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Guide Your Customers to a Brand Refresh

The start of a new year is a great time to help your clients take a fresh look at how their customers and constituents see them. As their trusted provider, you are in a unique position to help them sort their collateral, set their messaging in order, shine their image, standardize how they communicate, and build a sustainable communication program. You might recognize the terms as the 5S system used in Lean Manufacturing. We recommend it because it helps frame the conversation with your clients, no matter what their industry is. 

Helping customers reimagine their outward look and feel is a win-win conversation and should be part of every discussion with the people you serve at the start of the new year. But it has to begin with some research. The team at Hannover Research says that 75% of companies have refreshed their brands since 2020, which is a great way to start your engagement. Ask these questions:

  1. Have your clients or constituents changed in the last few years? 
  2. Has their mission or product set shifted?
  3. Do they have products, services, or campaigns they want to focus on or launch in 2023?

Answers to these questions will keep you connected to your clients, help you sort through their needs, and identify what will work best. Every client will have different requirements based on whom they serve, so build a refreshed framework and populate it with relevant offers for storefront retail, online retailers, restaurants, schools, politicians, and associations. This helps to set up your team and allows the customer to shine!

For storefront retail clients and restaurants, even without changing a logo or color palette, there is a case for new signage to begin the year. Brighter, new materials, sizes, and mounting call new attention to the store, whether it stands alone in a parking lot or is embedded in a line of stores at a mall or on the shopping street. Wayfinding signs can improve foot traffic — especially if they use the store logo, iconic images for products and services, and are placed liberally to guide people to the store. 

If the color palette seems out-of-date, don’t hesitate to offer an alternative! If you have the time, without investing in a redesign, show their logo in refreshed color options. Pantone names Viva Magenta (18-1750) as the 2023 color of the year and shows a palette of coordinating colors if you are looking for inspiration.

Beyond signage, offer a Brand Image Kit. Business cards, counter displays, window clings, and aisle displays can call attention to new products and services. New labels, new packaging, and promotional collateral to help launch new or updated products need a fresh look! Don’t forget the people. New aprons, shirts, and caps continue the retail refresh, along with notebooks and sticky notes. Top it off with a fresh EDDM (Every Door Direct Mail) campaign to target neighborhoods and promote the new image!

Online retailers need refreshing, too. When they sell, they fulfill orders. Today that may be a brown kraft envelope or box, but it can be so much more. Offer options for branded envelopes, custom boxes, and hang tags that lift their brand, mission, and uniqueness. Offer options for inserts to upsell and create repeat customers, and don’t forget to suggest catalogs and other direct mail options. 

The best approach for the new year is to ask about events and campaigns that may need a broad array of signage and collateral but think big! Schools and associations may not be open to changing their logo or color palettes, but they will certainly be open to options to stay at the forefront of their students’, parents’, and donors' minds. Offer products they may not have considered, like welcome kits for returning students and teachers and new student kits for the newly enrolled. Business card formats make great raffle tickets, scavenger hunt markers, and even name tags. Trifold brochures and silent auction catalogs should also be on the table. You can refresh their brands without changing them by offering alternative papers, sizes, and shapes. 

It is always election season, so consider candidates as brands, too. Their image and campaign talk tracks can often use a refresh, especially for those who have served for multiple terms. As part of your plan to offer brand refreshes, don’t forget to talk to candidates about new imagery, new photography, and fresh new sign formats! Yard signs come in so many variations that it can be a chance for them to differentiate their message. 

To round out your conversations, help clients standardize their approaches to their brand and define a cadence to revisit their brand collateral to help them sustain their image in the markets they serve. Your 4over team includes the expertise you need to engage with your clients and identify innovative offers to help them grow their businesses as you grow yours. They can keep you informed of the latest options for signs, business cards, and a wide array of printed collateral to help your clients move their brand and their message to the market effectively.

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