Do You Need to Rebrand?

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Losing out to competition, sales have nose-dived or just a bit bored with your brand? There are good reasons your company might need a rebrand, and then there are some that are, well, not so good.

Making sure you’re rebranding for the right reasons is essential. Rebranding and risks go hand in hand, and nobody is exempt, not even the big brands – Gap, Tropicana and Weight Watchers’ respective rebrands have all tanked in recent times.

Wondering whether you need to rebrand? We’ll help you make sure you’re making the right decision by looking at the reasons you should – and shouldn’t – go ahead with your plan to rebrand.

Why do businesses rebrand?

So why exactly do businesses rebrand? Let’s take a look at some of the more common reasons that a company might choose to undergo a rebrand:

  • A change in business direction

Companies grow, change and develop all the time. New products and services become part of the offering, taking the spotlight off their previous focus (as with Dunkin’ Donuts becoming Dunkin’). Or it a competitor’s cutting edge tech might suddenly render your brand old fashioned in comparison. A rebrand can help to navigate these new avenues. 

  • To target new audiences and/or locations

If a company has its sights set on moving into international markets, then it might need to change up their logo or messaging so that these fresh markets can understand and identify with the brand.

Even if you’re not expanding into new locations, there’s a chance your product strikes a chord with customers you never set out to target – and now you’re course correcting so you can actively start trying to attract their attention. 

  • Changes within your business

When a company is acquired by or joins up with another company, their respective identities might get muddied up amongst all the contract signings and general upheaval. In such cases, a rebrand can properly reflect the new venture without alienating their audiences – or employees.

  • Your business has outgrown your brand

Over time, a company’s branding becomes outdated, its mission changes or the public start to perceive you as something that you’re not. Once there’s a mismatch between a business and its brand, things can become unfocused. A rebrand has the power to sharpen up brand identity once more. 

Rebrand vs Refresh: What’s the difference

Rebranding isn’t your only option – you could always go with a refresh. But how do the two differ?

  • Rebranding

Rebranding is a from-the-ground-up, no-stone-unturned process that completely changes the positioning of a company. Everything from mission, values, visual identity (including website) and tone of voice undergoes a complete transformation.

For extra insights on what is rebranding, head here.

  • Refreshing

In a brand refresh, a company will alter some of its visual aspects, such as its logo, slogan, colour palette or typography, without changing its identity or core values. These usually take place when a brand wants to modernise their image. You may have heard of a little company called Apple, they’re particularly adept at the brand refresh.  

Knowing when it’s time to rebrand

Brands don’t suddenly wake up one day and say “we need a rebrand”. It’s usually down to a problem, or a few problems, that have become too big to ignore. Here’s how to know when the time is right to rebrand – and not rebrand.

Reasons you shouldn’t rebrand

  • Out of boredom

Just because you don’t like your branding, it doesn’t mean your customers feel the same way. Remember, they see your site and assets a lot less than you do, so don’t assume they hate your logo like you do.

  • To cover up a crisis

Is there anything more obvious than a brand’s attempt to course correct after some bad press with a rebrand? Everyone can see right through it. Don’t be tempted.

  • To inflate the ego

A plucky manager looking to make their mark might try to cajole their team – and the company – that they’re in need of a rebrand. Good for them, but ultimately, not for the company, stakeholders or customers.

Signs you’re in need of a full rebrand

As well as the reasons we mentioned earlier, a rebrand is pretty much the done deal if you’ve noticed any of the following:

  • There’s little to differentiate you from the competition
  • There’s a lack of focus and consistency across your assets
  • Your current branding leaves potential customers confused
  • Your branding is culturally insensitive (see: Uncle Ben’s and their subsequent rebranding)
  • Your branding was of the moment, rather than being timeless
  • Traffic, sales, clients and other metrics are dropping

Next steps to consider for your rebrand

  • Determine why you’re rebranding

Clearly, there are no shortage of reasons why companies rebrand. But it’s important to pinpoint why exactly you’re rebranding. If any of the reasons you’re weighing up land in the reasons not to section, then we’d really recommend against a rebrand.

It’s not a process to be taken lightly, and if your business is performing well against the competition, customers respond well to you or your company and branding are in sync, then launching a rebrand project will likely be a huge drain on your team’s resources.

  • Research your current position

A lot of determining why you’re rebranding will involve assessing your current position. Investigating things like performance against your competition, your competition’s activity, the audience you currently cater to (and who you’d like to start catering to), and whether or not your branding is reflective of the company will provide a picture of where you are – and where you see yourself in the future.

  • What will the end look like?

Essentially, what are the goals of the rebrand? Are you targeting a new audience or location? Do you want your branding to reflect new products or services you’ve added to the mix? Are you looking to capitalise on recent growth so it can continue into the future? Here’s where you’ll decide what your end goals of the rebrand will be, a process that’ll help to give the project as a whole greater direction.

Download your free Complete Rebrand Project Planner Template

Whatever the scale, scope and vision of your rebrand is, the insights, ideas and information you uncover need to go in one easily accessible, shareable place. Our free rebrand project planner template can help with that – grab yours here.

Ready to breathe new life into your brand? We can help with that. Whether it’s a refresh or a full rebrand, our team can carry out the research, creative work and delivery of a brand new you that’ll set you apart from your competition. Head to our homepage for info or give us a call on 0345 459 0558.

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Oliver Urwin
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