We get asked these questions all the time. The truth is, everyone struggles with them, and for good reason. Your brand identity is tied closely to business growth and success. But too much change can cause confusion and not enough attention can give your competitors a leg up. The answers are unique to each firm and require careful thought.
Like most things in marketing and branding, the decision to do an update/refresh is part science and part art. To help you figure out the right answer for your firm, here are a few of the triggers that launched redesign efforts for our clients.
Newness: If you are launching a new fund or strategy or gearing up for fundraising efforts, it’s the perfect time to refresh or update your brand identity. Your visual presence speaks volumes about your organization. Launching something new is the perfect opportunity to re-introduce yourself with an updated look.
Significant Changes: Management and ownership changes are another great time to stop and think about how you are portraying your firm or fund. If what you are doing or how you are doing it changes significantly, your visual identity should as well. Change gives you the opportunity to build on your past with a fresh, purposeful, and future focused brand identity.
Milestone Growth: Often, the natural growth of your business can trigger an update. When a fund is starting out, there is less expectation that you’ll have a flashy, fully built-out website. Generally, when you hit an AUM of $500 million to $1 billion (or more) it’s time to get your marketing and digital identity in order.
Time: You probably wouldn’t wear a 20-year-old suit to an in-person meeting. Make sure you aren’t relying on an outdated look for your brand either. If none of the above triggers apply to your firm, make sure you aren’t letting your identity grow stale, expected or boring. Every 5-6 years, it’s worth evaluating your visual identity including logo, website design, presentation templates and other marketing materials to ensure they are still fresh and captivating for today’s audiences.
Technical Advances: This is closely aligned to time, because let’s face it, technology changes faster than most firms can keep up with. Unless you launched your website last week, chances are there’s new technology or practices that could significantly improve your site. The industry standard is analyzing your website content and performance every five years. And don’t forget to ensure you are doing regular yearly maintenance (minor technical updates, simple content changes) in between those major updates.
If you are still struggling with knowing whether it’s time for a refresh, trust your gut. If you think something isn’t working well or doesn’t look quite right, it may be time to talk with a creative services agency.