The Washington Redskins are the latest brand to announce a revamp. But as companies work to earn consumer and stakeholder trust in a socially charged world, now is the time for every brand to review and even reconsider its brand design, perception, and values.
The pandemic has forced eyes on so many brands’ core values, their logo design and even the colors they use. Companies that don’t take this time to reevaluate how and why they are perceived, truly be accountable, and take actionable steps to make improvements, face damaged reputations and being left behind in the post-COVID world.
What can brands do to overhaul reputations, and endure evolving cultural norms to create positive changes? Here are four simple steps.
Re-evaluate your foundation. As an organization, start with identifying your brand story and the images, including logos, associated with your brand. The story you’ve established from day one is the foundation of core values, mission statements, target audience, and even team hires.
But is this story positive, inclusive, culturally sensitive and meaningful today? Evaluating your story can help you pinpoint areas of improvement as cultural norms evolve, to create an identity that promotes authenticity, transparency, and personal connection with consumers and key stakeholders.
Anticipate the meaning of symbols. Symbol design can help foster relationships and perception with your core audience. But, like colors, design and symbols can convey different meanings and emotional responses in different cultures and shift over time. While designing a symbol that resonates with your brand story is a starting point, it’s critical to anticipate what a symbol might mean to others. Consider your audience, its values, and cultural norms to help establish a brand logo that aligns with the surrounding cultural and generational context.
Ensuring images associated with your brand remain inclusive and are supportive of gender equality and diversity are non-negotiables for today’s consumers and will be imperative as we move forward. Aligning symbols with cultural context will help your logo and brand remain timeless and impactful.
Leverage the power of color. Colors are a quick and powerful tool to communicate what your brand, product, or service is and wants to be perceived as. In fact, there’s a genuine science behind the way colors mix, match, and contrast, which ultimately influence people’s emotional responses, perception, and trust of certain products and brands.
Studies indicate that people judge products and brands in a matter of seconds, with color making up to 90% of their initial assessment and ultimate judgment, according to CCICOLOR - Institute for Color Research. Color theory allows you to choose appropriate colors that align with your brand identity, values, industry, and even what you want your audience to feel.
Don’t wait. Today’s generation is fueled by social impact, and brands -- no matter what industry or market they are in -- will need to prioritize goals beyond themselves, or risk their reputation and survival. The time to reconsider your brand image is now, and there’s no time to wait.