If you’re a loyal reader of the Dr. Brand Insights blog, you’ll have heard us say it before – your brand is the totality of how people think about, talk about, and see your business. It’s what creates preference for your firm over the competition. It’s how you present yourself to the world, and how your company is perceived in return.
So – with an existing brand in place, when is it the right time to rebrand, and what are some key motivators to do so?
First, let’s get a clear idea of what it means to “rebrand” – this can take the form of a new business name, a refreshed visual identity and accompanying touchpoints (brochures, logos, etc.) or perhaps refining a company’s existing identity to stay relevant in an ever-changing marketplace.
While there are many reasons to rebrand, let’s take a look at some of those we see most commonly among our clients…
1. New Company Ownership Or Structure – If a new party comes on board, whether through a merger or acquisition, it will often be the catalyst for a rebrand. New partners may want to have an influence in the brand identity, or simply bring a fresh perspective.
2. Repositioning Or Updated Offerings – When a company is streamlining its existing offerings, or introducing new ones it may often be accompanied with an evolution in perspective, target audience, or marketplace condition. Just as companies evolve and change over the years, so too should their brand, and often streamlining or introducing new services can be an opportune time to usher in a new brand.
3. Clarity & Simplifying A Message – Sometimes, the marketplace may have a hard time grasping what a company does – often due to the fact a brand doesn’t convey a message properly. To be more specific, this can be the result of a brand being overly complicated, a confusing array of visuals, or simply too many messages being used at the same time. Often, the best way to “cut through the clutter” is to rebrand with a focus on simplicity and consistency – allowing customers to feel engaged with your brand.
4. Evolving Marketplace & Architecture – In a similar situation to streamlined or new offerings, it’s only natural that a company will choose to evolve with technology and emerging markets. Offering news service lines with the same brand identity and messaging will over time lead to a brand becoming both unclear and diluted. In this instance, rebranding with a focus on brand architecture will bring a new sense of unity and clarity across service lines, resulting in a more congruent brand experience. Rebranding with focus on its brand architecture will bring everything together again, creating a stronger more aligned brand experience.
5. Forgettable – Perhaps among the most urgent situations where a rebrand is necessary is that a brand has become forgettable, often in the face of growing competition. Often, happy customers may simply not return to a company simply due to the fact they don’t remember it as especially remarkable. In most cases, this can be traced back to a generic message, “lookalike” logo, or a combination of messaging and visual identity that fail to resonate and “stick” with the consumer.
When rebranding a company that is seen as “forgettable” – we will often focus our efforts around highlighting a memorable experience and distinctive features of a company; creating a sense of recognition and quickly building confidence with your audience.
6. Reliability or Reputation Issues – Nothing is more detrimental to a company’s brand (and bottom line) than issues, even if temporary, around reliability and reputation. If a company gains a “bad name”, it’s brand will instantly become synonymous with negative feedback and can harshly impact future performance, even well after such an issue has been rectified.
Updating a brand in this situation can signals not only that the problem has been remedied, but places a renewed emphasis on learning from past mistakes, moving forward, and embracing a new positive vision.
7. Maintaining Relevance – It goes without saying that the world, and business, change fast. What was once hip and exciting quickly becomes dated and ordinary. Increased competition is a daily threat, offering near-identical offerings to that of your company – yet with a sleeker presentation and stronger brand…leaving your brand struggling to keep up and stalling behind.
While some rebranding efforts to stay relevant are rather subtle, and others are more extreme – being on the cutting edge is key to maintaining and increasing your company performance.
No matter the reason, and regardless of the scope of a rebrand, rebranding can be the catalyst to positive change for years to come. Luckily, at Dr. Brand, rebranding is exactly what we do best! Why not contact us for a Brand Health Check and learn more about our range of branding and web solutions, designed to carry your firm confidently into the marketplace.