By Leonard Grape
This is a common trajectory that I have seen so far among healthy food and beverage founders like you on how you evolve with your business – idea conception, initial action and testing, validation, pivot, expansion, and then scale.
As you reach validation and whether you pivot or expand, there is an inevitable evolution with your product that needs to happen. In this case, you’d be faced with an opportunity to do a brand refresh or a rebranding.
Aren’t those two the same? They’re not. So, what’s the difference?
A Brand Refresh is an initiative where you make enhancements to your brand usually with your visual identity or other key components of your business such as your messaging or brand touchpoints.
Typically, a refresh on your brand would maintain the core aspects of your brand strategy to intentionally retain a connection and a level of familiarity with your audience. This also signifies that you have a good brand foundation so you’re just trying to improve things to further reinforce your branding based on current market conditions.
Rebranding is a more encompassing approach where you recalibrate your whole brand foundation or totally rehash your business from positioning, vision, character, with little to no semblance from your previous identity. If this is what you want to know more about, you can read When to Do a Rebranding and How to Do It Right instead.
But for this article, you will learn four key business scenarios for your healthy food and beverage product where a brand refresh would be ideal and even mandatory to help you create excitement and achieve your goals as you progress to different phases of your growth trajectory.
1. Brand Reintroduction
You might have been testing your product in its early stages and now you are ready to do a real launch with marketing support. If so, you would want to incorporate the consumer insights that you learned and use that as guide to refresh your brand.
A fresh visual identity with your firmer positioning or messaging points can elevate the stature of your product as you reintroduce it to the market. The goal is for it to be more on-point to what your customers want and need so that your product marketing efforts would resonate more with them.
If you are at a stage where you are planning to relaunch your product in the near future, create some noise, and build momentum, then a brand refresh is a good path to pursue.
Think about how you can make just enough changes with your brand logo, your website, your social media contents, your packaging design, to induce freshness without overhauling your brand.
It can mean that you are now ready to go bigger and better with your product.
2. Raising Money
Are you looking to reach out to potential investors, present your brand, and pitch your business to raise some money for your capital requirements? If yes, then having a brand refresh plan can help you anchor your story presentation. While your business case, your P&L numbers, your operational and growth plans are all important when talking to investors, you need to remember raising capital is ultimately a storytelling activity.
What is the future that you are seeing for the business? How would you explain your brand to investors in a succinct but compelling manner? What key message points do you want them to take away?
A brand refresh can be your springboard for all these items in your pitch and can even be the crux of your story to get your prospective investors excited.
You’d imagine you could say something like – “Our brand has been running for x number of years and we are setting up for a brand refresh as we gear towards pursuing growth opportunities in the market.” In fact, if you need money to fund your brand refresh, you can consider it to be the first tranche of your funding series to cover different phases. By doing this approach, you are lessening the risk for investors and thus increasing your chances of closing investment rounds.
3. Getting Into Retail
Are you eyeing to distribute your products in retail stores? Whether it is within your locality, region, or you are now going national, a brand refresh can give you an upper hand to better compete with other products on the shelves.
At the core of retail success for healthy food and beverage products is the strength of your brand strategy. You need to be more strategic by asking questions such as - which product category and grocery aisle should you be best placed in? What are the existing product packaging designs on your target shelf and how can you stand out? What is your strongest product differentiation that can make people notice you and give you a try?
If your branding is not as strong as it needs to be, a brand refresh would be mandatory for you to further leverage your retail presence by not displaying an outdated design or something that will just sink through a sea of product sameness. Sharpening the look and feel of your brand through a refresh can give you a more competitive edge. 4. Expanding Product Lines
Usually, healthy food and beverage founders start with just one product. You test it out, validate demand, get consumer feedback, and continuously improve or refine it.
If you are past that stage and are now looking at expanding your product lines, you need to make sure that your branding is on point, and everything is seamlessly interconnected.
How would your core brand elements be integrated and displayed across varying products? How can you make sure that each product contributes to your overall corporate branding? What minor adjustments can you make that can bring major impact?
As you invest more money in developing new products, producing inventory with new packaging styles, a brand refresh can contribute to firming up your brand strategy across different SKUs.
If you are in one or two of these business scenarios, a strategic Brand Refresh can help you be on the right path and carve a clearer direction in achieving your brand goals.
As a bonus, if you are not sure where to begin, a brand audit where you take a look at your brand positioning, marketing touchpoints, market perceptions, and analyze potential gap would be a good starting line.