bold. It’s intimately tied to the experience of drinking a coke. But the brand hasn’t always been the same. Take a look at what they tried from 1890 to 1891 (The company was founded in 1886.)


Fun, yes. But what does it say about how it feels to drink a coke? Of course, when the drink was named, and in 1890, extracts of the coca leaf (cocaine), along with the kola nut (spelled with a ‘C” because it would “look nice”) were the formula’s two “medicinal” ingredients viagra cheap buy.

Since Coca-Cola’s script branding reappeared 125 years ago, it hasn’t changed much. Does this mean your brand should never change? Not necessarily. As renowned branding expert, Marty Neumeier, said in his book, The Brand Gap, “If people can change their clothes without changing their character, why can’t brands?”

Of course they can, but should they? Here are some common criteria for rebranding, divided into “Now” and “Not Now” categories.

Now                                                                                                          Not Now

Your brand doesn’t match who your business really is.                  You’re tired of your brand.

You want to reach a new audience.                                                   Your competition is rebranding.

You’re committed to the process.                                                      You can’t afford the process.

“Process” is a key word. Rebranding doesn’t happen overnight. And, just as with anything that is potentially rewarding, there are risks.

Big Risk One: cost. You’ll be investing money and time.

Big Risk Two: negative results. Your customers might not like the new brand.

To minimize your risks, you’ll need a professional, collaborative team like smith + jones. They’ll help you do your research and make every part of your brand an informed, conscious decision.

Success will mean a brand that stays vibrant and connects with existing and new customers. It will sell the soul of your business, in a good way, for 10 years or more.

-Lynn Finnigan, SJ Marketing


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