When is it Time to Rebrand?
In our recent blogs into branding (click here to read ‘What to Consider When Building a Brand’), we have discussed the essential parts to creating your own brand identity when starting your company/website. We previously mentioned how your brand ideas do not have to be permanent as there is always opportunity to change them. A good brand will always consider ways in which they can fine-tune their values and representation as their company evolves. This consistent pattern of refining ideas is known as a rebrand.
What is a Rebrand?
Rebranding refers to the process of altering a company’s identity to reshape how the company is viewed. Companies may often find themselves in a position of wanting to rebrand when they feel as if their brand image is no longer in sync with what they want to represent or if their visual identity feels stagnant and outdated. A rebrand is essentially a makeover; a restart and restructuring. It can include changing logos, company names and taglines, for example.
Before embarking on a rebranding, it is important to conduct research into the marketplace to find opportunities to become something individual you can forge for your company. Always alter your rebranding taking into account gaps in the market that best align with your products and services.
There are two types of brand identity that companies look at modifying:
Everything you can see when looking at a company; whether it be their portfolio, brochures or website.
Includes visual elements such as colour palette, logo, typography and imagery.
Something as simple as the way in which the text is arranged on a page can be something that contributes to a company’s overall visual identity.
For example, a web page making use of lots of white space and small text may create a brand identity that speaks of sophistication and clean design.
Everything that you read, what is said about the company.
Focuses on the power and meaning of words to communicate information about the company/brand.
Includes company names, taglines, mottos, ethos and messages.
A company name can be effective in immediately communicating the meaning and purpose of a business. For example, it is straightforward to assume that ‘ShoeZone’ are sellers of shoes and footwear. This creates a reliable relationship between the consumer and seller because customers are aware of where they will find the product they are looking for.
Taglines can also be a short and simple method of reflecting brand messages. For example, jewellery company ‘Pandora’ includes the tagline, “Unforgettable Moments”, which conveys to the consumer they are purchasing high quality jewellery, special enough to commemorate celebrations and important occasions.
Visual and verbal identity come hand in hand, they directly affect the other. It is crucial for both elements to be cohesive with one another in order to forge a strong and consistent branding. It looks like a company is unsure of what direction they want to take their brand in when the visual and verbal identity are out of sync with each other.
Do I Need to Rebrand?
The following indicators given below will provide you with more insight before making the decision as to whether a rebrand is the solution for you and your business.
1 Outdated company name
2 Your business model is changing
3 Outgrown your brand
4 Changes in the market (want to attract a new demographic)
1 Outdated company name
Time has passed since you started your business and chose a name that you felt was current in representing your brand. The original meaning behind this name may have changed or become stagnant with the moving times. You may have found over repetition of presenting your brand to others under this company name that it is no longer favourable. It could be a mouthful, not well-received or memorable to others outside of your company. Therefore, it does not drive business.
When creating a new company name, keep in mind that this will be the first impression prospective customers ever receive of your branding. Before they enter your website, see the visual identity behind the brand or even make a purchase, the company name will be key to encapsulating a first impression. Your brand’s success hinges on its name.
After settling on a new name that feels connected to your company, something that adds complexity to the process is obtaining a domain that is still available. It is often the appeal in the modern age of companies to have a short and powerful name that is memorable.This can mean domains are expensive and often already taken. It burdens companies with the forced choice to therefore have a longer name than originally planned, so be prepared to balance having a long name that is still memorable to consumers.
2 Your business model is changing
How your company is appearing to consumers ultimately should reflect what is going on behind closed doors in regards to how you are operating. You must update your brand whenever your business strategy shifts. Perhaps the company vision has shifted and the direction you want to take in order to maximise profits now appears to be different. If you find that your products and services are becoming too generic where they no longer directly target a specific customer, it is time to amend the business model. This can often occur under a changing industry, where your niche in how you made the majority of sales may no longer be relevant. For example, perhaps your method of advertising your company through leaflets through letterboxes can no longer continue under a world that operates through online advertising.
In order to continue growing your business, a change in model should automatically mean a change in branding. A move to online advertising, for example, could mean rebranding your identity into a modern and renewable format.
3 You’ve outgrown your brand
From when you first started your business, it may have been a small start-up specialising in a niche product or service. As your brand has evolved, it may have broadened into other areas within the industry, offering consumers a range of services. Your branding should reflect all of the things your company does. There should be no confusion when consumers are reviewing your website or flicking through a brochure and they stumble across something that does not match how you have presented your brand. For example, it would be a good idea for a business selling camping equipment alongside fishing gear to communicate that in their branding. Not only is this helpful for the customer to get an idea of what you do, it also helps you in making sure every aspect of your business is profitable.
4 Changes in the market
One way in which a change in the market beckons for a change in your branding can be when your business becomes too similar and generic in comparison to competitors. Even if your company started out as unique and individual, the test of time proves that your competitors will look to you to see how you are representing your products and replicate this, on occasion, even better than you. If your business is no longer standing out and is being drowned in the mass of competitors, it is time to rethink your branding. What can you do next that is ahead of the curve?
Changes in the market bring about a change of consumer demographic. A new trend in product as a result of external forces such as the media may cause an influx of new audiences. Alternatively, as your company has diversified into other areas, you may want to start promoting and advertising what you do to a different group of people.
Rebranding can be a tricky and time consuming process when it is carried out. It is hard to move on from an identity that was once so familiar, especially after the considerate amount of time you devoted to creating it at the start of your company. It is not a matter of if to rebrand, it is a matter of when. The signs indicating when to rebrand listed in this article are inevitable, and rebranding is essential for a healthy growth and progression of your company.
Call to action: if you need help starting your own rebrand, contact us here.