Rebrands are big decisions, so it’s important to make sure that a rebrand is the right decision for your company and, more importantly, your customers. We’ve narrowed it down to the four main reasons why it might be time for your company to rebrand.
See if your company fits the bill:
1. Most of your identity elements are noticeably outdated, causing you to lose business or become irrelevant in your market
Starbucks, Coca Cola, and Twining’s Tea. Other than being sellers of sweet drinks, what else do these companies have in common? Think about it, their identity elements have really endured the test of time. Sure, maybe they’ve had to do a refresh every few years, but the majority of their identity elements have stuck around, and, more importantly stayed in the mindset of their consumers.
However, maybe for your company, it’s going to take much more than tweaking your logo to break into your target market. Maybe the identity elements that once worked for your company just don’t anymore. Maybe your logo looks archaic, your embarrassed to give people your business card, or you feel like the central messaging on your website is all wrong. These could be signs that you are dealing with a much bigger problem and are in need of a much bigger solution.
E.g. A great example of a company rebrand that falls into the outdated category is Century 21. The real estate company shed their cheesy 1970’s inspired logo, color palette, website, photography style, voice, and every other brand identity element (aside from their name) instead opting for a more stylish and sophisticated look. Their hope? Revamping their central messaging from being known as the “conventional real estate agents” to a team of high-class professionals. From updating their website to cleaning up their agent’s business cards, the new Century 21 identity speaks to a modern market while reestablishing their relevance.
Remember, your identity elements communicate who you are to your consumers. So, when your name no longer evokes the image or messaging your customers want, it might be time for a rebrand.
2. Fundamental changes to your company’s structure that you just can’t ignore
It’s obvious that large-scale events can cause change to a company’s structure. Maybe you’ve had a merger, took a dip into bankruptcy, acquired a new CEO, absorbed another company, or your entire mission has changed. Regardless, these are examples of large-scale structural changes that could interrupt how the public perceives your company—which may be cause for a rebrand.
E.g. For example, the 2017 Gander Mountain bankruptcy was enough to disrupt not only Gander Mountain’s administration but also their loyal outdoor fan-base. Long story short, the bankruptcy was cause for the chain to undergo a complete buyout and inevitable rebrand, turning them into Gander Outdoors.
Sure, new Gander CEO Marcus Lemonis could have tried to save the Gander Mountain name. However, the choice to rebrand gave the company a fresh shot at youth and energy. For example, the choice to update their logo gave way to opportunity for the CEO to reach out to the public on Twitter for a design contest. Offering new lines of products geared towards family outdoor recreation, rather than just hunting and fishing enthusiasts, also gave Gander a reason to take the rebrand route to embrace a more youthful market.
It’s impossible to ignore massive changes to your company’s structure. It will inevitably affect everything you do, which also means, it will affect how your customers see you—but large-scale changes could be an opportunity for you to re-establish relationships you may have lost or build new and stronger connections.
3. You’re looking to reinvent your image or expand to new markets
E.g. Who could forget the days when Domino’s was Domino’s Pizza? Remember, back when the pizza was just plain bad? Cardboard crust and ketchup sauce weren’t exactly appetizing. Domino’s Pizza understood that both its product and its image didn’t make people want to stick around for a slice. However, the Domino’s Pizza rebrand was not only an opportunity for the pizza chain to make a comeback and make better pizza, but it also gave them the opportunity to reinvent all aspects of their identity. From their pizza box logo, to their poor “Pizza Delivery Experts” tagline, to their emphasized “pizza” name, they saw the opportunity as a way to reinvent the pizza market. After the rebrand (and improving their pizzas), Domino’s changed their name, logo, menu, and even their tone and voice on social; as a result, completely repositioning themselves as a leader in the restaurant chain industry.
If your analytics and gut tell you that you’ve been pigeonholed into one market for too long, or that you simply lack the image you want to convey to your customers, it might be time to consider if a rebrand is right for you.
4. You’re trying to differentiate yourself from another company or stand out from the crowd
In our previous posts about brands, we talked about how a brand is what separates you from the pack. Capitalizing on that difference is your brand. If you are considering doing whatever it takes to make a rebrand happen, chances are you never fully capitalized on what separated yourself from the pack in the first place.
Differentiating yourself from the competition means you have to start by finding out what your customers think of your company. If you’re in the business of selling sandwiches and your customers say, “Hey, this sandwich looks and tastes just like Jimmy Johns,” you’re not exactly differentiating yourself in the market. Why wouldn’t they just go to Jimmy John’s?
If you look like, sound like, or sell products just like any other company, you’re not capitalizing on what is unique to your company. This is a red flag that there is nothing that separates your identity from the rest of the pack—another solid reason to consider if a rebrand is right for you.
So, if one or more of these reasons sounds like it could be your company, it just might be time for a complete or partial rebrand. Now the question is, where to begin? Well, you can start by:
- Listening to your target audience.
Open up questions on social, start a survey, or better yet, a focus group. Listen and learn. What does your target market expect from your company? (Note: If you learn that all of your problems lie in your product or service, this is NOT reason for a rebrand. Focus your time and energy into making your product better and the rest will eventually follow).
- Consider what aspects of your company you are missing out on.
Don’t mimic but monitor your competition. What’s working for them? What isn’t? What could you do differently or better?
- Go back to your company’s roots. How did your company begin?
How did your company begin? Are the traditional values a good foundation to start or do you need a fresh slate?
- Lastly, always consider the why aspect of your company.
Instead of trying to convince your audience who you are and what your selling, be prepared to answer the million-dollar question: why do you do what you do?
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