Your visual assets are the public face of your business. They are the first thing that a consumer sees of you and often is the last thing they remember about you – until they become a customer, that is.
Your visual assets and marketing library are a large part of your brand. Every image and every photo on every online platform are a part of this. Aside from your website, this means Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and any other location you appear. It means your colour palette used for these and your logo.
It also includes all your offline visuals as well (life is almost 100% online, but not quite yet).
So what do we need to do to keep our visuals relevant in 2020 – and why should be even bother?
Here, we answer three important questions:
- What is brand identity?
- Why review your business visual assets?
- Is refreshing visual assets important?
We will later move on to look at how to start refreshing your visual assets and marketing library, and the simple steps involved in the process.
What is a brand identity?
Your brand identity represents the complete personality of your business, including all the visual assets, the reputation your company has, the font used on your website, your customer service experience, the quality of your product or service, and so on.
When you meet someone for the first time, you make an instant judgement about them based on appearance. When a consumer ‘meets’ your brand for the first time, the same thing happens.
If they don’t already know you by reputation, when a consumer first discovers your company, they don’t yet know if your product quality is good or poor, whether you represent good value for money, or if your service is amazing or terrible.
What they do know about you, instantly, is what you look like.
These other elements they will discover later for themselves, but in the beginning – it’s all about your visuals.
Your customers and their needs are always changing, but we have seen this happen faster in 2020 than at any previous time.
Splento has produced a free report on brand engagement, explaining what you can do to re-engage your customers in this post-pandemic world.
It’s completely free and is downloadable by clicking below:
Why review your business visual assets?
A review of visual assets is important from time to time for two main reasons:
First, images become dated. Whether it’s the company logo, the product photographs or advertising visuals, trends change, fashions come and go, and elements become out of date.
We don’t even always notice this as we are so close to it. Sometimes we need to step back and take a pragmatic view. Often, it is helpful to get someone from outside to do this for us, as they have a less nostalgic eye.
Imagine if Coca-Cola was still running their ‘I’d like to teach the world to sing’ advert from the 1970s? At the time, it was an amazingly powerful campaign that hit the right tone and fed into the 70’s mindset. But to still run it today would be a crazy idea – however successful it was back then!
Like a living person, a brand needs updating and refreshing from time to time, to reflect company growth, current trends or even just to instigate a new marketing phase in the life of the business.
Secondly, a brand should always be 100% consistent at all its consumer touchpoints.
As a company grows, it is natural for it to break into smaller parts for handling different aspects of its business. And often with this fragmentation comes diverging trends. This includes company visuals.
For example – one department handling product packaging uses certain images and colour palettes, while those dealing with advertising use another.
As the division continues, it is easy for branding to become diluted or even fade into the background.
Reviewing your visual assets – across the whole of your business – will highlight these consistencies and give you a chance to reset the standard.
Refreshing your visual assets for the whole company is an ideal time to draw up a brand style guideline, for everyone in your business to follow from that time forward. This introduces standards of consistency, quality, style and allows you to build your brand strength – a key to success for any business.
Check out 10 best brand style guides for some great examples of successful brand guidelines.
Is refreshing visual assets important?
In brief – Yes!
As we mentioned above, a brand refresh can be a great reason to launch a new marketing campaign, can kick-off a product launch, announce a change of ownership or business direction or even be just a great way to raise public perception of your company.
Keeping things fresh in the public eye is a natural process.
If you have any kind of social media presence (and these days, you should), then it’s vital. Even as individuals, we change our social media profile images from time to time, to reflect our mood, an important event, fashion, or greater social changes going on around us.
As a business, it is just as important to do this – your brand reflects your company personality, remember?
Refreshing your visual assets is a low-cost, fast way to create a new public image without fully rebranding.
There is a time and a place for a full rebrand – but a visual refresh is a business practice that should be conducted regularly.
The world is constantly changing – even more so since the start of 2020 – and it is essential to keep up to date with current trends, fashions, styles and values.
Refreshing your visual assets is a part of keeping your business relevant to your customers.
Your company Facebook, Instagram, Twitter (and any other social media you use) should be modern, fresh and targeted to your audience. Over time, your market will change their tastes and needs, and your visuals go a long way to keeping you in touch with the shifting values of your customer base.
To learn more about what you can change to tweak your visual assets, then read about how to refresh your brand image.
If you are thinking about whether a brand refresh may benefit your business, take a quick look now at 5 great examples of companies that have done just that – and learn how you can get a quick audit of your own brand gallery and marketing assets.
Alternatively, contact Splento direct for advice and help with creating your own brand style guide.