7 Reasons It Might Be Time to Rebrand Your Business

Posted by Carolyn Crafts
7 Reasons It Might Be Time to Rebrand Your Business | FullSurge

Before we get started, let’s dispel one of the most common misconceptions around branding: Your logo is synonymous with your brand — it’s not.

Instead, a logo is just a small part of your overall branding. So, updating your logo is not rebranding. However, make no mistake, it’s often the most recognizable element.

Your brand is the sum of all the touchpoints that your current or potential customers encounter. The name, the culture, and the style of communication all play a part in the brand. So, when we talk about rebranding, it involves so much more than a logo refresh.

Your brand is your business's most valuable asset. As brand consultants, we've seen how the power of a brand can influence action. This is true for every industry — from retail shopping aisles and car lots to national hotel chains and the local coffee shop. People will gladly spend more money and show loyalty if a company continuously meets customers' needs and connects with their values.

The decision to undertake a rebranding initiative is rarely easy, at least if you do it right, not simply make some surface-level adjustments.

To help, here is a list of seven important indicators that it might be time to rebrand your business.

  1. You’re not differentiating yourself from the competition

If you look and talk the same as everyone else in your industry, it could be time for a change. For example, Target was once a brand that blended in with other discount department stores like Walmart and K-mart. There was no differentiation, no originality, no standing out from the masses. Then, in the early 2000s, a rebrand changed their marketing strategy to appeal to a trendier audience, and they suddenly became one of North America’s largest retailers.

  1. Your core audience has changed, and the current brand isn’t positioned to resonate with them

Often, companies rebrand because their market or core audience has changed. Businesses can develop close ties to their customers. Learning how these groups are changing frequently becomes the basis of a rebranding or even a name change to reflect these changes in the audience. The key is to assess your business's audience and market regularly. Is it the same as when you started your business? If this has changed, how has it changed, and does your business's branding still speak to them?

  1. Your business model, core offerings, or overall strategy has changed

You can’t always predict the market forces that will oblige changes to your business. But when your business model or strategy changes, your brand must too. The way your company operates behind the scenes should align with how it is perceived by those it serves.

When rebranding to adapt to a fundamental change in your business, you need to start at the foundation. A comprehensive rebrand starts with reinforcing your company's purpose, vision, mission, and values.

Why does your company exist? Where is it headed? How will it get there? Which values define your company culture? Clearly articulating these guiding principles is the starting point for any rebrand, especially if inspired by a change in business strategy.

  1. Your current brand is dull, uninspiring, and outdated

If you’ve had the same branding for decades or recently shifted your company to offer a new service or public image, it’s time for a rebrand to reflect the change of time or change in your values.

CVS once had an outdated brand that felt stale and even unfriendly. In 2014, they changed the company name to CVS Health to reflect their purpose of “helping people on their path to better health.” The rebranding effort helped align the company for an expanded role in providing healthcare services beyond the traditional retail pharmacy business model.

  1. Your brand has become overly complicated or diffuse

Is your brand experience random or confusing? Does it feel like a hodgepodge of offerings with no focus or unifying brand narrative? If so, it may be time to rebrand.

The more complex your brand, the harder it is for customers to understand. If your brand's complexity makes your audience's eyes glaze over, it's probably time to take a step back to simplify and focus.

  1. You’re undergoing a merger or acquisition

With new ownership or partnership comes a new era, so it makes sense to rebrand. The 2017 Landor M&A Brand Study, which analyzed the behavior of S&P Global 100 companies over the past ten years, found that 74% of all companies rebranded an acquired asset within the first seven years.

But this type of rebranding should be handled with care and common sense. For example, Verizon was a successful rebrand, born from the merger of Bell Atlantic and GTE. However, Yahoo was widely mocked its Altaba renaming.

  1. You’re trying to connect with a new audience

Today it’s Gen Z; tomorrow, it’ll be Gen Alpha. There will always be another generation on the heels of those currently spending money in the marketplace.

A rebrand can be extremely useful in revamping your messaging to reach a new or different target audience. Old Spice is an excellent example of a brand whose position in their market was falling fast but took steps to fix it. A massive reinvent the brand to appeal to a younger demographic changed brand perception dramatically. What was once a brand just for old dudes suddenly targeted a younger audience with fun and modern marketing.

Innovative companies rebrand because they know that good design combined with an established rebranding process is a formula for success. Whether you're attempting to expand your business to a new target market or your current messaging and image are outdated, it's important to consider rebranding carefully. Make sure executive leaders are aligned so your brand remains relevant in the years to come.

The only thing worse than not rebranding when most signs indicate that you should is to rebrand when it probably isn't necessary. After all, you don't want to end up like the Gap debacle.

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