How Often Does A Brand Need A Makeover?

Dog of breed the Griffon Bruxellois after a hairstyle and trimming. The doggie is dressed in a striped vest

Trying to make a splash in a certain category to make enemies of competitors is no mean feat. Some brands just give their logo a slight tweak every now and then if they’re comfortable in their space, and some give it the old heave ho to welcome a new look.

Emma Mackenzie
Posted by Emma Mackenzie

Uber updated its whole branding a few days ago, and while it’s raised questions as to whether it was a good move or not, it’s a move the company thought was necessary.

Some brands don’t always need to do a big overhaul, as long as they’re still resonating with their customers for the right reasons. Take Facebook and Google, who updated their logos slightly this past year, but so subtly you wouldn’t be the only one who didn’t notice.

Nevertheless, they still went for a change. In a constantly speedy consumer world, how often do brands need to either tweak or overhaul their look to stay relevant?

It comes down to whether your customers or company has changed dramatically, believed Peter Bakker, general manager of marketing at Aussie Farmers Direct.

The online grocery brand had recently changed up its whole logo and branding as research suggested customers didn’t see the brand as professional, Bakker told B&T, and it needed to be seen as professional to try and compete with the likes of Coles and Woolies.

For Simon Bell, executive director of strategy for branding agency Landor, brands need to need to change as fast and often as any ‘new’ products and services are launch ready, “particular if they’re chasing new sources of growth such as consumers”.

“The premise goes something like this; if a brand is tweaking, major change is unnecessary. However, if a brand is shifting to disrupt their category and make fresh business enemies, big change is called for. And by change we mean message, business design, customer service, distribution and identity – the full gamut.

“And if you’re technology based, fast can happen with more ‘ease’ than more traditional brands.”

Tech company Logitech last year made over its designing, calling itself Logi now to appeal more to the youth consumers. Bracken Darell, Logitech’s CEO, said it’s a hard one to answer on the timeframe of change. “It depends on what you are and how your brand is positioned to start with.

“It’s probably something that needs to be very fluid now, and you’re constantly changing things all the time.

“We’re in a world where design is the new black, and in that world, you’re never done.”

There doesn’t appear to be a definite timeframe – once a year, once every three years – that a brand has to refresh itself. Rather the general consensus appears to be brands should be doing this all the time!

It’s not an inexpensive project however, but The Guardian recommends there’s a few ways a company could tell if it’s in need of a reboot.

If the industry is getting crowded and your market share hasn’t gone up, it could be time to shake things up.

Or if consumers aren’t really resonating with your brand – such as Aussie Farmers Direct – or even if business is just chugging along, a brand refresh could be what the company needs to give it an extra boost.

Regardless, The Guardian’s piece added: “A brand refresh isn’t just about updating your logo or tweaking your website. It’s about defining what you offer as a company that makes you stand out and gives customers a reason to choose you over the competition. And that makes it vital to the growing small business.”