September 7, 2021 | Branding
“Rebrand” — the word can strike fear in the hearts of some business owners and marketing professionals. Rebrands, however, don’t need to be a bad thing.
All brands — including iconic ones such as Apple, Starbucks, and Coca-Cola — have changed over the years. It’s necessary to keep your organization moving forward and relevant in evolving marketplaces.
There’s no question that rebranding your business is challenging. Rebrands take hard work, and there are real costs in terms of time and expenses to consider. Also, the process can force you to examine some of the not-so-ideal parts of your business.
But a good rebranding will inject new energy into a company and its customers.
There’s no exact formula for determining when to rebrand. Most often, the need for a rebrand is created by some event or circumstance your company encounters. Here are five common ones.
#1 – Your company has changed significantly.
As your company grows and matures, you may add new products or services, eliminate others, or change the way your business model works. For example, a restaurant may change its focus from dining in-house to take out. Or, an accounting firm starts offering business consulting in addition to their tax preparation work.
These changes inherently alter who you are as a company and a brand. These adjustments may change people’s perception of your business, or you may now be focused on a different type of customer.
When this happens, your current branding might not represent what you do or may not appeal to new audiences.
In this case, you’ll want to clarify who you are and what you provide. Then, look at your messaging and visual identity to see if it still connects. You may even need to change the name of those products or the company itself.
#2 – You’re preparing for a new marketing campaign and your existing brand is just not professional or comprehensive enough.
Many businesses build their early growth and sales by using referrals, word-of-mouth, and little (if any) paid marketing and advertising. If you’re prepared to dedicate more time and resources to your marketing, it could be worthwhile to examine your branding first.
If you’re gearing up to expand your marketing efforts — whether it’s digital, social, email, direct, search, print, event, etc. — you may find that elements of your brands don’t work (or maybe don’t even exist) for those particular channels. For example, perhaps your logo is long and horizontal, which doesn’t work well for social media icons. Or maybe your business needs to develop its brand voice to more easily write copy for email campaigns.
Also, developing a more polished brand will help you look more professional to customers, investors, vendors, and competitors. You probably don’t want to spend big bucks for a promotional effort when your logo or website looks shoddy.
#3 – You can’t differentiate yourself from the competition.
It’s not just about your own company; it’s about the marketplace. As new competitors come onto the scene or there are changes in your industry or sector, you may need to rethink what makes your organization special.
When you’re the only game in town, you often don’t need to worry too much about your brand. Consumers will choose your product or service because there are few or no other options. This is often true for niche startups or companies in specialized industries. But as competition increases and consumers have more decisions to make, developing a consistent, quality brand becomes vital in differentiating yourself to attract and retain business.
#4 – Your brand looks out of date.
Design trends change, and if you’re embarrassed by your name, logo, or visual style, you may need to rebrand. This type of brand refresh demonstrates that you keep current and up to date.
#5 – Your business has been struggling.
Not all rebrands are a reaction to a decline in business, but there are certainly instances where that’s the case. Perhaps your sales have slipped, or your business feels stagnant. A rebrand is an opportunity to find your weaknesses and address them.
This is probably the riskiest reason to consider rebranding. If you have issues with your business model or your reputation, rebranding will not fix them. You’ll need to do that hard work first.
Companies need to change and evolve, and a rebrand is a great way to signal to your customers, your employees, and yourself that things will be different in a good way.
Is it time to rebrand your business?
A poor brand—one that misrepresents who you are or what your mission is—will make all of your marketing and communications efforts more difficult.
A well-executed rebrand is an opportunity to show your prospects, clients, and partners that you have more clarity about the direction and growth of your organization. It is a signal that you are excited about a new phase of growth.