time for a brand refresh?

  An image from the new series for Anna at  Sweet Polka.  As a graphic designer and visual communicator, Anna is keenly aware of the power of effective imagery to win and influence her clients. She knew she did not need a rebrand (a total overhaul of the brand from the ground up) to inject a renewed sense of vigour. All she required was a fun afternoon spent crafting a handful of fresh images for use on her website.  Photograph by  Emma Byrnes.

An image from the new series for Anna at Sweet Polka. As a graphic designer and visual communicator, Anna is keenly aware of the power of effective imagery to win and influence her clients. She knew she did not need a rebrand (a total overhaul of the brand from the ground up) to inject a renewed sense of vigour. All she required was a fun afternoon spent crafting a handful of fresh images for use on her website.  Photograph by Emma Byrnes.

Is your brand feeling a little stale?
Does it feel like the ethos and principles of your brand are still relevant but the execution isn’t as elegant and effective as it could be?
If your answer is YES but the idea of a refresh fills you with a deep-seated fear of the endless hours you will lose as you go deep and attempt to reinvent the wheel (or in this case, your brand) - there is absolutely no need to fret.
Rather than going way out onto the precipice of rebranding, you can maintain the philosophy and essence of your brand but transform it into a super-charged version of itself by taking a few simple steps.

  A portrait of Anna of  Sweet Polka . By using a restrained colour palette and a beautiful inner city location we were able to photograph a cohesive set of images - each one powerful in it's own right but able to sit within a visual framework. Photograph by  Emma Byrnes.

A portrait of Anna of Sweet Polka. By using a restrained colour palette and a beautiful inner city location we were able to photograph a cohesive set of images - each one powerful in it's own right but able to sit within a visual framework. Photograph by Emma Byrnes.

To start off, in most cases (with just a few tweaks from one of Heartland Project’s gun copywriter collaborators), your existing content can continue to serve your brand well.
The next step and in my opinion, the key secret ingredient to your brand refresh, is in creating a suite of professional, compelling and enticing photographs that reinforce your brand's central messages in a way that makes sense to your target audience. If you have been leaning too heavily on tired, daggy old imagery it is definitely time to (re)capture the attention of your clients with some original high quality snaps.
Having your own suite of professional photographs that you create from scratch allows you to shape an authentic and precise visual message, giving you control over what you evoke in your viewer. You can showcase real products, real services and real people from your team rather than the poor substitute of “off the shelf” stock photography. 
A limited series of original, high quality hero images are a key element - the right ones establish trust and catch the positive attention of viewers right away, adding to effective brand design.
In addition a wider gallery of associated images allows you to showcase your services/products on your website and can also be used for further promotion both on social and print media.

 A close up detail of the  Tea and Sympathy  website for  Sweet Polka  as part of the brand refresh. Photograph by  Emma Byrnes.

A close up detail of the Tea and Sympathy website for Sweet Polka as part of the brand refresh. Photograph by Emma Byrnes.

Recognising the importance of visual storytelling is key to your brand’s success. 
I'm not just talking about pretty pictures, I'm talking about a way to visualise information in a simple way that makes sense to your clients. 
If you are tempted to skimp on professional photography bear in mind that images go into our long term memory and heavily influence a visitor’s opinion of your company culture. Potential clients will often eliminate your brand from consideration immediately, based on poor photography. You want the right photos, shot in the right way, by the right person: an experienced pro who knows how to get the most from a photograph. Your photos must be flawless. 
Get in touch to talk about the imaging opportunities that exist for your brand. Nothing gets me more excited than the opportunity to uncover a brand's true potential through successful visual storytelling :-)
And head on over to Sweet Polka's blog where Anna has a great post about our ongoing image-making collaboration - "How I learned to stop worrying and learned to enjoy having my photo taken."

Em x