The Anchor:Ashwini Deshpande on 7 points to remember while refreshing brands

27 Sep,2011

#1 If the CEO is “too busy” to attend a re-branding meeting, don’t do it. Branding is an important business tool. Branding has the power to create far more value than the goods it can sell. If the CEO seems reluctant to acknowledge the power of branding or rebranding, it may at best be a whitewash exercise. Just cosmetic.

#2 Express only what you believe you can deliver. Visual expressions can make your brand younger, sexier, fun, dynamic, innovative… There is no limit to what graphic design can do. But express only and exactly what you believe you will be able to deliver through every touch-point, every time.

#3 Rebranding is for creating Gods & Angels. God is the person who unhesitatingly pays a premium to buy the brand you created. Angel is the person who goes to the next shop to buy it if it’s not available here.

#4 Be sensitive to the culture, geography and economy. Some colours and icons are considered inauspicious in certain cultures, magenta fades in our harsh sunlight, special colours are not economical and/or feasible to reproduce in tight budgets… Know the limitations and possibilities before you begin.

#5 A brand is multi-sensorial, multi-dimensional. It is not just a logo. Today’s technology allows for infusion of sound, smell and touch, over and above visual expression… Go beyond the visual to create an experiential delight.

#6 A logo refresh is not a quick-fix solution for bad balance sheets: It requires long-term conviction and dedication from all stake-holders to get the brand embedded in the hearts of its intended users.

#7 Acknowledge (others’ and your own) good and bad work, and learn from it. There is no need to discard all for the sake of rebranding. Take ahead what worked for the brand in the past. Also learn from other brands that are loved or ignored.


Ashwini Deshpande is Director, Elephant Strategy + Design

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One response to “The Anchor:Ashwini Deshpande on 7 points to remember while refreshing brands”

  1. Anonymous says:

    One of the most crucial / central aspects of refreshing (or developing) a brand identity is to explore the personality of the brand, and the values that the brand stand for, or wishes to stand for. Once understood, everything else should fall in line to match this. Many companies, brand guardians and agencies fail to spend time on this, resulting in quick-fix solutions. It’s high time this attitude changes, before any company decides to change (refreshing) it’s branding.