A rebrand is a natural part of the life cycle of any strong brand. But how do you know when it’s time to rebrand your company?
Too often, red flags are overlooked in the hustle and bustle of daily life. Even when you do notice them, deciding to embark on a rebranding initiative is rarely simple.
So, how do you know when it’s time to pick up the phone and give me a bell?
What on earth is a Rebrand Mel?
Well let’s get this all outlined first. A rebranding is the process of changing how people perceive a company or product. A rebrand can include everything from a company’s name and strapline to its logo and visual identity, as well as its website, marketing collateral and really anything and everything that you use as a touchpoint for your brand.
I find the most effective rebranding exercises begin with deep dive into current brand perceptions—both internally with your team and externally your customers and peers.
The research phase’s data informs the strategy or brand positioning phase, in which a brand is repositioned in response to the information gathered, the customer needs and the market opportunities.
Only after research and strategy are the visual and verbal identities (the fun stuff) of a brand reimagined does a rebrand move on to the identity phase.
Logos, colours, typography, and photography are examples of visual identity. Names, straplines, and messaging are examples of verbal identity.
Typically, the identity phase concludes with the redesign of a website and/or marketing collateral, which is then launched into the world in the final phase, brand activation.
Why would we bother Rebranding?
Why bother rebranding in the first place? There are loads reasons to rebrand. To begin with, a strong brand increases the likelihood that your customers will choose your product or service over the competition.
Strong brands attract more customers who are willing to pay more and buy more frequently making it a lower cost per acquisition.
Strong brands are the foundation of true customer loyalty, delivering more revenue more efficiently and reliably.
A strong brand not only builds brand equity, but it also helps attract and retain your company’s next most valuable asset ……YOUR TEAM.
Unfortunately, even the most powerful brands have a shelf life. A brand is only fresh and relevant for five to ten years due to market vagaries, shifting customer priorities, and a million other worldly forces beyond the control of any business.
That is why rebranding is critical to the success of any business.
When you understand the reasons to rebrand, the question no longer becomes “why rebrand?” it becomes “why haven’t I done this sooner?”
Remember, it’s not a matter of if, but of when your company will need to rebrand.
My top indicators
So, how do you know if you need to rebrand? While the timing varies by business, there are a few tell-tale signs that a rebrand is in order.
Does Your brand name no longer reflect your brand vision?
A bad brand name is one of the most obvious indicators that it is time to rebrand. It occurs. What seemed like a super trendy name 10 years ago now looks more argumentative than representative.
Changes in cultural context can sometimes alter the meaning of a name we all remember Kimono gate don’t we? Sometimes the name just doesn’t feel right for the next iteration of the brand.
Whatever the reason, your brand name should be an asset to your business not a liability. Choosing the right name for the business is laying the foundations for the brand story, it will be your calling card with repetition across all touchpoints. The name of your brand should be distinct, distinguishing, and, most importantly, memorable.
Renaming your business requires a few more added considerations you will need to consider trademarking and also URL research. We have a tried and tested business naming process so if you need a little guidance give us a shout..
You experience more shame than show off when you had out your business cards?
This feeling is way more common than you think we get it lots when businesses were a lean start up and the owner paid a fiver for a stock logo off one of those sites (you all know the one I am talking about don’t you). If you cringe a little when you pull out your business card, or if your website should come with a disclaimer about the need for an update, it’s probably time for a rebrand.
After all, if you’re embarrassed about your brand, it’s likely that others in your team are as well, which can have a significant impact on both external promotion and internal morale.
Being embarrassed about your brand does not always necessitate a complete rebrand. It’s possible that your brand’s visual and/or verbal identities just need a bit of a refresh.
A brand refresh is primarily a cosmetic solution that involves retooling your brand’s look and feel. While it does not change your brand’s DNA or fundamental market position, a brand refresh can have a significant impact on a stagnant or outdated brand.
Are you lost in the noise of your competition?
Another sign that it’s time to rebrand is when your company begins to resemble every other one of your competitors.
Finally, branding is all about competitive differentiation. However, you’d be surprised how many businesses are unable to communicate, let alone identify, their key differentiators.
Sales and business growth can be extremely difficult without clearly articulated differentiators. It is critical that both your employees and customers understand why your brand is better than the competition.
A rebrand can assist you in identifying and refining your key differentiators, including your competitive advantage: what you do better than your competitors.
Finally, no competitive advantage is as powerful or long-lasting as a strong brand. A strong brand allows you to compete regardless of whether you have a tangible advantage over your competitors.
Is your branding is more confusing than clear?
Is your brand experience disjointed or perplexing? Is it a mishmash of offerings with no unifying brand narrative? If this is the case, it may be time to rebrand your company.
Maintaining a brand’s focus over time is difficult, especially for larger organisations with large teams and competing interests. A lack of brand focus, whether the result of unchecked growth or simply a mismanaged brand, poses serious challenges to your brand’s effectiveness.
Unfocused brands frequently diversify their offerings or outright imitate the competition. They are distinguished by weak or ambiguous value propositions and a general lack of relevance.
The target audience will have a much more difficult time understanding your brand if it is complex. If the complexity of your brand is causing your audience’s eyes to glaze over, it’s time to simplify and focus.
Is your business is heading in an entirely new direction?
When your company’s business model or strategy changes, it’s time to rebrand.
When it comes to adapting your brand to a fundamental change in your business, you should start with the basics: your brand compass. Any comprehensive rebranding effort should begin with establishing your company’s purpose, vision, mission, and values.
What is the purpose of your company? Where is it going? How will it arrive? Which values characterise your company’s culture?
Clarifying these guiding principles is the starting point for any rebrand, particularly those motivated by a shift in business strategy. Your brand compass serves as a foundation for the many other components of your brand and charts a course for your brand’s future success.
You have become bigger than your brand
Knowing when to rebrand your company can be as simple as realising you’ve outgrown your current brand.
Even if you’re meticulous with brand management, you’ll eventually outgrow your brand’s original iteration. It’s not a matter of if, but rather of when.
You don’t have to abandon your old brand when rebranding to accommodate growth. While there are likely weaknesses in your brand, there are also likely strengths that you will want to capitalise on in the future.
One of the best ways to assess your brand’s strengths and weaknesses before rebranding is with a branding evaluation we will be happy to guide you through this process.
You have just bought the business or have merged with another
If you’re going through a merger or buyout, that’s a dead giveaway that it’s time to rebrand. Mergers and buyouts almost always involve some level of rebranding.
In any buyout, it is critical to consider how the acquired brand fits into the acquiring entity’s brand structure. Too often, businesses fail to consider this, causing both brands to suffer from the resulting confusion.
Brand structure is equally important in mergers. Ensure that the newly merged brands, products, and services have optimal relationships to avoid redundancy, inconsistency, confusion, and cannibalization. These types of expensive inefficiencies can reduce the overall value of a merger or buyout.
Navigate away from negative PR
Another sign that it is time to rebrand is the need to distance your company from a negative incident.
The joys of social media and twitter trolls mean that it takes very little these days to acquire a negative image, they spread like wildfire with every share and like.
In these situations, rebranding is frequently the simplest and most effective solution, beginning with an internal brand audit to assess where and how deeply the associations run.
A thorough audit of your brand’s numerous touchpoints will provide important insights into where the negative perceptions exist.
You’re struggling to raise your prices
One tell-tale sign that it’s time to rebrand is difficulty raising your prices.
If the market price for your products or services appears to be hopelessly fixed, despite rising material costs, rebranding can be the most effective way to elevate you from the competition.
Because brands are ultimately defined by customer perception, the worth of your offerings is deeply embedded in the minds of those you serve. Rebranding empowers you to redefine the value customers place on your offerings—and accordingly raise your asking price.
Strong brands’ pricing power allows them to dominate their respective markets, revitalise underperforming assets, and insulate themselves from competitive threats. Pricing power, like few other market factors, drives growth.
Your target audience has shifted directions
If you’re struggling to capture the attention of a newly profitable audience, it’s time to rebrand your company.
To foster brand loyalty among new customer segments, make sure your brand is relevant to their needs.
After all, staying on top of demographic shifts is good business. A savvy young demographic does not want to be associated with the stodgy brands of their parents’ generation. A rebrand allows you to reinvent yourself in order to reach these previously untapped audiences.
So, You’ve Decided to Rebrand. Now What?
Once you’ve made the decision to rebrand, we want to talk with you. We will initially take you through our tried and tested brand audit to make sure we are applying the most effective strategy for your rebrand. We then make the decision collaboratively with you as to how to tackle this beast and we then crack on and make those dreams a reality.