We’ve mentioned that your brand is your business’s “personality” (see: Three reasons why branding is important for any brand). Everything from what it looks like to what it represents and how it functions. Like any evolving person, or personality, a business also evolves and therefore so does a brand. When is it time to face the facts and acknowledge that your company has outgrown your brand, that it’s message or purpose has developed? Rebranding is not necessarily the outcome of a company’s shortcomings, even the most successful companies rebrand eventually. The key is knowing if the timing is right.
So, how do I know it’s time to rebrand?
- When Your Branding is Outdated: Although a company’s brand reaches far beyond its logo and name, these can be the most recognizable ambassadors of your business. If your logo has an outdated font or color palette it may be time to reconsider a rebrand in design. If your name no longer reflects your company’s mission or if there’s some way to shorten it and update it, you may consider rebranding in this case too. You want to make sure your logo and name are neither too narrow nor too general for your business, allowing for simple updates in look and design, so that your company doesn’t lose too much of its own essence in an update—particularly if you’ve built up a strong brand with a good reputation already, you don’t want to start from zero.
- When Your Reputation has Suffered a Blow: In the case that your business has suffered a blow in reputation, a total overhaul can give your customers the chance to see your business in a new light. If you see that PR strategies and other marketing attempts to reestablish your company’s reputation are not working, this may be the moment to reconsider your message, policies, and design.
- When You Need to Differentiate from the Competition: If your company name, logo, or look is too similar to that of the competition, you may not be standing out as much as you want to. If your business is growing, and you begin to see that this is the case, rebranding may be a good idea for you. Consider showcasing what makes your business different, better, and unique compared to the competition, consider logos, names, and policies that really stand out.
- When Your Business Evolves: Circling back to what we mentioned at the beginning, businesses evolves. It therefore makes sense for their branding to evolve along with it. If, for instance, you’ve discovered the opportunity to enter into a new market, it might make sense for your to rebrand (perhaps just a certain product) specifically for that market!
The debate for banner ad effectiveness is a toss-up. There are those who say it is obsolete and others who are searching for new ways to design and place the ads in such a way to maintain their effectiveness.
Although there is a general decrease in the use of banner ads (Is Banner Advertising Dead?), there are some statistics that show that banner ads aren’t dead.
There was a study that found that users who ended up on a website redirected from a banner ad were 70% more likely to complete a desired action than those who visited the page via any other medium.
Another study showed that banner ads have a 33% higher response rate than billboards, which are mostly use to promote brand awareness and top of mind.
Banner ads today don’t have to be the tacky ads they once were, banner ads today are smarter than before and placed in more effective ways than they once were.
So, how can I make sure my banner is effective?
The good thing about banner ads, like online campaigning in general, is that click-through rates and responsiveness can be precisely measured and you can understand exactly what is working and what isn’t and how much. Here are three ways to make sure your banner ad is effective:
- Incorporate branded content: remember that users typically look at a brand for just a split second and it’s your job to pique their interest enough to keep looking. Make sure that with just one glance, they know who is advertising to them. Your brand or logo should be clear.
- Create an eye-catching ad: This is obvious for any ad in any medium, but with online banner ads you can use animation or large text and bright colors to draw user’s attention away from where they are looking. Remember though, that users are smarter now and don’t like to be bothered anymore, flashing ads and purposely distracting content is now more bothersome than it is eye-catching. Be concise with your design, make sure the words and images you use are well thought out. Provoke your consumer but don’t annoy them.
- Call to action: Give your user a next step. If you’re promoting a sale or a free trial, make it clear. “Start your free trial now” “30% Off Your Entire Purchase Now”, etc. A compelling message is an easy way to get your consumer to the next step.
This question has long been in debate. After an initial boom for banner ads in the late 90’s and early 2000’s there are plenty of statistics that prove that banner ads may not be relevant anymore…but is it true? Let’s present the arguments.
Why banner ads are a thing of the past:
- They are an annoyance: it is quite possible that if I were to ask you what comes to mind when you think of a banner ad, you may describe to me those glaring, flash rectangular ads at the top of a page that are distracting you from what you really want to see, the content you searched for. Many people have remained with the fixated idea that banner ads are a disturbance and therefore to be ignored entirely.
- Banner Blindness: Banner blindness is a phenomenon that refers to users conscious or unconscious pattern of ignoring web banners. Try to recall the last banner ad you saw, you may not be able to and it’s exactly because of this. Banner ads annoyed us so much we began to shut them out directly.
- Cellular Technology: Another argument for when banner advertising may be obsolete is cell phones. Banner blindness is particularly high on mobile phones and given that these ads live more naturally on the web
- Easy to Measure Effectiveness: Banner ads are fundamentally easy to manage. It’s effectiveness can be easily measured via click-through rates that show what percentage of users are clicking through, therefore measuring what works and what doesn’t and making adjustments.
- Native Advertising: Banner advertising is still relevant because it’s evolving. Banner ad placement is now more subtle than it was before and can be found within the editorial content. This is exactly where your eyes are looking as you consume content. The company Infolinks has found that native banner ads are viewed 47% more quickly and 451% more people than banner ads.
- Graphic Content is King: In such an image-heavy digital world, viewers are still more attracted to a smartly designed graphic or video than to text only. 70% of internet consumers would rather learn about a company or a product through content rather than traditional advertising. This makes the previous point of native advertising especially attractive.
In conclusion, our opinion is that banner advertising isn’t dead. It is alive and well, and like any part of a rapidly changing digital market it, what it needs is to adapt and change in order to thrive.