A company’s brand, regardless of industry, is its most valuable asset. The power and influence of a brand can drive people to take action. Companies that consistently meet the needs and are connected to the values of their customers will be loyal to them.
A strong brand is more than just a logo or a font choice on your website. It should be reflected in every aspect of your business and should convey your core values, engendering a kind of magnetic attraction for your customers.
However, businesses evolve and customer preferences change over time as well following trends, tastes, and advancements in technology.
The Benefits of Rebranding.
There are positive effects in rebranding a company. Ultimately, rebranding is about improving your image in one or more ways to become more relevant, more competitive, and more profitable in your target market. What would be the point of going through a rebranding effort if there are not many positive outcomes?
If you think that rebranding is a mere vanity exercise, you couldn’t be more wrong. Rebranding should be executed as a calculated business decision meant not only to reinvigorate your business image but also to improve and enhance your business reputation.
An outdated branding not only weakens public perception of your business, but it does little or nothing to motivate your team. Needless to say, a fresh, updated, and new brand identity can add a revitalised energy not only to your business but to your team as well. Rebranding can also attract new customers and re-ignite the interest of your existing audience.
Another benefit that your company may acquire from rebranding is realigning the focus of your efforts. By doing so, this allows you to also set and achieve new goals.
You may either be shifting focus to develop new products or services or improve existing ones. A rebranding campaign can also be a viable move involving everyone in your company to get involved and be advocates on behalf of your company.
Rebranding is also an opportunity to make waves and get people talking about your company on social media. Show existing well as potential customers what is great about the changes being made, and to expound further why you are making them.
Once achieved successfully, it can bring focus back to your business. It can also revitalise your social media status, making you hit two birds with one stone.
Do You Need to Rebrand?
Any marketer would be tantalised by the idea of a rebranding, however, it is also a time-consuming and cost-driven process. You have to think deeply about it before considering diving in.
Rebranding can be a sort of fresh beginning for your company, but it is not always necessary or remotely beneficial. Just because you are not particularly happy about your logo, your colour schemes, or even the fonts used in your branding, it doesn’t mean you have to scratch everything.
There have been companies who pushed through with their attempt at rebranding only to fumble the process. Months of work and resources were wasted due to a lack of commitment and shattered expectations.
Aside from significant shifts or extreme situations in your business, there is usually no straightforward reason why a business should rebrand and the risks that might come with it.
Clothing company Gap abruptly abandoned its logo rebranding efforts back in 2010 after only a week due to massive online backlash. Meanwhile, fruit juice company Tropicana’s sales dropped 20% when it abandoned its familiar orange with a straw packaging in favour of a glass of orange juice back in 2009. The drop in sales prompted the company to return to its former branding in less than 30 days, and they have kept it for good.
The lesson to be learned here is that if you intend to redesign your logo and branding, it is important not to change everything at once. Changes to be done should be implemented in stages so as not to shock loyal customers who are already familiar with and patronising your brand for years.
However, this only applies to established and successful brands. If, for some reason, your brand is not doing well, a total rebrand can be the right way to go to save your product or service from oblivion. There are cases of not-so-well-known brands, such as P&G’s Herbal Essences line, which had driven sales through the roof after a successful rebranding and even snagged a rebranding award back in 2007.
Signs You Need Rebranding.
There are justifiable reasons to consider a rebranding. However, before considering undergoing this process, no decision should be made without proper due diligence and research, extensive discussions with the business leadership, and the crafting of a strong and well-designed execution plan.
It makes no sense to spend time, money, and energy on a sloppy execution. And we promise you, the internet will not be as kind.
That being said, if you have decided that rebranding would be the right move for your business, here are plausible reasons why it might be time.
You don’t seem to attract your target market.
If you launched your business correctly, chances are you’ve already identified a very specific target market. Your products or services might not have been as attractive to this market as you originally anticipated.
Maybe they are, but your price point isn’t right for them. Perhaps the target market you had in mind was too broad, and to achieve success, you need to target one of the many submarkets that you now understand much better.
Rebranding can potentially improve your brand’s appeal with your original target audience, as well as reach entirely new ones.
You want to go after a new audience.
It is not surprising that many brands fail or struggle to attract millennials, whose values and habits differ greatly from other generations. If your current brand is not primed to connect with these new sets of audiences, your effort will fail.
A rebranding may be the right choice in this instance if you want to capture this type of audience. Your brand should be able to speak and relate to the audience you are trying to reach.
However, you don’t want to do anything drastic that would alienate your existing customer base. Remember the Gap fiasco we discussed earlier?
Ideally, your rebranding should enhance your brand identity while appealing to both your existing customers and potential new ones.
Your brand has expanded or is painfully outdated.
Regardless of industry, the urge to expand comes with success. The fact of the matter for most brands is, that they have current identities that no longer reflect their current brand strategy or offerings.
They might have outdated logos that have become dated, and unappealing, or don’t adapt well to the internet or have names that are too product-specific.
If you have a company that has not had a rebranding since its founding by, say, your great-grandfather? You’re more than likely in need of a rebranding. One that is modern, flexible, and future-proof.
To cite a perfect example, Google has had seven logo changes in its 23 years of existence.
The marketplace has evolved.
Though there are industries that remain virtually the same unaffected by the passing of time and tastes, there are others that are affected and are in constant change.
Another factor to consider is that competition can also alter the marketplace and drive changes in which you have to immediately adapt if you want your business to survive and continue to thrive, or even scale new heights.
If you sense that your customers are beginning to look for something different from what they expect from your business since the beginning of its operation, it may be time for a change.
Your brand does not reflect your values.
People today, especially millennials, want to align themselves with brands whose values align with their own. If your company has a strongly crafted brand strategy and a well-articulated brand heart, that is, your purpose, vision, mission, and values, you should know what your core principles are.
In some cases, the brand heart of your company may not reflect what the heart of your brand is. This may be the case if things have already evolved or if it was not adequately articulated when the brand was founded.
You don’t stand out from the crowd.
Having branding that is too similar to your competition can pose a big problem. It needs to be re-crafted to allow you to stand out from the crowd and your competition to grab your target audience’s attention.
You might have been left behind and your competition has developed significantly enough since your business started. Or it could also mean that you just didn’t give branding that much of an issue or not give it much thought as it deserved.
Regardless of facts, if you find your business is simply blending in with your competition, that is a strong sign for you to rebrand your business. Look for a way to continue appealing to your customers while being true to your brand’s identity and values.
But be cautious not to make your business stand out by pretending to be something you are not, instead, focus on your unique selling points. Can you offer that which your competitors do not? What makes you different?
You’ve merged with another company or acquired one.
With new ownership or partnership, it makes sense to rebrand. However, this type of rebranding should be done with care — and a lot of common sense.
A merger or an acquisition of a new company is felt not only by their customers but also by the employees at every level including their manufacturers churning out their products or providing their services.
Mergers and acquisitions do not end once the contracts are signed. It will entail massive levels of rebranding to ensure that the transition from one company to another will go as seamlessly as possible and without a dent in operations.
Though mergers and acquisitions don’t massively affect the branding for loyal customers, it will entail a lot of revisions to internal documentation and processes. However, there is an obvious task of refreshing and reflecting the newly merged or acquired brand and image.
This can mean not only changing the sign-out front but also implementing changes that involve communicating new brand values to existing and new customers.
Don’t make the decision lightly.
Rebranding your business may be right for you and your business, just as long as it aligns with your brand strategy. Take a careful approach. As we said earlier, If possible, do it in stages so as not to shock your already loyal following. Do it methodically and strategically.
Choosing to rebrand when it’s probably not necessary is worse than deciding not to when most signs indicate that you should. The last thing you want is for it to end up in a situation like what happened to Gap or Tropicana.