Rebranding is a necessary investment for practically any business thinking long term. Over time, businesses grow and change to the point where your brand no longer reflects what you do - sitting still on a single brand will lead to stagnation.
Customers take about 10 seconds to form an opinion about your brand – brand image is tantamount. If your brand doesn’t reflect who you really are, not even your trusted web agency can truly bring out your brand potential.
Even if you don’t have a considerable budget for a branding and communications strategy, you can make an impact by rebranding. Remember, though, it’s better not to rebrand at all than to rebrand the wrong way. It’s always a good idea to consult a branding and digital marketing expert before embarking on your journey.
With that out of the way, here are 7 clear signs it’s time to look at a rebrand.
7 Signs Your Business Needs to Rebrand
There are many reasons to rebrand, from infusing vigour and relevance to reaching new audiences. Here are some clear signs that signal you’re due for rebranding and how to do it without losing your brand equity.
1. Your Brand Image Is Embarrassing
Alright, this isn’t the most scientific approach - but it works!
If you find yourself cringing when you give someone your brand collateral, it’s time for a change. If you feel the need to apologize for your logo, website, business cards or letterheads, you’re losing the clients you can’t apologize to.
If your brand has no consistency across platforms, you may be sacrificing 23 percent of additional revenue. Thirty-eight percent of customers will leave a site that looks unattractive, and 39 percent will go if your images take too long to load.
2. Your Brand Core Has Changed
If your vision, mission, values, or purpose have changed – the brand core, you need to rebrand to reflect your present direction. Over time, cultural contexts can dilute or change your audience’s interpretation of the brand name, logo, or visual elements. When this happens, rather than lose because of ambiguity, you should invest in changes to show where your business is.
3. You Want to Beat the Competition
Your brand should stand out from your competitors and be memorable to consumers. If you’re not able to impact your audience meaningfully, you’re losing connection opportunities. Rebranding can help you capitalize on your unique value propositions and reposition yourself within the market.
4. You Have Changed Your Business Model
Your business can change its strategic objectives to align with your audience’s changing needs or behaviour. You may also want to take advantage of technological advancements and new market opportunities. To do this, you may need to polish your brand to align with your new strategic objectives.
5. You Need to Expand
This is one of the better reasons to rebrand: you want to reach new markets, new audiences, or new countries. If you’ve outgrown your current brand or you’ve made sudden gains, consider rebranding to reposition yourself. To compete with the brands on the higher tier you have joined, you can’t simply use your old brand.
6. You Have a Negative Image
Sometimes, your brand could face backlash as a result of a misstep by someone in your business. Thanks to social media, it doesn’t take much to destroy a brand. Reputation management is often a lot more expensive - particularly for smaller businesses - than a rebrand.
7. You Want to Raise Prices
Sometimes, product/service prices in your market segment are hard to raise despite the rise in the cost of production. Because brand worth eventually condenses to consumer perceptions, rebranding can help you increase the value of your offerings in the audience’s mind. This allows you to raise your offerings’ prices without losing too much of your existing business.
How to Rebrand Successfully
It’s crucial to get your rebranding process right because it’s the difference between improving and killing your business. There’s more to this process than just choosing colours, fonts, and logos. Much of this work is behind the scenes, but it is crucial to your success.
Learn how to plan and execute a successful rebrand below:
1. Do Your Research
You shouldn’t even start the preparation for rebranding without consulting with your audience and other key stakeholders. You should have a deep understanding of the market, your customers, and shareholders (where applicable). Find out:
● Your customers’ wants, needs, and opinions of the current brand
● Your current brand equity or assets
● The public sentiments surrounding your brand
● Your employees’ ideas
● Thought and community leaders’ opinions of the brand
Through the entire process, on-board and update critical stakeholders like employees, shareholders, and directors. Sales and marketing teams should be at the centre of this process because they communicate directly with customers.
Ensure that everyone is on the same page with regards to the new direction of the brand.
2. Test Everything
Get together with a digital marketing agency to help you get customer feedback on your new brand direction. You can test colours, fonts, and logos with the market before rollout. If you already have a loyal customer base, you’re already ahead – reach out to them.
You can also choose to go public with your rebranding and get customer feedback through social platforms like Facebook or Twitter. Your email marketing audience can also provide useful feedback.
3. Plan the Rollout
How hard or easy your rollout will depend on the size of your brand and the degree of rebranding. Start by getting your employees excited about the new brand, as they will be your primary advocates.
Next, plan for external PR campaigns to inform the public in the months or weeks leading up to the brand launch. Create a buzz around the launch party and invite employees, customers, press, and the general public to the launch event. The specifics will be different depending on your brand – you need an experienced branding and web agency to help you.
4. Defend Your Brand
Once the new brand has rolled out, publish and disseminate your new brand guidelines. This ensures that anyone using your logos, colours, or other materials understands how best to present the brand.
Avoid rebranding in patches – at any point, your brand image should be consistent everywhere. Ensure that your colour palettes are represented precisely and your message is communicated effectively.
How long your rebranding takes is something you need to discuss with your branding and digital marketing team. Some businesses need to rebrand in phases, while others need to turn around entirely and take a new direction. Rebranding is, in many ways, an art form more than a science. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be as singularly data-centric as possible - it’s just important to trust your organizational instincts at the end of the day.
After all, they’ve gotten you this far.
Regardless, try to keep some aspects of your brand to improve continuity. Since businesses typically rebrand as they grow, you’ll have more options by maintaining a consistent direction over time - don’t forget your roots!