Marketing Directors, Trustees and others who sometimes feel the need to make a significant change to how an organisation presents itself to the world will ask this question. A lot.
The result of senior people raising this question can be a lot of creative workshops for teams who are busy already, potentially an ensive redesign, internal, subjective arguments over what folks like and don’t like and lastly a bad taste in the mouths of regional teams or outposts who feel ‘done to’ by head office again. The next time a senior type asks whether it isn’t about time you refreshed or changed your brand try answering the following before you act:
Is your current brand still fit for purpose? Does it directly support what your organisation does day in; day out?
Is there still work to be done to meaningfully engage with all the key target audiences you set out within your last marketing or strategic plan?
Is the senior person raising the issue relatively new to the organisation?
Would you still like to improve your brand awareness amongst your target audience?
If you can answer ‘yes’ to even one of these questions, I would challenge the need to refresh anything without doing some significant further research. Brands aren’t about right or wrong, they are about fitness for purpose and we need to be certain that ours aren’t before contemplating change.
Secondly, what do senior types mean by ‘brand’? Do they mean your real brand – your values, emotional benefits to users/beneficiaries, how you conduct yourselves and use these assets to support your activities – or do they mean your logo and strapline? If it’s the latter, refer back to points above. If it’s the former, refer to Chief Executive and or strategic plan for verification about the kind of organisation you are aiming to be... and then go back to assessing ‘fitness for purpose’.
Your brand needs to work as a powerful asset to support all of your activity from fundraising to service delivery and back. Consequently, we shouldn’t be tinkering with such an important tool without thinking it through very clearly. But more on this in our next blog...