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“It’s more of an evolution rather than a revolution.” In a Champions League of marketing clichés, you’re looking at Real Madrid.

As is often the case with clichés, they often get put to one side: discounted owing to overuse from caffeine-fuelled marketers keen to get through a single brand meeting without the unwavering will to bang their head against a brick wall.

Before you mentally turn off, let’s dig under this well-trodden path and get to the root of the thing.

New B2B brand? Eh?

We’re talking here about companies beginning a process to look at their visual identity (e.g. logo), their use of imagery, messaging and the application of all of this through marketing communications. We covered why this is important for B2B organisations elsewhere.

When people say ‘new brand’, it’s a blanket term used for any combination of the above – and then some.

What is a brand revolution?

You could think of a brand revolution as a complete overhaul. We will almost certainly be talking about new colours, a new logo and new fonts, in addition to new messaging presented in shiny new brochures and collateral. Obviously a new website too. If there’s a really diligent/insane person in the business, it might even involve a new name.

What is a brand evolution?

You can think of a brand evolution as being more of a tweak than an overhaul. There may be some adjustments of the colour palette, simplification of the logo, the addition of a strapline or the development of repositioned messaging.

Branding: Evolution vs. Revolution

Fight, fight, fight! Well…it’s what you came for isn’t it? You can’t have a vs. blog without a comparison table because, well, you just can’t.

Here goes:

Evolution Revolution
Impact Small Large
Difficulty Easy Hard
Sign off Simple Complex
Timescales Short Long
Cost Low High

 

We’ll investigate these in turn now.

Impact

You want to make a difference. We all do: that’s why we love marketing. You want those big campaigns. You want a hard slog, with all the usual trials and tribulations, because you want that feeling at the end. That feeling that you’ve achieved something big: overcome obstacles which seemed insurmountable at the time.

A brand revolution will do that. It will have a high impact. If you get it right, it will give your business the ‘wow’ factor – the kind that makes your CV shine like a star in a sea of similarity.

Difficulty

If a revolution gives you more feel good chemicals when you reflect back at the marvels you’ve created, then it’ll make you work harder for it.

Ripping apart a brand and almost starting from scratch isn’t a decision to be made lightly. It’s tough. Really tough. There’s a whole concoction of complexity, driven in part from…

Signoff

Depending on the type of organisation you work for, the level of signoff will vary greatly. If you’re in a 3 person start up, then you can make a decision over a beer in the pub on a Friday afternoon. If you’re a marketing professional working in a business that has a management team and investors, then you’re in for a ride if you go down Route Revolution. If your business is listed on the stock exchange, or is in a highly regulated market like financial services…then best of luck to you my friend. Only meditation or sedatives can help you.

Timescales

If you’re still feeling brave for a revolution, then you need to be in it for the long haul. From initial workshopping of your new B2B brand through to it being launched and embedded within the culture of your business is a process that can take years. And frankly, if you’re gonna start it then you’re almost certainly gonna wanna finish it. Make sure you’re mentally committed to the organisation for at least 2 years if you’re seriously considering revolutionising your branding.

Revolution takes longer than evolution because there’s more to do, and more people to engage with to get it approved and rolled out. Because it’s complex, and takes longer, it only follows it’s going to push up…

Costs

You can do it, you legend, but it’s gonna cost ya. Costing up the revolution vs evolution should be a key part of the decision making process upfront: know what you’re getting yourself in for. A common pitfall is people fail to cost for all of the associated costs of running the exercise. Yes there’s likely to be agency costs in helping you workshop through it. You’ve got the staff costs associated with the project, and then the wider adoption programmes. A new suite of marketing communications materials across the board is a given. You need to fully document your corporate communications to understand what needs changing and where, which is no mean feat in itself. You can then put a budget against it.

Summary

We’ve outlined both approaches to developing a new B2B brand and the upsides and downsides of both of them respectively. Suffice to say, there’s no right or wrong way. Evaluate your business needs carefully against the table above. At least then, when you make decisions about what to do with your branding going forward, you’ll be doing so with your eyes wide open.

At Inflowing, we can help take you on that journey. From the initial B2B brand workshop, through to great looking marketing communications. We can make your brand pop in a way that’s distinctly you – without ‘big agency costs’. Contact us now.

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