If you’ve been in business for any significant length of time, you might have encountered the desire or necessity to rebrand your organization. Maybe you’re tired of looking at that same old logo, customers keep getting you confused with another company, or the business simply isn’t receiving the attention you know it deserves.
Rebranding isn’t a bad thing to consider – not by a long shot. Even the biggest and the best companies do it from time to time. Rebranding can help revive a failing company and sustain a successful one. When an organization rebrands, it is given the incredible opportunity to restore or revitalize its presence and image in the collective minds of its customers.
But rebranding isn’t a consideration that should be taken lightly. There’s no doubt that it’s a considerable undertaking, a labor-intensive process that merits months of rigorous planning and forethought.
Notwithstanding, successfully executing a rebranding strategy can benefit your organization in untold ways. Simply put, rebranding can jump-start your business and bring about substantial growth.
In this article, we’ll take a look at the most common reasons why businesses decide to rebrand. In so doing, we will come to understand what key considerations businesses should make prior to implementing a rebranding strategy. Let’s dive in!
What is Rebranding, Anyway?
Before we go any further, let’s clarify what rebranding actually entails. When a business rebrands itself, it is essentially creating a new and distinctive brand identity by making changes to its name, logo, style (e.g., fonts, colors, and imagery), slogan, mission statement, website, and/or company culture. The end goal of rebranding is to transform the organization’s corporate image in the eyes of its customers, prospects, competitors, employees, investors, and the general public.
7 Reasons Why Businesses Rebrand
There are any number of valid, legitimate reasons why a business might choose to rebrand. Here are seven of the most prominent among them:
Mergers and Acquisitions
When two or more companies merge – or one acquires the other – there are countless critical decisions that have to be made. In the case of a merger, both companies typically have equal involvement in the new, combined organization. This means that neither brand will be swallowed up by the other – they’ll form a completely new brand.
If the companies choose to operate the brands separately, a rebrand is usually not necessary. However, if they want to consolidate the two (or more) brands, the companies must then decide whether to conduct business under one of the existing brand identities or carve out a new, combined identity in order to establish trust, foster new brand recognition, and avoid confusion.
In this scenario, the newly integrated enterprise must appraise both previous brands’ value to determine which branding options to take. If both brands are widely recognized, it may make more sense to hang on to both existing brand identities. If neither brand has made an especially big impact on the industry, rebranding might be the best way to make a fresh start.
Correcting a Negative Perception of the Brand
You see it all the time. A well-known brand experiences a public relations identity crisis – whether due to negative publicity, poor reviews, a bad product, or the like – that tarnishes the brand’s reputation, diminishes its market share, and threatens its future success. As a result, the brand is weighed down by negative perceptions which can linger for years to come. Despite its best efforts (and regardless of whether it was initially at fault), the brand has struggled to overcome the disaster. What can be done?
By substantially changing its existing brand identity or creating a whole new identity, a business stands a decent chance of altering the current perception of its brand. Rebranding affords the organization a fresh opportunity to jettison former associations, forge ahead with new ones, and help lay the foundations for new opinions to form.
A word of warning here: People can be rather cynical when they see yet another company undergoing a rebrand in the wake of a PR crisis. Some think it’s simply a matter of “putting a fresh coat of paint over the same rotten interior.” So proceed with caution, and make sure your intentions are pure.
The Brand Looks and Feels Dated
When an entrepreneur first embarks on a business venture, it’s not uncommon to be a tad haphazard when it comes to branding. A logo and other brand elements are thrown together hurriedly and without a lot of advance planning. But as the company grows, its branding must evolve with it. A logo design that might have seemed fitting initially may now appear outdated in light of newer logos and design trends.
Whether it’s your overall design scheme, a company name that doesn’t easily roll off the tongue, or a color combo that looks like it belongs in the previous century, modernizing your brand identity is an essential step toward stimulating growth.
All companies – regardless of how profitable they are – have to remain on the cutting edge in order to stay on top of their game. Making sure that your brand image is ever ahead of the curve demonstrates to customers that your business is following trends within the industry and signals your intentions to not only keep up with competitors but to surpass them. As one marketer so eloquently put it: “If your company looks like it belongs in the past, it might soon end up there.”
Your Company’s Mission, Vision, and Values Are No Longer Reflected
Your business’s mission, vision, and values (MVV) should impact every decision you make, including your branding, marketing, advertising, and customer support. If you are shifting gears with your MVV, expanding to offer new products or services, or have set new goals for your business, you may need to adapt your branding to reflect those changes.
After a thorough self-analysis of the brand, you’ll be better able to establish whether these changes are momentous enough to warrant revamping or refreshing your brand identity to parallel your new positioning.
Tap Into a New Demographic or Target Audience
As your business grows, you may want to expand your target audience in order to reach a totally different demographic. In doing so, it may become necessary to modify your branding to reflect the new consumer base.
Refreshing the look and feel of your brand is an effective way to catch the eye of prospective customers. If you concentrate on newer facets of your business and market them appropriately, people are sure to take notice.
At the same time, you don’t want to alienate your existing customers. Subsequently, as you develop your rebranding strategy, you should look to adopt a new brand identity that aligns with new and old customers alike.
Set Yourself Apart from Competitors
Even the most successful businesses rebrand, particularly when it becomes obvious that brand recognition has begun to wane or when their target audience starts to show preference to its competitors.
Rebranding can help establish your business as an industry leader with a personality that appeals to your audience. When your audience regards your brand and your competitors as interchangeable, that’s a clear indication that a rebrand may be needed. Differentiating your brand signals to potential clients that your services are unique, your approach is different, and you’re the expert.
Keep Up with the Market
If your business is part of a volatile, fast-moving market, your products and services may be ever-evolving as well – and your brand image has to keep pace.
Stale, stagnating brands – or those that are unable to stay on the cutting edge – may get left in the lurch.
By implementing a solid rebranding strategy, you can reposition your company as a trendsetter in the new landscape.
Whether your business just needs a makeover or an entirely new brand identity to coincide with its evolution, rebranding provides an excellent opportunity to strengthen and support your brand’s identity and values – both internally with your employees and externally with your customer base.
A number of determinants factor into the enduring success of a rebrand. If customers were passionate about your original brand image, there may be some resistance toward the changes. Be mindful not to alter your brand so much that it’s no longer identifiable.
Before you begin the rebranding process, you should make certain that you and your team are fully dedicated to the cause you’re about to undertake.
Rebranding isn’t something that can be accomplished in a day, a week, or even a month. In most cases, a comprehensive rebranding project calls for at least three to six months worth of work. Nonetheless, the results are well worth the time, energy, and resources expended. If coordinated well and executed properly, rebranding can help your company become more successful in the long run.