Do you have a Saas brand that needs refreshing? Do you want to be sure that your branding is in step with the times? Is it time for a new logo, better colors, or more up-to-date imagery?
If you feel like your current branding is not serving your business as it should, then now is the time for a refresh. And don't feel sad about it because the truth is even established corporations get a brand refresh now and then.
In fact, many startups find themselves in the same predicament, especially when they start getting traction and their brand starts showing up in more places. Now, the question is, should you refresh your brand? If so, how do you approach a Saas branding refresh?
In this article, we'll explore what SaaS companies are, what brand refresh means, why it's important and how to go about refreshing your brand image.
SaaS is an acronym for software as a service, which means the company's product/service is delivered over the internet. Contrary to what you might think, not all SaaS companies are tech-driven or even offer IT services.
In fact, there are plenty of industries that now rely on cloud-based solutions and subscription-based models. For example, e-commerce companies are also SaaS companies because they use the cloud to run their website and deliver products or services over the internet.
So when you have a subscription service offered on the web, it's pretty safe to say your company falls under this umbrella of business model.
Brand refreshes are pretty much what it sounds like – a 'refreshing' of your current branding to ensure that the visual elements and messaging remain relevant.
Though there isn't necessarily any specific time or event given when you should update your Saas branding, most experts agree that refreshing your logo design every few years (or more frequently) makes sense.
Why? Because as we mentioned above, even established brands feel they need an occasional refresh to keep up with changing times and audiences. Many companies such as Coca-Cola have been around since 1886, but their iconic bottle shape was only introduced in 1916! Brands such as Apple have successfully refreshed themselves multiple times throughout the years by updating product designs and tweaking their logos, among other things depending on the decade.
This is why it's important to refresh your branding now and then, even if you feel like everything looks great. Your brand might be in tip-top shape, but how does it fare against newer startups? If their branding seems fresher than yours right now, doesn't that mean there's room for improvement on your end as well?
When you're considering a brand refresh, certain things need to be addressed.
Make sure you have a defined brand voice - What is your tone? If it's casual, don't suddenly try to be formal or vice versa. Else, you'll end up confusing people, and your brand image will suffer for it.
What is the personality of your brand? Is it fun and casual, or more formal and traditional? What do you stand for as a company in terms of values, mission statement, etc.? If all this seems complicated to figure out right away, then keep at it until you have a really clear understanding of your personality and tone.
Do you know your brand positioning? This is the work of determining what sets your company apart from others in your industry and where your company stands. You can't just rely on the "we're cheaper" or "this is what we do, but better." If your brand positioning isn't clear, then it's time to go back to the drawing board.
Once you have a clearly defined brand voice, tone, and personality, then it's time to develop your messaging. Your Saas branding should focus on what makes your company unique in terms of product quality or user experience.
What is your brand promise? Is it the solution to a problem or something along those lines? This should be clear and concise. Once you have this down, try doing some customer testing to know for sure if what you're saying about your product resonates well with your target audience.
You need a compelling brand story that your brand can tell. Stories sell. And the more that your target audience can relate to your story, the more likely they are to buy into it.
Make sure your Saas branding is tailored to the needs of your ideal customer. Create your buyer persona and learn about the challenges they face, their fears, and their pain points. This way, you'll know how to speak directly with them in your Saas branding.
Visual identity entails your logo, color palette, fonts, and overall graphics.
Analyzing your current design elements will give you a better idea of which direction you want to go for refreshing or redesigning. It's important that you take an objective look at how well-received each part of your visual identity has been.
Consult with your marketing team and research current market trends that your competitors may be using.
Over 60% of companies that have refreshed their brands say they did not conduct enough market research beforehand, and it is a common mistake to make.
Ample research provides clarity, depth, and a more focused approach to a successful brand refresh. In addition, a comparative analysis of your competitors' brands will also help you navigate the market trends and see what has been successful and which of those ideas you can implement in your own Saas branding.
Make sure you do the following:
Do research on colors, fonts, and graphics that resonate with your target audience or convey what they want to see from your company. Do not try out new layouts and ideas without consultation beforehand.
Once you have a better idea of what to change or improve, look at which of the visual elements work best. Does one element get more attention than another? If so, this might be an area where you should make some adjustments and give it equal treatment in terms of brand visibility.
Branding is a major financial investment so if you have the funds to allocate for it, then go ahead. However, if you're on a budget, make sure you create a plan that focuses on getting the most bang for your buck. In other words, go with simple changes such as changing your color schemes and font styles before making more ambitious alterations like totally rethinking your logo design or website layout.
Before you launch your brand refresh, make sure to put together a detailed style guide. This will help keep everyone on the same page and produce results that are consistent with your Saas branding objectives, especially if there is more than one person involved in the process of refreshing or redesigning your visual identity.
Your brand assets include your logo, website, landing pages, presentations, social media profiles, and all the other platforms where your brand is present.
Branding tone of voice is the underlying feeling or emotion that your Saas company evokes. How does it make people feel when they interact with you? Are they inspired, surprised, intimidated? These are all emotions to take into account when picking a design direction for refreshing your brand. Take this element seriously and carefully consider your target market's perspective--What tone of voice would pique their interest and resonate with them better?
Your rebranding should be introduced in a way appropriate for your target market and the channels related to your SaaS industry. Feel free to utilize social media, email marketing, and other marketing strategies such as partnering or working with key influencers to spread brand awareness of your company's fresh new look.
Inbound marketing is also a marketing strategy that you can pursue to introduce your new brand image. Inbound marketing focuses on attracting, engaging, and delighting customers at scale by providing them with educational content relevant to your company and your SaaS industry.
If done correctly, this will help build excitement about what's to come while reinforcing your refreshed brand identity.
Customer feedback is essential to how you're going to build trust with your current customers base and further attract new customers. Collecting helpful, constructive comments will help guide the next steps of rolling out your refreshed look so that it works for everyone involved.
One of the reasons companies resort to refreshing their brand image is that the old one has become stale and outdated. That means that it's never too late to update your brand image, whether you're a small business or a conglomerate. A brand refresh affords you the benefits of putting a new face to today's world and maintaining relevance in your industry.
For many companies, a new brand image can also boost sales, increase brand awareness, and even strengthen brand loyalty which is why it's important to keep your brand fresh and evolving with the times.
In the world of SaaS branding, a brand refresh can be an exciting and necessary step to take. By updating your logo, website design, social media presence, marketing strategy, and more, you will be able to create a cohesive brand identity and an enhanced overall customer experience that is consistent with your company's mission statement while resonating with customers a deeper emotional level. This way, they'll feel more connected to what you have to offer them--whether it's products or services.