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Here's a selection of our latest articles on marketing, design and digital issues, and our latest news. If you would like to add an opinion or join the debate please do leave a comment. If you would like to find out more please click the link to the author.

Refreshing the Parts Others Cannot Reach

Refreshing the Parts Others Cannot Reach

Q. What links the Mars Bar, Hallmark Cards and accountants Ernst and Young?

A. As brands they have all celebrated their 100th birthday in recent years. And they are all successful and relevant to buyers today. 

Quick quiz
Can you put the following brands in chronological order from the oldest to the youngest? Some are over 150 years old and going strong! We’ll send a bottle of fine wine to the first person to email us the correct answer at

  • Santander
  • Hamleys
  • Cow and Gate
  • Douwe Egberts
  • Ikea
  • Ericcson 

And the bonus question…which brand used the ‘Refreshing the Parts Others Cannot Reach’ strapline?

In the eye of the beholder
Whilst beauty (and visual identity) is always judged by the beholder, it is also true that preferences evolve, almost unnoticeably over time as fashion moves on. You only need to dig out a few snaps from five years ago for you to see how clothes and hairstyles have changed.

When it comes to visual identity, branding and styling, we need to be confident that we still stand out from the crowd and that we are still communicating the messages and values we want our customers to hear.  Sometimes, a very simple refresh of a logo is all that is needed, other times, more radical changes are required.

Not just about the cosmetics
The need for a brand re-fresh can come about in a variety of different ways. Sometimes there is a strategic imperative, other times it is tactical. Perhaps the owner of the company has simply got bored with the current logo or your competitor has just launched a stunning new website.

We work closely with our clients to clarify the rationale behind a brand re-fresh, ensuring that it achieves their key objectives.

Here are just some reasons why our clients’ have asked us to update their visual identity:

  • Developing a new strategic direction
  • New competitors or existing competitors’ redesign
  • Wanting to reach new clients 
  • Serving a new market or new product development
  • Awareness that the branding is looking tired particularly versus today’s styling
  • Moving to a new technology platform e.g. a content management system
  • New name or ownership
  • Building a corporate image from which to conduct new PR and marketing 
  • Need for new signage, equipment or vehicles

And it can be helpful to have a third party involved in the process who is prepared to challenge the premise on which you’ve decided to go for a brand re-fresh. Sometimes we recommend research first, perhaps ascertaining your current position in the marketplace versus your competitors or what your clients currently think about you as an organisation and your service. 

The Starbucks case study is a great example of how a brand evolves. A radical early step followed by a subtle brand development, then recently, a big change with the removal of the brand name. This was a confident move on behalf of Starbucks, sending a clear and strong message (following Apple and Nike’s lead). 

If a brand’s identity is no longer determined by the visuals of the brand name, it has evolved to a state that is almost untouchable.

So if you identified with any of the reasons for a re-fresh above, whether it is strategic or tactical, we would be delighted to have a no obligation chat with you about how we can help design your visual identity and translate this onto any of your marketing materials.

Let us know what you think by leaving a comment