Why Rebrand?

By: on November 6, 2009
Posted in: Brand EquityBrand ExperienceBrand IdentityBrand Positioning

There’s nothing we enjoy more than helping to guide an organization through the rebrand process. Usually (always) organization have already set the mandate for ‘why’ they are going through this process. Here are a few reasons why a company should consider a rebrand (and a couple of  reasons why you shouldn’t).

1. Relevance: Companies and brands need to stay relevant to their target audience, and let’s face it, audiences change. When your target evolves and starts to sniff out competitors, it may be because they feel their first preference (you) is no longer relevant. Rebrands in this case often are accompanied by new product offerings.

2. Mergers & Acquisitions: When 2 companies are combined, there are likely 2 unique audiences left to communicate to. Sometimes it is a matter of re-packaging the company / brand in a way that will appeal to both. In other cases however, one of the brands may remain dominant, and simply go through a refresh.

3. Innovation: Technology surely evolves faster than any brand, and 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 companies evolution and will keep audiences coming back to see ‘what’s new’.

4. Reposition: Taking a brand to a new position is difficult (value to premium for example), and requires a company to think about the new audience they are hoping to acquire. They likely have 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.

5. Rejuvenation: 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. In cases where a company has a 25 year old ‘look’, they will probably find themselves looking over their shoulder often at the up and coming brands who are demonstrating innovation and business evolution. If you have the mind set of ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ (pardon my backwoods grammar), I would encourage you to consider a ‘brand refresh’. This maintains and celebrates the history and heritage of your brand, but shows your audience (current and future) that you are adaptive to change.

6. Outgrowth: Small companies can become big companies if they’re good at what they do, but small companies often start with meager logo’s & visuals. This is mainly for budget reasons (or perhaps their artistically oriented nephew was commissioned for the original design in exchange for a box of shiny new pencil crayons). There comes a point when a company will become more sophisticated then the look they are carrying, and that is usually the best time to rebrand.

Reasons NOT to rebrand

1. Too young: If you’ve rolled out a company or brand to 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 to try and ‘sell’ more. Often, a different approach to marketing or new campaign can help.

2. Change for the sake of change: It’s not a great idea to rebrand if the only reason you have is because you ‘want’ to. If there is no new innovation, attitude, behavior 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 this new brand to it’s fullest. Work with a specialist that can guide your project with your business aspirations in mind, and is focussed solely on positive outcomes for your bottom line.