8 reasons that show it is time to rebrand

Your brand is a vital marketing tool, forming the core identity of your business, all of the values, ideals, characteristics and personality traits of your company reduced to your customers, suppliers, competitors, and employees. When branding is well executed, it is a potent weapon in differentiating yourself from the competition, building your client base and generating customer loyalty. It is essential to ensure that your branding stands out from your competitors, is still relevant to your target market, and is reflective of what you stand for as a company.

Rebranding isn’t a strategy to pursue just because it ‘seems like a good idea’, ‘or you just fancy a bit of a change’. Your brand is the foundation for all your marketing and messaging strategies, so changing it can have a seismic effect on everything else in your company. Plus, one of the most important traits that successful brands share is consistency; so changing too too much too quickly or at the wrong time, could interfere with your existing customers’ brand loyalty. When considering whether the time for a rebrand has arrived, consider the following questions:

1) If you were starting your business today, would you choose your current branding?

Consider your brand’s relevance in your current market. Is your brand fit for purpose in todays often digital first world? That 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 weren’t even a consideration. The world has changed considerably in 20 years, has your brand kept pace? Does it work well across websites, social media channels, mobile devices and other things that may not have even existed when it was created? Or does it just feel a bit tired and outdated? Is your brand messaging still meaningful and current? and do you and your customers still care about it? Consistency and longevity are good things, but being old-fashioned and out of touch is not, so if you think your brand may be falling behind the competitors, perhaps its time to consider freshening things up a little. Even relatively modern brands can have creative challenges, take the recent rebrand of Slack. Not a particularly old brand, their old logo was causing issues when it was used across different media. The visual below shows the before and afer and is a good example of using a rebrand to make your branding more consistent and easy to use across multiple channels whilst retaining the essence of the original.

2) Are you still engaging your target market?

Consider the best customers or clients that you have. The aim is to acquire more customers of the same ilk. 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? – or do you need to consider a change in your branding to be more targeted at the market you are currently appealing to? If that is the case, a comprehensive rebrand can create opportunities not only to create a new customer base you have not previously considered, but to reconnect with your loyal customers that are the backbone of your business.

3) Are you looking to reposition your offering?

Brand repositioning, is where you take the great things about your brand, lose the things that aren’t working and fill in the gaps with an updated mindset and messaging. The need to reposition your offering can be driven by a myriad of factors. It could be that you have created new products or services that appeal to a different demographic. It could be that you’ve realised that a certain type of person are generally the only ones buying your product or service and that you could tailor your marketing effort to target these people more specifically to increase sales. It could be reputational, sometimes a rebrand coupled with a change in strategy can begin to remedy some of the companies failings and repair a damaged reputation.

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 being pigeon holed). The pizza wasn’t the very best. It didn’t taste great, the takeaway shops weren’t the nicest and generally the company was in a bit of a rut, so CEO Patrick Doyle decided to do something about it and today they are a brand that continues to successfully evolve and keep at the forefront of their industry.

They realised that their pizza had a bad reputation, it received quite a bit of negative feedback online and sales numbers were down. To transform their brand, they started by changing their recipe to improve the taste and created a marketing campaign around the fact that their pizza was ‘new and improved.’ In simple terms, they changed their product for the better, which 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, modernised the look of their delivery locations and website, and switched to a focus on technology (more about that later) and the transformation was complete.

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

Often most obvious reason to rebrand a business is for a company merger. Mergers can often lead to a new company name, combine the best elements of the merging companies. Doing this can dispel any reservations clients have with the change and keep them happy that the company they knew still remains in some shape or form 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, which, while not pulling up any trees from a design perspective, does give a welcome dose of familiarity to their existing clients allowing them to know what to expect from the new company.

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

Sometimes the branding of your business can look very similar to that of a close competitor, 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 consider a rebranding project in order to reinforce your individuality and communicate what makes you different and better than your competitors and attempt to gain a greater market share.

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

Advances in technology can mean that your business 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 from earlier, technology has become a big part of their brand and 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 from pizzas only being available in its retail outlets to nowadays where technology is at the centre of everything it does. People order online via their phone or through the website, they have their fun delivery tracking feature, showing where in the process your pizza is from preparation all the way through to being delivered. This has helped Domino’s to move ahead of its competition through an enhanced customer brand experience.

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

Not just financial growth; expansion into new markets may mean your business may outgrow its current branding and therefore be missing opportunities to connect with new markets. Take Airbnb for example. After years of rapid growth, Airbnb rebranded in 2014. The rebrand was guided by their new philosophy, “Belong Anywhere“, and includes updates to the website and a new logo that they call 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 rebrand might bring?

Is it a purely cosmetic fix you’re looking to achieve? or are there wider pain points that your business is experiencing that a rebrand can alleviate? If so, consider the objectives for your rebrand and how meeting them might have a positive effect the business. Are you looking to open up new markets? Gain market share? Increase sales? What does a successful rebrand look like to you? How do you plan to measure these objectives and ensure that you do gain ROI on your rebrand. The key benefit of any rebranding project should be to boost your bottom line. Reviving a waining brand can have a huge benefit to your profit. The amount of difference you want to create should also be considered 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 rebrand doesn’t have to be a complete overhaul of the whole company image, it should be driven by the needs of your particular business. A rebrand could be as simple as creating a new strapline to add focus to the existing brand, or it could be a revamp of the existing logo, keeping some familiar elements that customers associate with the brand. It may be a larger project involving a change of name, logo and involving reconsideration of all of your online and offline customer touchpoints (brochures, websites, email marketing, stationery etc). The key is to keep in mind what your clients or customers think of a rebrand, the benefits of rebranding can be substantial if carried out well.

If this resonates with the issues facing your business, then you might want to consider a rebrand. 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? or increased sales? plan for how ‘success’ will be measured, without this, a rebrand quickly becomes a purely cosmetic exercise.

Is it time for your company to rebrand?

There are many reasons to rebrand, each requiring a different strategy to gain the desired results. If you are considering rebranding your business or product, we can help, from the initial planning to the final roll-out. Speak to one of our branding experts on 0117 973 9326 or complete the form below.