We like to consider ourselves brand champions, helping over 100+ companies brand or rebrand themselves over the past 15+ years. During this time, our clients have developed a deeper understanding and connection with their brands, and in turn, we’ve also learned a great deal along the way. It’s very rewarding and inspiring to see businesses excited about their new identity, and perhaps you’re wondering, should I rebrand? If you are, this list is for you!
We’ve put together 8 reasons why you would rebrand, let’s explore:
- It’s evolution, baby!
Nothing stays the same. Not us, not our audience, and certainly not the environment in which business is done. As your audience changes and adapts, and as your business grows – maybe you’ve added new products and services—it’s time to ask, is my brand still relevant and representative of who we currently are, and where we are going?
- Mergers & acquisitions:
When two companies become one, a rebrand or brand refresh is a key consideration. Each organization had its own unique audience and brand attributes that it brought to the deal, and a rebrand is a significant way to show unity and appeal to both audiences. Sometimes it is just a matter of re-packaging the brand in a way that resonates with both audiences; or in other cases, one of the brands may remain dominant, and simply go through a refresh.
- It’s all about the innovation:
Technology is changing faster than you can say, Sally Sells Sea Shells by the Sea Shore. If your company/brand is dependent upon technology and you are consistently innovating, then a rebrand should follow your natural path of innovation. It is an outward expression of your company’s evolution and will keep audiences coming back to see ‘what’s new, hip and cool’.
- Finding the right position:
Taking a brand to a new position is challenging (from a value brand to a luxury brand for example), and requires a company to think about the new audience they are hoping to target. This audience likely has a different DNA than the old audience, and it’s often best to re-launch a brand to target this new demographic. Often, brands will not necessarily rebrand a current label, but rather create a new freestanding brand to float into the market.
The greatest brands in the world consistently update and refresh their look to stay contemporary and fresh. We find that 10 years is often the max threshold for consideration of a rebrand. If your brand looks like something Miami Vice from the 80s, and it’s now 2017, it’s time to consider freshening up that look. A refresh helps show your innovation, adaptability and competitiveness, while celebrating the history and heritage of your brand.
Small companies can become big companies if they’re good at what they do, but small companies often start with budget-driven logo & visuals. This is primarily for economic reasons (or perhaps their best friend’s sister has a cousin that just completed a Photoshop class and was commissioned for the original design in exchange for a year’s worth of pumpkin spiced lattes—hey, it could happen!). There comes a point when a company will become more sophisticated then their current look, and that is usually the best indicator that it’s time to rebrand.
- International growth:
There are some instances where rebranding is needed for a brand to be used and recognized correctly on a more significant international scale. Perhaps the current brand is too region-specific or invokes incorrect cultural associations and will not resonate with the areas and cultures it’s expanding into.
- Reputation reboot:
We all know a bad reputation can be a business-killer. A rebrand can help reboot negative public perception; but note, an image refresh is only a small piece of the puzzle that needs to be reignited. The company needs to implement core changes throughout the organization to help navigate the culture and organization onto a better path. A new brand (but old habits) is not enough to dispel negative connotations of the old organization.
How to Know if Your Business is Not Ready to Rebrand
- Your company is still too new:
If your company or brand has entered the marketplace in the past 3 years, it’s probably not the best time to rebrand. It takes time to evolve a brand into something genuine and unique, and it’s wise to avoid the costly process of rebranding just to try and ‘sell’ more. Often, a different approach to your marketing efforts can help breathe life into your business and would be more cost efficient at this point.
- Rebranding just because it seems like a good idea:
It’s not a great idea to rebrand if the only reason is that you “want to”. If there is no new innovation, attitude, behaviour or product position, then consumers will be left with a flat experience. Imagine if a restaurant sells crummy food, and starts to lose market share. They decide to rebrand to bring people back, yet still sell the same crummy food. This is a sure recipe for failure (no pun intended) as they’ll almost certainly lose that customer for life.
Rebranding is an exciting journey for any company, but should always be done with purpose and the intent to live the new brand to its fullest. Working with a specialist that can guide your project with your business aspirations in mind, and is focused solely on positive outcomes for your bottom line is a smart business investment, at the right time and for the right reasons.