Your Brand has a Shelf Life, and It’s Shorter than You Think

May 1, 2018 | Brand Differentiation

Every brand has a shelf life, and It’s getting shorter and shorter.

Every three to seven years your brand needs a tune up, depending on the industry. Technology brands, for instance, change faster and more frequently than industrial brands. Regardless of the industry, we all face the pressure to evolve our brands to remain relevant.

One of the most visible areas you can see the aging process is in your website. Corporate websites tend to need a visual overhaul every two to four years. In the third year they start to look tired, and by the fourth they look dilapidated.

Imagine what a dilapidated website says to customers about your brand?

Three Signs Your Website Is Past Its Due Date

There are three signs your website may be out of date:

  • Your website doesn’t look good on mobile devices. Having a responsive or mobile friendly website is critical. Not only are you driving away mobile users who cannot read your website, you’re driving away Google. Google penalizes websites that are not mobile friendly.
  • Slow website performance. Google ranks faster websites higher. If two sites offer similar content, Google favors the site with faster page load times. You can test your site’s performance at GTmetrix.
  • Your website looks old fashioned and out of date. Fashion and tastes change, and you can visually spot the layout of a website designed in 2018 versus 2014.

Any of these issues may initiate a website redesign project, but don’t stop there. This is your opportunity to reevaluate your brand and determine if your brand strategy and positioning are current too.

An Outdated Website Is a Symptom of an Outdated Brand

The challenge with a new website project is it’s just the tip of your branding problems.

As soon as you start updating the website plenty of other branding projects start to popup. It’s a little like home renovation. You start with your kitchen, and soon your renovating the whole house.

Website overhauls follow a predictable trajectory:

  • As you work on the site design you make some adjustments to your logo and visual identity.
    • That triggers redoing all of your letterhead and business cards.
  • Then you rewrite all the copy on your site with a refined value proposition and better stories.
    • That triggers redoing all your brochures and marketing collateral.
  • Then you look at the executive biographies and they need work too.
    • That triggers a photoshoot with more copywriting.

What started as a $15,000 to $20,000 project can quickly balloon into a $100,000 rebranding project.

Start with a Brand Audit: Where Are You Today?

Before diving into a website project, take an audit of your brand:

  1. Where is your brand today?
  2. What else needs to be updated?

Examine each customer touch point and evaluate its effectiveness:

  • Does it articulate your brand and value proposition effectively?
  • Does it present your brand in a unique and compelling way?
  • Does it drive prospects and customers to clear and logical next steps?

Doing an audit at the start of a major marketing project will save you a lot of heartache, scope creep, and budget overruns. It’s better to know what you’re getting into before you start.

All brands evolve because businesses evolve. It’s only logical to expect that your brand will need to be refreshed every three to seven years. Use your website as an early warning system, because an out of date website is a sign of an out of date brand.

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Jeremy Miller

Top 30 Brand Guru

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