Making this important decision may require a combination of research and instinct. Generally, the decision should not follow a whim. There are reasonable considerations in favor of and against rebranding.
The following are some good reasons to rebrand:
1). Your business is experiencing significant problems such as a noticeable decrease in sales and customers. You need to ask the question “what is my visual identity saying to people? Am I attracting or repelling people?” If your answer is confidently, “Yes!” then it may be time to rebrand.
2). The look and the function of your brand no longer match. If your brand looks dated and old but you deliver new and exciting, perhaps it is time to rebrand. If there is a lot of brand equity in that old look, perhaps the new design needs to tip a hat to the brand’s history and incorporate those important elements. It’s important to match your brand’s look to who you really are both now and looking ahead 5 to 10 years.
3). Your business is attracting the wrong customers. If your target audience is not responding, perhaps it’s time to explore rebranding. Maybe there is a new target audience you want to reach and you know the current brand isn’t communicating in their language. Or perhaps there are new benefits that you want to promote that the old brand doesn’t. Clearly, it is time to rebrand if your brand fails at communicating new benefits to a new target audience.
4). If your business has experienced a management change with a different and new set of values, it may be a good time to rebrand. New, fresh ideas in management can equate to new, fresh ideas for the brand that are then communicated to the customer, attracting a fresh new response!
5). Your business has experienced a philosophical or functional change. If your business has changed its philosophy and/or function, rebranding is a good way of highlighting that adjustment. For example, when BP changed its name from British Petroleum to Beyond Petroleum, rebranding was a good way to highlight this important new direction to people. If your company is expanding or changing direction it is time to rebrand. A bakery that is expanding to include a café or a hair salon that is adding services and becoming part of a spa are both examples of opportunities ripe for rebranding.
It is always a good idea for companies to step back and explore the impulse to rebrand. The following are good reasons NOT to rebrand:
1). Your business has experienced new management with no changes to your business. New management is often tempted to leave their own mark, but if your purpose, direction and value proposition are not significantly different, you should not rebrand.
2). You are sick of and bored by your current brand and “feel” it is time for a change. It is important to remember that in the time it takes for you to lose interest in your brand, that look and feel may just be beginning to catch on and become memorable to your audience. Your brand and message takes time to permeate the marketplace. Rebranding on a whim will only create brand confusion.
3). Your business is suffering from internal troubles. Do not make the mistake of confusing market problems with internal problems. Rebranding will not resolve internal issues within your company, but once you get your collective company’s act together and have a cohesive direction, then explore rebranding if needed.
4). Your business can’t afford it. There are costs associated with rebranding. New signs, business cards, a new website, and updated marketing efforts are all common requirements of rebranding. Phasing new branding in gradually is not the best approach as it leads to a confusing sense of the brand and the impact gets watered down. A rebrand launch is like opening a new restaurant. You wouldn’t open a whole new updated restaurant in phases and expect your customers to “get it.” The same is true for rebranding. If you can’t do it right, don’t do it at all. Remember, rebranding is about creating a lasting impression about your business.
5). Your business brand has strong recognition. If you confidently know that people have an emotional attachment to an important visual aspect of your brand, it is really important to be sensitive to how you handle that attachment. Strong brand recognition is something that you don’t want to lose, nor do you want to alienate your audience by introducing a rebrand that leaves them wondering why you tried to fix something that was never broken.
If you are considering rebranding, let the marketing and creative geniuses at LRG drill down deeper to explore your brand and consider your possible rebranding requirements. Maybe it’s developing a strong positioning strategy, or a brand evolution that invigorates without losing loyalty, or perhaps just a brand refresh. Or maybe a fresh pair of eyes is all that is needed!