A brand is more than just a name, tagline or logo. It’s how a business is positioned in the minds of its customers. It’s an experience. Something that can conjure up feelings of nostalgia, comfort or empowerment. A brand communicates what a company stands for… and a good brand delivers upon it.

But even the strongest brands are not immune to the occasional rebrand. Styles come and go. Technologies are constantly advancing. New competitors come into the marketplace. Old competitors leave. Opportunities are created and taken away. In other words, things change. So when is it time for your brand to follow suit?

When To Rebrand

Whether due to a change in values, offerings or target audience, it’s not unusual for a company to evolve its branding over time. It could be a splash of color, a logo refresh or even a new name. And while there are a litany of reasons companies rebrand, below are some of the most common ones.

To reach a new audience
If you’re trying to reach a new demographic, your brand has to speak to them. For instance, if you were targeting older men and now you want to target younger men (a switch many beer brands have made over the years), your branding will have to change to talk to this new audience.

To announce a change to your offering or expansion
If you have new products or services to offer, or if you’ve grown beyond your current positioning, your brand should reflect these changes. As you find yourself in the company of bigger brands, yours needs to evolve to reflect these changes and keep up.

To reflect a change in your vision or values
Whether due to market fluctuations, new technology or cause-related issues, it’s not unusual for companies to evolve their thinking and values. One of the biggest changes companies have made in recent years is centered around the environment. Many have refined their mission and vision to reflect these values.

To get out of the stone ages
If your brand uses the words cool or groovy in its positioning, it’s time to for an update! Language that is outdated can make your brand seem old and stale. To become modern and relevant, your brand has to be, too.

To change a negative perception
If your brand has suffered negative press, it may be time for a refresh. Many companies develop new positioning, a new tagline, and sometimes even a whole new name to give their brand a fresh start.

To differentiate yourself from the competition
If your brand has suffered negative press, it may be time for a refresh. Many companies develop new positioning, a new tagline, and sometimes even a whole new name to give their brand a fresh start.

How To Rebrand

Decide who you want to be when you grow up
It’s important to understand where your brand is now in the marketplace and what positioning you want to own. How are you different? How are you the same? Can you compete?

Set clear objectives
What do you hope to get out of this rebranding effort? Are you trying to increase awareness? Profits? Market share? Do you need to overcome negative perceptions? How will you measure results?

Set a budget and timing
Based on your objectives, how much are you willing to invest to rebrand your company? Do you need to complete the rebrand in phases and spread it out or can you do it all at once?

Decide who will rebrand your company
Your brand is one of the most integral parts of your company. It’s important to make sure it’s done right. Find a partner that has a proven track record in branding companies.

Develop a strategy
Are you evolving your existing brand or running as far away from it as you can? How will you roll out the new brand both internally and externally? Will you slowly introduce the new brand or change it overnight? Will you need to re-train your employees or stakeholders?

Do your homework
Before you spend the time and money to rebrand your company, do some research. Research how your competitors are positioned, what consumers are looking for and how you can fill the gap.

Don’t forget to market your rebrand
Be sure to develop a marketing plan that rolls out the announcement of your rebrand to your current customers as well as prospects. This is a big deal. Celebrate it and create excitement.

When Not to Rebrand

We’ve all heard the saying If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. The same holds true for your brand.

If you have strong equity in your brand or a loyal following, rebranding can actually cause more harm than good. You can evolve it without completely changing it.

And the Answer Is…

The bottom line is rebranding takes a lot of time, energy and money. The three things many businesses could use more of. So when it’s time for a rebrand there are two things to be sure of:

  1. A rebrand is the right decision.
  2. You have the right team to do it.