Your brand identity, how your brand is portrayed visually on everything from your signage to your website to your business cards, is very important to your business. It is a good idea to evaluate your brand identity periodically (at least every year or two) to determine if any updates should be made. Having a relevant and consistent brand identity will help your customers remember you, and in turn, help your business prosper. You may want to do this exercise at the beginning of the year when you are setting your goals and updating your business plan.
Here are twelve questions to help you determine if it is time to update your brand identity. If you are surprised by any of your answers to the questions below, it may be time to update your brand identity.
1 – Do you have a logo created specifically for your business, or is it a generic logo that other businesses may also be using?
You want to make sure that your logo is unique! It should be simple, memorable, and relevant. If you are using the same logo as one of your competitors, or any other business, your customers will be confused about who you are.
2 – Does your logo still represent your brand well?
If you have changed your business’ mission and values or expanded your product line or services, your current brand identity may no longer represent your business well.
3 – Does your logo look dated and in need of a make-over?
If you haven’t updated your logo in a while, your business may not be perceived as one that is moving with the times.
4 – Do you have a responsive logo that looks good on signage, printed materials, and all types of digital devices?
Your logo should look good in many different sizes. Your logo may be too difficult to read when it is very small. Having several variations of your logo solves the problem. The small logo that is displayed on smartphone screens could be just a part of your logo, while additional information can be included in your logo as it is displayed on larger devices.
5 – Does your brand identity, as well as all of your branded items, look professional?
If you were trying to save money when you started your business, you may not have hired a professional to help you with designing your logo and brand identity. Having a professional-looking logo and brand identity will help your business.
6 – Are you using your brand colors, or colors that help convey your brand message on all of your branded items?
You should use colors that align with your brand. Color influences your customer’s perception of your business. You want to attract them, not scare them away.
7 – Are you using the best images to represent your brand?
People look at images first, and images affect how people see your business. If you are using the wrong images, people may not look at your website, blog, or social media post. A little extra effort in choosing your images can make a big difference.
8 – Do the typefaces you use on your branded items match your brand, and are they consistent across all media?
There are so many different typefaces available today. Choosing new typefaces may better convey your brand.
9 – Do all of your branded items look like they belong to the same collection?
Every visual aspect of your brand should be cohesive to strengthen the perception of your brand.
10 – Do you have a brand style guide and follow it when creating your branded items?
Having a brand style guide makes it much easier to be consistent with how you depict your brand.
11 – Do you have business cards; and carry enough to hand out when an opportunity arises?
You never know when you will meet someone with whom you want to keep in touch. Impressing them with your business card and brand identity will help them remember you.
12 – Is there anything else you can add your brand identity to, such as bags, labels, and flyers?
Be creative! Add your brand identity to any touchpoints you have with your customer so that they will remember you.
If you decide that it is time to update your logo or brand identity, you should consider making only a few small changes at a time. You want your current loyal customers to still be able to recognize you. I created a worksheet to assist you in conducting your own brand identity audit.