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When to Rebrand?

YOU’VE HAD GREAT TIMES TOGETHER AND YOU ACHIEVED SO MUCH, BUT MAYBE YOU AND YOUR BRAND HAVE DRIFTED APART? MAYBE THE SAME FIRE NO LONGER BURNS?

Every business is different, but there are common factors, pain points and situations when rebranding could, should or simply absolutely has to happen. But of course there are different levels of rebranding, from evolution to revolution.

Perhaps your brand or only certain parts of it need slight modifications or perhaps your brand name, image and positioning need to change completely. But how do you know?

IS IT A CASE FOR INTERNAL AFFAIRS?

From many years’ experience, we have come to the conclusion that most rebranding or brand refreshing is triggered by internal business changes. When the nature of your business changes, the nature of your brand changes and realignment becomes necessary. Sometimes ownership or leadership changes in a business can lead to a new company culture, mission, vision, and values. Perhaps your company, products or service offerings have changed or improved or you are about to add products or services that will dramatically alter your offerings.

DO YOU STILL RECOGNISE YOUR MARKET?

The next most frequent reason for rebranding is a changing market environment. Perhaps your market has changed dramatically or your brand is not as well recognised among those you target as customers as it once was. Perhaps you’re simply not attracting enough of the right type of customers and as a result sales have fallen, or maybe you are facing stronger or new competition.

Maybe new market solutions or customer preferences have caused consumers to lose or lessen their interest in your brand. Or perhaps your brand message and experience has become out of synch with current consumer interests and tastes. Possibly your logo, tagline, and other identifying elements have become out of step with current design and cultural trends. Or maybe you are just following rather than leading with your brand direction.

IS YOUR BRAND STILL FIT FOR PURPOSE?

Sometimes marketplace conditions change in such a way that brands become outdated or even irrelevant. Perhaps the brand’s benefits are no longer appealing or the way the brand is presented to consumers no longer fits marketplace trends and patterns. For instance, how do customers, prospective customers, investors and other interested parties perceive your brand? Is it how you wish to be perceived or is there a gap?

If the attributes that you feel best differentiate your brand and its offerings are different to what your target audience believe distinguish your brand from competitors, then there is an issue. As there is when your brand is not well recognised among those you target as customers.

IS WHAT YOU SEE WHAT YOU GET?

All great brands share one important attribute: they’re mirror images of the companies they represent. Your brand identity should mirror your current business mission, vision and values. It should accurately reflect the character, personality, and tone of your business. Your pricing has to be an accurate reflection of your brand message and positioning and all products or services that you’ve added or that you plan to add must fit well under your brand.

But sometimes ownership, leadership, or strategic changes can make your brand become dated. Sometimes your brand image can get tarnished by events either within or out with your control. If your brand is not an accurate reflection of your current business, then that should be a red flag.

ARE YOU MAXIMISING YOUR BRAND IMPACT?

Consumer opinion about a brand is the result of all contact with the brand, from marketing communications to staff encounters, from the intricacies of the purchase experience (including services) to the experience of becoming a brand owner. Your current brand experience should reinforce your desired brand image at all contact points.

When consumers encounter your brand, the experience should be consistent and compelling. It should be outstanding compared to those of your competitors.

If your brand experience has begun to get unpredictable then to quote the late, great, Nat King Cole, “There may be trouble ahead”.

As newcomers enter your marketplace, their brand offerings can change consumer expectations. Does your brand compete well with the brands of dominant competitors in your market area? Your brand should inspire potential customers to overlook the competition and come to you. Does your staff fully understand and embrace the business you’ve become? For instance, when asked to describe your brand, do employees all give nearly identical answers?

If your customer offering is not clear and easily understood or if your customers and employees don’t understand and embrace the business you have become, then you will have an issue. Your brand promise has to be clear, unique, and appealing when compared to promises extended by your competitors.

IS YOUR BRAND NAME AND IDENTITY STILL FIT FOR PURPOSE?

Your brand name should be an appropriate label for the promise you keep, and the markets you serve. If your organisation has found it necessary to improvise adaptations of your brand name to make it an appropriate label for some of your offerings, or if you have found it necessary to use alternate versions of your brand name, logo, or tagline in certain distribution channels, then it could well be a sign that your name is no longer an appropriate label for the business you have become.

Or perhaps your brand name, logo, communications, location, and experience has become inconsistent with the personality, character, and tone that you want associated with your business. For example is your name, logo, tagline, and other identifying elements distinctive and competitive in terms of quality, sophistication and consistency?

Your brand identity should match and project the quality and sophistication of the business you’ve become.

If your brand identity still conveys the business you once were, then there is a good chance that it is projecting the wrong image. It may even be jaded or dated, with a typestyle, colours and design that seem stuck in the past. And what about your tagline? Does it accurately convey your brand positioning and what makes you unique? If not, it could be harming not helping.

CONSISTENCY, CONSISTENCY, CONSISTENCY.

Your marketing communications from brochures, advertisements, website to your phone and mail and in-person contacts should be uniformly consistent in look, tone of voice and message. They have to be consistent and competitive in terms of look, character and brand message and they absolutely have to make it clear what you do better than anyone else. If they don’t, then I’m afraid there could be a problem on the horizon.

AND FINALLY.

If you’d like us to clarify anything, add more perspective or give your brand its own, tailored, in-depth interrogation, don’t hesitate to get in touch. You might also like to try our Brand Healthcheck HERE, which is always a good early warning system for any potential issues.

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