Branding: Should You Re-brand or Just Spruce Things Up?

By guest contributor Mariah Danielsen. Photography by Bhldn.

This time of year leaves us all reflecting on our brands and how we want to grow in the new year. One thing you may be contemplating is a whole new look for your brand - complete with a new logo, website, and new offerings.

Re-branding your business, even when you don’t have a ton of followers, can be overwhelming and costly. The price of a new logo, website, web copy, images, and business cards can add up quickly. It’s worth thinking about whether you want a whole new look, or if you should just spruce things up a bit.

When to Re-brand

Re-branding can require a lot of thinking and planning for exactly what you want your message to be. Here are a few ways you can know it’s time to re-brand:

If your goals and vision for your brand have changed: What you believed and dreamed of when you started your brand are no longer what you dream about for your brand.

If your site design and logo no longer fit your ideal customer or niche: If you’re trying to reach a certain group of people, but your look does not fit into that niche.

You launch new offerings or branches of your business: Sometimes when you launch new divisions of your business, your current look doesn't fit all of your offerings.

When you decide to re-brand, think about who you want to reach, and what you want your message to them to be. If you do this, you will have a clearer idea of what you want your new look to be. Take your time with your re-brand; without a clear vision, rushing into it may make you want to re-brand again. Don't confuse your customers by being uncertain about what you’re doing.

When to Spruce Up

If you’re anxious for a new look, you may just need a little bit of a spruce up. If you want a change, but still have the same customers and offerings, or you want to up your game to be more competitive in your market, there are a few things you can do to clean up the look of your brand:

Learn how to use Photoshop or Illustrator and improve your graphics on your blog. Adding some fun elements to your photos will definitely freshen up your site.

Simplify your site. The cleaner your website, the less cluttered and bulky it will feel. Remember that not every white space on your site needs to be filled with something, and something as simple as creating some open space on your sidebar can make all the difference.

Design new business cards. One fun way to spruce things up is with a new card design. This gives you some space to play with your look, without doing a total re-brand.

What ways are you planning on growing your brand in 2013? Share your goals in the comments!