Thinking of redesigning your logo and website? Stop! Read this first

As I sit in the UK on the first day of lockdown, I know that many of you, while feeling unsettled, may also be looking at this as an opportunity to step back and reassess aspects of your brand and businesses. 

One thing you may be considering is whether or not to redesign your logo and website. 

Perhaps you've been considering this for a while, or perhaps you see the recent slow down in business as the perfect opportunity to refresh what your brand looks and feels like.

But I will let you into the secret of how the world's most valuable brands will be approaching this.  

They will not be changing what they look like, or what they say about themselves unless they want to signal that they are doing something radically different - or want to stand for something different - in their customer’s lives.

Redesigning your logo and website is a sign to your customers that something about you has changed. Identifying this change should be your first step. 

Your brand identity -  your logo, your colour palette, your fonts, your imagery etc. -  these are all just signals to your customer of what your brand is about. 

Rewriting your ‘About’ page, redoing your descriptions of your products and services should not be done just because you've got time on your hands.  It should be done to align with what you want to stand for – your brand strategy.  Everything you put out there - whether it's visual or verbal – needs to help to communicate this to your customers.

The best brands in the world only redo their logo and website once they are very clear on what they want these signals to communicate to their customers.

Start with brand strategy, not brand signals.

So before you jump into a redesign and rewrite, just take one step back.   

The most valuable brands start with their brand strategy.  

Your brand strategy is your answers to some critical questions.

  1. WHY do you exist?
  2. WHO are you?
  3. HOW do you do things, and HOW do you look, feel and sound?
  4. WHAT do you do?

These four simple questions are the blueprint for any strong brand. 

Answering WHY you exist is critical to determine the value you truly offer your customers, to inspire your employees, and to guide innovation.

Answering WHO you are helps you codify your culture, explains the values and beliefs that underpin your development to date, and guides recruitment of new team members.

Answering HOW you do things helps employees understand the behaviours you're looking for - guiding performance reviews and helping them understand how to live up to your why and your who.

Finding words to describe HOW you look, feel and sound are critical before you embark upon any redesign or rewrite, particularly if you're going to outsource this work.
The first question any good designer, copywriter, marketer or social media expert will ask you is what your brand stands for, and hence what you want any redesign or rewrite to communicate.  (If they don't ask you this question then look around for somebody else who does!)  The best executors of your brand approach your brand strategically, just as you need to do, before embarking upon any rewrite or redesign.  

Finally, answering WHAT you do describes the industry you are in and helps people to understand the products and services you're offering.

How to start to think about your logo and website redesign

Start with an audit and analysis of what you have.

No doubt you've already looked at your visual assets, which is why you're thinking about redoing your logo and website in the first place. But now step back and ask yourself why you want to change them. A mistake many people make is changing them just because you're bored of them.  Just because you can. Just because you've had them for a while.

But, remember, these things are acting as signals of what you stand for to your customers. If you have a really strong customer base, if you are growing  in the way you want to, if your customers are strong advocates for you, then they won't want you to change.

Redoing your whole identity and website may be damaging, since it will act as an immediate signal to your customers that you're not the same company as you were yesterday.  That you've changed in a significant way. If everything has been working for you, the last thing you want to do is signal to your customers that the brand that they love has changed.

If this is not the case for you, if you feel that you need to change in order to scale up and take your business to the next level, if you need to attract more customers but you're not clear on the answers to the questions above - then start with your strategy, not the signals of that strategy.

A brand development plan for the next three months

Look ahead to your next three months and develop a three-part plan. Spend the first month developing your answers to the questions above: get your brand strategy in place.  

Spend the second doing the creative exploration needed to develop the brand signals that help to communicate your brand strategy. Don't just focus on your visual identity elements, think about all of your messaging and your core brand copy too (e.g. your ‘About’ page, your Facebook ‘about’ section, your shorthand description of your business on Twitter and Instagram, etc.).

Use the third month to apply these signals and copy changes to all of your online and offline customer touchpoints.

Doing strategy first, THEN the signals of your strategy is the way the world’s most valuable brands approach any brand changes. 

If you don't know where to start, then head on over to my free mini-course, Brand Strategy in 7 Simple Steps, which will teach you all the fundamentals.  

Take the right steps now in the short term, and your brand will be much stronger in the long term.   


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