Time for a Rebrand – 7 Signs Indicating That Your Company Needs a New Start
A brand goes beyond its logo.
At its very essence, a brand is the sum of the message you want to get across, combined with the tone, voice and image you use, communicated through channels and platforms that resonate with the audiences you speak to. When consumers look at a brand, they see, rightly or wrongly, what your business has to offer.
A brand encapsulates how people feel about your products and services.
Time for a change
You may have been running your business for a number of years and already have a brand in place. Even so, now might be the perfect time to be thinking of a rebrand.
After all, if beloved and iconic brands such as McDonald’s, MasterCard and the Cleveland Indians could do it, maybe it’s time to freshen up your brand, too.
But the first (and probably the most important thing) you can do is to recognize the signs that it is time for a rebrand.
- Your business has grown
When starting out on a new venture, many business owners overlook the significance of proper branding and brand identity. Too often, companies proceed with branding as an afterthought, focusing their attention on what they believe to be more important things.
Now that your company has grown and established its presence in the market, you would want your brand to keep pace with the changes it has undergone, as well as the new path it wants to go.
- Your brand is mistaken for another
Trends come and go. Moreover, with the advent of the Internet, it has become easier for designers to influence each other’s work, whether intentionally or unintentionally, from fonts to colors to other design elements.
If your customers often mistake your logo and other branding assets with those of another brand, or worse, with a competitor, it is high time to call in an agency to help you with rebranding.
- You’re attracting the wrong customers
Every brand has its own set of ideal customers. If your company is attracting the wrong set of customers, the main culprit may be your branding.
Ideally, your branding efforts should attract your target customers through your messaging. If you keep on attracting the wrong crowd, your branding may have been misled. One good example of this was when Colgate launched a toothpaste product called “Cue” in France, not knowing a popular pornographic magazine in the country carried the same name.
- Your company has changed
Perhaps your company has merged with another one; or perhaps your suite of products or services has changed, shifting your attention from B2C to B2B.
These changes need to be reflected in your branding. If your current branding scheme is unable to cope with these changes, a rebrand should be in order.
- Your visual assets look dated
Companies and their branding efforts should keep pace with the changes in time. If the colors, fonts, and other graphics that you use look outdated, you will need to freshen these up to garner more looks from potential customers and to look more current.
A simple Internet search should show you how big name brands including Google, Pepsi, Verizon, UPS, Air BNB, PayPal, IHOP, Mail Chimp, Mercedes-Benz, Facebook, Microsoft, and so many others have had their logos undergo metamorphosis over the years.
- Your target customers have changed
The needs of your customers evolve; so must your brand. If you can’t connect with your customers through your current messaging or if you want to keep pace with the evolution of your demographics, you should strongly consider rebranding.
- Your brand has a problem
Simply put, you can’t fix everything. Perhaps there’s been a change in the marketplace, a cultural evolution, or even a scandal in your company.
If the problem boils down to your image, the best course of action is not to try to fix things. Instead, a better choice would be a fresh start.
How to rebrand
Rebranding is not merely about changing the logo or choosing new fonts and colors to use. It is a process that requires utmost care and thoughtfulness.
So, how exactly do you proceed?
Rebranding entails a strong partnership between a company and its chosen branding agency. From the agency’s end, the bulk of its tasks are related to messaging and the use of the right visual elements.
From your end, your main task would be to ensure a smooth transition and successful implementation of the planned changes.
Here are a few crucial steps to bear in mind.
- Start with solid research
Successful rebranding efforts are anchored upon strong research. With the help of your branding agency, you need to gain new insights about your target customers and the current marketplace.
Specifically, you need information about:
- your customers and their needs;
- how your company is perceived;
- your competition and how they are viewed;
- what your employees think.
- Keep stakeholders in the loop
Right from the start, you should inform all stakeholders about the planned rebrand. Even one dissenting opinion can throw a monkey wrench into your well-planned scheme.
Specifically, make sure everyone is onboard by providing details about the objectives, your research, timelines, budget, and foreseeable changes.
- Start on the right foot
How you roll out your rebranding efforts can spell success or failure. Remember, you are investing not just time and money; more importantly, you are investing in the future of your company.
A successful rebranding rollout often begins with enlisting employees who act as brand ambassadors. Simply put, you have to get your own employees excited about the rebrand as well.
Apart from enlisting the help of your employees, there are a few other measures that you may need to undertake. These include internal and external PR campaigns (videos, emails, media mentions, etc.) and hosting a launch party.
The tools that you should use for launching your brand can vary, depending on a lot of factors, including what industry you are in. Consult your branding agency on what works best for you.
Just the beginning
The rollout of your new brand is just the start of a continuous process.
Along the road, you will encounter new challenges. You will be sure to receive a lot of comments about your new brand, its logo, and messaging — something particularly true in the online world where the response from communities has grown due to the global reach of the Internet, and communication is facilitated at a superfast rate. However, remember that it is your duty to remain steadfast and defend your rebranding efforts and new brand.
Listen to positive points, tune out the bad, and remain faithful and focused on your rebrand.
By standing firm with the rebranding, you are building a powerful asset for your company – brand continuity.
Stuart Harris is the Creative Director at Yellow, a Dubai branding agency, digital partner and advertising company working with progressive businesses to build bold, meaningful brands.