A Re brand isn’t a strategy to pursue because it ‘seems like a good idea, or you ‘fancy a change’. Your brand is the foundation for all your marketing and messaging strategies. Changing it will have a seismic effect on everything else in your company.

Successful brands all share the trait of consistency of style and message. Change too much, too quickly or at the wrong time, and you risk your existing customers’ brand loyalty.

When contemplating whether it’s time for a re brand, consider the following questions…

1) Would you still choose your current branding today?

Consider your brand’s relevance in your current market. The logo you’ve had since 1999, is it still it for purpose? Does it translate well into the digital-first age we’re currently living in? The internet barely existed, and modern things we take for granted such as websites and smartphones didn’t even exist. The world has changed considerably in 20+ years, has your brand kept pace? It could be unlikely it works well across websites, social media channels and mobile devices.

  • Do you feel that your brand is maybe a bit tired and outdated?
  • Is your brand messaging still meaningful and current?
  • Do you and your customers still care about it?
  • Have you just become a bit indifferent to it over time?

Consistency and longevity are good things, but being old-fashioned and out of touch is not. Is your brand falling behind the competitors? If so, it is the perfect time to be proactive and freshen things up a little.

Picking up the Slack

Even relatively modern brands can have creative challenges, take the recent re brand of Slack. It’s not a particularly old brand, but its logo was causing issues when it was used across different media.

The visual below shows the before and after. Their new brand makes it easier to use across multiple channels whilst retaining the essence of the original.

2) Does your branding still engage with your target market?

Consider the best customers or clients that you have. Your aim is to acquire more customers of the same ilk. When thinking about this, questions you might want to ask yourself are:

  • Has the profile of your customer base changed significantly over the years?
  • Does your brand and messaging still connect well with the requirements of your target customers?
  • Are the target markets you identified last time you evaluated your brand still relevant?
  • Do you need to consider a change in your branding to be more targeted at the market you are currently appealing to?

A comprehensive re brand can create new opportunities with new customers. It can also help you reconnect with the loyal customers that are the backbone of your business.

3) Are you looking to reposition your offering?

For brand repositioning, you keep the great things about your brand and lose all the rest. You then fill in the gaps with an updated mindset and messaging and voila – a repositioning.

The need to reposition your offering can be driven by a myriad of factors. Have you created new products or services and are now looking to appeal to a new demographic?

Perhaps you’ve realised that a certain type of people are the ones buying your product or service. You could then tailor your marketing effort to target these people more specifically to increase sales.

It could be that you wish to improve a tarnished reputation. Sometimes a re brand coupled with a change in strategy can help remedy past failings and repair your reputation.

The Domino Effect

We all know Domino’s Pizza, now called Domino’s (which gives them the opportunity to delve into other food markets outside of pizza and stops them from being pigeonholed).

The pizza wasn’t the best. It didn’t taste great and the takeaway shops weren’t the best. Generally, the company was in a bit of a rut, so CEO Patrick Doyle decided to do something about it. Today they are a brand that continues to successfully evolve and keep at the forefront of its industry.

What did they do?

They realised that their pizza had a bad reputation, it received negative feedback online and sales were down. To transform their brand, they started by changing their recipe. They refined the taste and created a marketing campaign around their pizza being ‘new and improved.’ In simple terms, they changed their product for the better.

This changed the perception that customers had of their brand, in a charismatic and honest way. They admitted the pizza used to be terrible and told people that they had fixed it. They then refreshed the logo and modernised the look of their delivery locations and website. Add in a switch to focusing on technology (more about that later) and the transformation was complete.

4) Is there a merger or takeover on the cards?

Is your business undergoing a merger? Mergers can often lead to a new company name, combining the best elements of the merging companies. Doing this can dispel any reservations clients have about the change. Keeping them happy that the company they knew still remains, whilst gaining added benefits from the merger.

Take the example below of the merger of Continental Airlines and United Airlines. The new logo retains the united name with a slightly modified Continental Brandmark.

While fairly unremarkable, it does give a welcome dose of familiarity to their clients. This allows them to feel that they know what to expect from the new company.

5) Are you looking to stand out from the competition?

Perhaps your branding looks a little too similar to that of a competitor? If so, your potential customers may struggle to tell the difference. This can present barriers to creating customer loyalty and securing repeat business. You may wish to re brand in order to reinforce your individuality. This will help communicate what makes you better than your competitors and attempt to gain a greater market share.

6) Are advances in technology changing the way you operate?

Do advances in technology mean that your business now operates in a very different way when you first started? For example, over time, your business may have moved to a largely online operation. This can affect the brand and how it is perceived. Going back to the Domino’s example, technology is a huge part of the way it engages with its customers. Domino’s dont just make pizzas. Domino’s is a pizza-delivery business.

There has been a huge shift away from pizzas only being available in its retail outlets. Nowadays, technology is at the centre of everything it does. People order online via their phone or through the website. A fun delivery tracking feature shows where in the production and delivery process your pizza is. This enhanced customer brand experience has helped Domino’s to move ahead of its competition.

7) Is your business evolving after a period of rapid growth?

Are you looking to expand into new markets? If so, it’s often the case that businesses can outgrow their current branding. You may therefore be missing opportunities to connect with new markets.

Take Airbnb for example. After years of rapid growth, Airbnb rebranded in 2014. The re brand was guided by their new philosophy, “Belong Anywhere“. They called their new logo the Bélo. Their founder and CEO Brian Chesky, told us “It’s an iconic mark for our windows, our doors, and our shared values. A symbol that, like us, can belong wherever it happens to be.”

8) How will you measure the benefits that a re brand might bring?

Consider the objectives for your re brand and how meeting them might have a positive effect on the business.

  • Is it a purely cosmetic fix you’re looking to achieve?
  • Which of the pain points that your business is experiencing can a re brand alleviate?
  • Will your re brand open up new markets?
  • Are you looking to gain market share through Increased sales?

Try to envisage what a successful re brand looks like to you. Put in place metrics to measure ROI. The key aim of any rebranding project should be to boost your revenue. Reviving a flagging brand can have a huge benefit to your profit. The amount of difference you want to create should be reflected in the budget you have for the project.

So, to summarise…

You won’t necessarily need to go all the way back to the drawing board. A re brand doesn’t have to be a complete overhaul of the whole company image. However, it should always be driven by the needs of your particular business. Your re brand could be as simple as creating a new strapline to strengthen your positioning. Alternatively you may wish to revamp the existing logo, keeping some familiar elements that customers associate with the brand.

A larger branding project might involve a change of name, logo and strategy. Reconsidering your customer touchpoints (brochures, websites, email marketing, stationery etc) will maximise the positive effect.

The benefits of rebranding can be substantial if carried out well. Keep in mind what your clients or customers might think. The re brand is for them and not just for you.

If this article resonates with the issues facing your business, then you might want to consider a re brand. Here are a few things that you should consider about where to go from here…

Identify your goals

Are you attempting to rebuild your company’s image from scratch? or subtly reshaping your identity? Are you appealing to a new audience? or reconnecting with current customers?

Get a professional

There are some areas of marketing and advertising where you can’t afford to skimp, and branding is one of them. Work with the best people you can find or have the budget for.

Generate a buzz

Don’t shock your customers, make a series of announcements to get them engaged with your new brand. Consider a sale or similar promotion to get users excited about your changes.

Make it measurable

Better stakeholder engagement? More social reach? Increased sales? Plan for how ‘success’ will be measured, without this, a rebrand quickly becomes a purely cosmetic exercise.

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