EDITORIAL FEATURE The Importance of Brand Evolution By Aimee Woodall L ike the little fish that grew feet and took a triumphant first step onto land, a brand has to evolve to stay alive. As your company matures, where you’re going probably looks very different than where you set out to go originally. On this new path, the brand you started with is beginning to feel a lot like the old you. You, my friend, might be ripe for an evolution or maybe even a revolution. Don’t panic. It’s not as scary as it seems. In fact, a lot of companies have gone through this rewarding but sometimes painful process. Coca-Cola, Shell, Apple, ATT, and just about every household name you can think of has watched their brand grow up, all along evolving their presence over the years as their company matured. These visionary companies know the vital importance of continuous innovation. They tweaked, changed, and improved their brand until it reflected exactly who they wanted to be and they’ve continued that process until this very day. So, how do you know it’s time to change things up or start completely fresh? Ask yourself a few key questions, be patient, and move forward with courage. Are you ready to go boldly into the future? Right this way. Is It Time For An Evolution? If you look at your website with a cringe, hate handing out your business cards, and are worried that your logo looks a little too much like that of an 80s tribute band, then it might be time for a makeover. If you’re spending time sifting through more and more incoming leads that aren’t the right fit or you’re finding that people don’t understand what you currently do after seeing your website, it’s definitely time to change things up. 26 SMALL BUSINESS TODAY MAGAZINE [ JUNE / JULY 2015 ] Check Yourself Before You Reinvent Yourself Regardless of what inspires you to rebrand, you need to take stock before getting started and ask yourself some important questions. To make sure you’re rebrand-ready, ask yourself these key questions: 1. Why am I considering this? Really dig deep into the why behind this rebrand. Is it to keep up with the times? Is it because a competitor just changed their logo and you’re jealous? Identify the true motivation before committing to change. 2. What is my goal? Are you trying to keep up with your industry? Or are you just personally sick of seeing your brand? It’s good to know why you’re making the change to make sure it’s the right one. That clarity will help you figure out exactly what you need. 3. Is this a good time to embark on this change? If you’re trying to get ready for a big event or milestone in your company history, make sure to allow for plenty of time to rebrand. 4. Can I afford this? If you do it right the first time, your new brand can take you and your business exactly where you want to go. If you don’t, the result might just be an expensive BandAid. Make sure you can commit the appropriate resources to accomplish your goal. 5. What does success look like? How do you meet your goal? Knowing and communicating what success looks like to you will help others deliver exactly what your company needs. SBT Aimee Woodall is the owner of the Black Sheep Agency, a Houston-based strategic brand shop specializing in cause-driven marketing, public relations, social media, and community outreach. You can contact Amy by phone at 832-971-7725, by email at aimee@theblacksheepagency. com, or visit the website at www.theblacksheepagency.com.