A brand is much more than the sum of its parts. A successful brand embodies the promise that certain values and qualities will be delivered to your customer when they purchase your product or service: and that makes it one of your company’s most valuable assets. But when is it time for a rebrand strategy?
But is your brand doing your business justice? Is it clearly reflecting your company’s values, and the products or services you offer? Is it targeting the right people?
If you can’t respond to all of these questions with a resounding ‘Yes’ a rebrand may be in order. But don't worry: we've got you covered.
Signs you may need a rebrand strategy
1. You’ve fundamentally changed the products or services that you offer
If you’re expanding your offerings or your territory, it makes sense for your brand to reflect this. One of the most famous and successful examples of a rebrand strategy in action is Apple. Previously Apple Computers Inc., the company became simply ‘Apple’ in 1998, paving the way for them to extend into products such as the iPod and iPhone. Apple’s logo also evolved from the multi-coloured apple, to the sleek and sophisticated black and chrome apples, more fitting for a company on the cutting edge of technology. The rest, as they say, is history.
2. Your targeting is off-point
As Seth Godin famously said: "Don’t try to make a product for everybody, because that is a product for nobody.” Knowing your target customer inside and out, and honing in on your customers’ needs, is key. And your brand should reflect this. Is your brand trying to be everything to everyone? Or is it way off base, and not specifically aimed at your target customer? Either way, you need to straighten that arrow.
3. Your current brand is unfocused
Your company should have clear and coherent values, and – yep, you guessed it – so should your brand. But if your company is unfocused, this may come across in your branding. One good way to gauge whether your values are well defined is by asking the people who should know them the best – your employees. Ask them (senior management and those on the front line) how they would define the brand, and what they think your organisation is all about. If you get wildly differing answers, that’s a good indication your brand needs more focus with the new rebrand strategy.
4. Your brand fails the 3 Cs test
There are three things all strong brands have in common: clarity, consistency and constancy. They are clear about who they are, and what they have to offer that is unique to them. They stay on message, and deliver what they say they will deliver. And they stay visible to their customers and future prospects, ensuring they’re always front of mind. Can your brand claim the same? If not, it may be time to change it up.
These are just a few of the signs that your brand may need a facelift. There are many other reasons to implement a rebrand strategy, such as differentiating yourself from your competitors, or remaining relevant to consumers in a changing marketplace. But whatever the reasons, it’s imperative you know precisely what they are. A good rebrand is not just about tweaking your logo; it’s about carefully considering your company’s goals, message and culture and potentially giving these an overhaul too. It can be a costly and time-consuming undertaking, so you want to be sure you’re doing it for all the right reasons.
Revolution or evolution?
There are varying levels of rebranding too. Your brand might need to be taken in a whole new direction. In other words, it might need to be revolutionary.
A good example of this is Airbnb’s brand revamp in 2014. The brand had gone from two guys renting out air mattresses to an international site with millions of users in the space of just a few years. It was no surprise their hurriedly thrown-together brand was quickly outgrown. After a year-long process, they reimagined their entire philosophy, and reflected this in their brand.
But you don’t want to throw the baby out with the bathwater. Your brand may have developed some hard-earned equity over the years – and this is something you risk losing by confusing and alienating your customers. Your rebrand might not need an extreme makeover, but rather a refresh. It might need to be evolutionary.
You can see how Pepsi’s logo has evolved over the years, each one taking elements of the old, but with a fresh new take to keep it relevant to the market. And considering Pepsi is still here over a century after its inception, it must be doing something right.
A new rebrand strategy can be a big step – but if you think you might need a rebrand, then you probably do. And the rewards of a successful rebrand can be great – it can completely revitalise a company and cement you in the minds of your customers.
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