Regardless of the nature of your business, one common aspect all companies share is that they operate in an ever-changing marketplace.
Whether you’re a commercial print shop, leading an international mining company, or anything in between, there’s one indisputable fact about modern day business: there comes a time when every company has to rebrand itself to remain relevant in a competitive environment.
Why rebrand a company?
The reasons can vary, but during my years working in branding agencies, I’ve seen the benefits of rebranding positively influence a company’s visibility, its corporate culture, and of course, improve its bottom line.
When to Rebrand: Is Your Current Brand Working for You?
As with every longstanding company, there will come a day when the glimmer and glow eventually wear off your once stylish brand. Unfortunately, this can result in the company losing traction in the eyes of its clients and shareholders. But do keep in mind that a rebrand is not something a company should take lightly. If you’re going to do it, you need to do it right.
Although rebranding can breathe new life into your business or product line, it has to be done with a strategy, a defined process, and long-term goals in mind. After all, the one thing more expensive than a rebrand is an ineffective rebrand. Introducing change is one thing, but understanding why your brand needs to evolve is another.
The first step to building a solid brand requires total buy-in from your team. Without it, your efforts will unfortunately fail. The results of an effective rebrand will ultimately have a positive effect on your team’s morale. Your clients will likely see it as a progressive move forward, which will strengthen their engagement with your company. In addition, prospective clients will notice you, offering you a second look. Finally, it gives your sales team reason to reconnect with your clients and personally tell the story of your brand’s transformation and innovation.
Is My Logo My Brand?
I want to take a moment to clarify a common misconception about branding, and that is that your logo is your brand. Although your logo is definitely on the forefront of it all, your brand actually encompasses a much bigger picture than just your logo.
A logo or identity is just a small part of your company’s overall brand or product. It’s often the most recognizable element used to communicate with target audiences. This sometimes means that a logo is often the only element that a lot of businesses concentrate on when rebranding. However, a brand is the sum of all of the elements that come into contact with your current or potential customers. These touch-points include the logo, stationery, marketing materials and website, storefront, vehicles and even how your staff dress and communicate with your customers.
A recent rebrand we did for Wheaton Precious Metals is a great example of this.
Should I Rebrand My Company? 5 Reasons to Examine Your Current Brand
So how do you know if your brand isn’t working for you anymore? How do you know if your company needs to rebrand?
As a branding agency, it’s a question we get asked a lot.
Sometimes the signs that you need to rebrand are quite obvious; perhaps to you, your staff, and your clients. Other times it might just be a need or want to get noticed, to rejuvenate, or to realign your company’s focus.
A rebrand can often be a very personal journey, especially for the founders or leaders of the company – one that involves dissecting the current brand to truly get an indication of its strength and value to your bottom line.
If you’re wondering whether your brand needs to be updated, take an honest look at the following points.
1. Is your brand kinda boring?
The main purpose of your brand is to get noticed and recognized. If your brand isn’t standing out against the competition, then it’s not fulfilling its purpose.
Obviously, it needs to get noticed for all the right reasons, all falling within your corporate vision and brand promise.
Conducting a brand audit will help you get a better sense of the pros and cons of your existing brand and how it stacks up against your competitors.
A brand audit is also a great opportunity to take stock and truly see all the elements your identity and brand are applied to.
2. Do you hesitate in handing out your business card?
If you’re not proud to hand out your business card or need to accompany this action with an explanation defending your card’s shortcomings, it’s a pretty good indicator that time has come to update your brand.
Your business card needs to inspire confidence as your brand ambassador regardless of the situation. When it doesn’t, it shows, and what does that say about your company?
Take a moment to assess your business card, website, and other marketing materials. One of the key reasons why rebranding is important is that it can give you and your business new life.
It can help you to retain old customers, while successfully bringing in new ones - confidently.
3. Has your brand become diluted?
Often times, as a brand ages it loses its strength.
Individuals or divisions within the organization can take liberties in creating new documents or simply applying the brand in ways it wasn’t intended for.
Even graphic designers unfamiliar with the brand are guilty of this practice. A Brand Identity Guidelines document (or GSM) is an integral part of giving your brand the structure and consistency it needs.
When it comes to long-term branding, inconsistency and lack of structure mean decreased effectiveness.
Any opportunities to simplify and develop a unifying brand will benefit your business in the long run.
4. Do your company name and brand reflect your corporate vision?
As a company matures and grows, its vision and focus can change to something different than it was in the beginning.
Company names and brands may need to evolve to continually reach the intended audiences. The challenge is to reintroduce these elements without losing the established brand equity you’ve built.
As a company matures, the initial name and brand can become liabilities and hold a company back from reaching its full potential.
If your company used to do one thing but now also does another, it might be time to rename and rebrand. This will make your stakeholders aware of your new unified corporate offerings.
5. Are you attracting the talent your company needs?
Everyone wants to work for the best brands.
It’s no secret that great brands attract great people. If you’re struggling to recruit qualified talent, your branding and corporate culture might just have something to do with it.
If you think you need to investigate this possibility, consider a small focus group that asks how likely individuals would be to work for your company, and why.
The answers to such questions might surprise you.
The Next Steps
So why rebrand a company? As we have seen, the reasons can be varied and complex. But whatever the reasons may be, rebranding a business is a huge undertaking.
It’s important to know, the ultimate value of rebranding lies in your ability to do it effectively. If done incorrectly, it can be extremely costly in terms of time, resources, and company reputation.
However, a successful rebrand can rejuvenate and reinvigorate an established brand, leading to increased visibility, improved ability to attract top talent, and a healthier bottom line.