• Transform magazine
  • November 28, 2022

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Branding is constant

Richard Stenlake (1)

Richard Stenlake, founder and CEO of Made Agency, argues that as the digital age speeds up change, so too will it speed up the evolution of brands.

There is often a lot of noise about branding, rebranding, and keeping your brand relevant. We are now exposed to more images than ever before. On average, most people view thousands of images, ads, and related content daily. This means keeping your brand relevant is so important.

When looking at some of the world’s leading brands, we can look back, and study how often they have evolved their branding and identity. The evolutionary framework for branding used to be 10 years. But this framework is now tested by a number of variables: the level of growth in the brand’s specific sector; how much competition has entered the brand’s market; how rapidly is the brands environment changing; is the brand still relevant?

Branding is constant. Brand specialists and market leaders know this and when clients are served up their daily ‘image salad’ they should be thinking about their brand. 

The digital age is moving so quickly. Depending on who you speak to they may refer to it now as just ‘the experience age’.  The pace of change is undeniable, but block out any noise and think about evolution as branding is constant. Every day we can see the impact technology is having on how brands express themselves and the overload of feel-good corporate communications competing for hearts and minds. It’s easier than ever for a brand to be exposed. Authenticity is critical and this is the benchmark for how brands need to communicate. 

Artificial intelligence and virtual reality have created more levels of change in how branding is applied and will continue to do so. In the industry we are always discussing how AI will impact brands moving forward.  These advancements are already pushing more brand extensions that are adaptable to various media in exciting, engaging and dynamic ways. Brands are becoming more evolved due to technology, and the ones that do it well are adapting and adopting ways to apply their brand language to the technology. They are delivering results with both style and substance, leading to exceptional results. Branding is constant. 

To keep up with this pace of change in the digital age/experience age, more brands are evolving more often with slight updates and cosmetic tweaks or partnerships with other brands, thus leveraging the market share of both brands in order to stay relevant. With this approach simplicity is key. The stripping back of design and showing restraint with design gives your brand a level of clarity and freshness, which also gives your brand endurance. 

As everything in our daily digital world continues to change, a vigorous brand evolution is as important as it has ever been in order for relevance and endurance. This type of evolution is grounded in simplicity. Keep the brand – the logo – while building the elements and brand language as part of your brand evolution. A perfect example of this approach is in the automotive industry: Audi, BMW and VW have all kept their same core logo while simplifying it just ever so slightly and refreshing their corporate communications at the same time. Just enough to evolve and stay relevant in their rapidly changing markets.

And you too should review your brand regularly to consider its relevancy. Show restraint. Consider your choices carefully. Be prepared to evolve and improve your brand. Branding is constant.