Despite the best of intentions, precise brand guidelines, and militant marketing managers, even established brands get messy over time. Ultimately someone in your organization will stretch your logo out in a Word document, or use the wrong colors, fonts, or sizes. A little misstep? Maybe. But left unchecked, it can become a big detour.
That’s why it’s critical to do an annual brand review! Doing it every year will keep your brand on track, prevent deterioration in your customers’ eyes, and avoid a more complicated brand-overhaul down the road. It doesn’t take long, either. Believe me, the value you’ll get is much greater than the time invested.
Why does your brand need an annual review?
- As marketing efforts expand, a brand review will make sure you stay current.
- A brand review will keep your brand from getting sloppy, and avoid a tedious, cumbersome brand-mess down the road.
- Your audience will consistently see you in the best light — the one that was intended!
- It will ensure you continue to build brand loyalty and make strong connections.
- How you’re seen in the world is your reputation! It matters immensely.
The goal: To make sure your brand looks great — and stays consistent — across all platforms.
The method: An annual brand review.
Here are 6 steps to give your brand a review:
- Grab your brand guidelines. Otherwise, how will you know if your brand is playing by its rules? If you don’t have brand guidelines, you need them.
- Gather your brand asset, both print and digital. Print it all out. Social media profiles, ads, sponsorships, flyers, brochures. Everywhere your brand visuals are, find them, print them, and put them on your desk in front of you.
- Review everything for adherence. Are the fonts and colors correct? Are logos being used properly? Is everyone using proper email signatures?
- Don’t forget about the tone. A brand review isn’t just about visuals. It’s about messaging as well. Is the wording reflective of your brand?
- Are your images in-line with your brand? Hopefully, you have an image bank or image guidelines to help keep your visuals in alignment with your brand. If not, create them. Determine what kind of images are acceptable, what attributes they have, and what rules they must follow.
- Is your brand still engaging your audience? Things are changing quickly in the world. Is your brand still relevant? Look at your marketing materials and ask if you’re evolving with the world and with your audience’s needs. If you need, consider whether or not you need a rebrand.
- Chop or fix what isn’t working. Taking inventory, and having everything in one place, gives you the opportunity to Marie Kondo anything that’s unnecessary, or not working or fitting. You don’t want to be putting time, money, or brand energy into visuals that aren’t doing their job.
After reviewing your brand, you might say: Great! We did a good job this year and don’t need to change anything. Or, you might update or eliminate a few elements. Either way, this will save you plenty of precious time in the long run, if your brand is allowed to go unchecked.
Need a brand review from a branding expert?
I’d love to help. A proper brand review involves us spending 30 minutes on the phone, me doing my research, and then me sharing my recommendations.
When it comes to branding, it all matters. And I can help you.