April 22, 2016
Is It Time For Rebranding?
Rebranding Keeps You Relevant and Revenue Flowing
Deciding whether or not it’s time for rebranding is a serious question. Culture and the market’s perceptions are evolving every single day. Rebranding adapts your business to our ever-changing environment.
Rebranding is crucial if you want to stay relevant in consumer’s eyes. Think of your favorite song, does it make you feel giddy, sad, or intense? Graphic design is similar to music in that the characteristics of a design, like the composition of a song, shape our emotions. The same way a song transcends you to a different time and place, design elements of your brand or logo convey certain feelings and emotions to your customers. Rebranding, when skillfully executed, instills your company’s values, aligning your branding with your company’s identity.
Design trends are ever-changing. Consider how rock-and-roll has evolved from the days of Elvis to Nirvana in the 90’s, to the Pop Hits of 2016. Connecting with your customer means representing your brands unique selling points. Your rebranding specialist needs to understand what’s current. Flat and material design have taken over the design world in 2016, but this doesn’t mean it’s the right fit for your business. Understanding what fits your specific rebranding needs, means understanding your company’s mission and identity, giving them life visually. Rebranding can be the key difference between connecting with your market, and being viewed as a company out of touch with the market’s needs.
Considering Rebranding, What Problems Are You Addressing Or Solving?
Before rebranding, take a moment to analyze your company’s current brand positioning. Understand where you are before figuring out where you need to be.
- What is or are your company’s values/mission/unique selling point?
- Does your branding convey these ideas?
- How has your company adapted to changing times?
- How has your market changed?
- How have cultural perceptions of your industry changed?
- Is there increased competition? What are they doing?
- What design trends do you find relevant to your industry.
- What changes do you foresee your market undergoing in the near/distant future?
The list of reasons rebranding could be integral to your business’s future success is long. We’ve listed a few of the more common reasons it may be time for your company to consider rebranding.
Does Your Brand Tell a Story?
If the answer is no, rebranding just skyrocketed to the top of your list. Your brand is an extension of your company’s identity. Your brand identity tells customers why they should use your business. Your unique selling point is what differentiates you from your competition and makes you valuable to your customer. There’s a number of reasons why your brand might not tell your story. Money might have been tight starting out, forcing you to turn to a nephew or cousin for a Microsoft Paint or WordArt Logo.
Consistency of design is key. Brand identity extends much further than a logo. Business cards, letterheads and stationery, and all advertising whether print or digital need to convey the same message. Unity in brand identity through rebranding leads to brand recognition, and establishes your company as a professional organization.
Common Reasons For Rebranding
Rebranding To Grow With Your Business
Rebranding is essential when you have outgrown your current strategy. Perhaps you are now working with much larger or different geographic areas. Cultural values differ from location to location. Something that is extremely important to a person in Los Angeles, may be completely irrelevant to someone in Rapid City, South Dakota.
Is business booming? That’s a good thing! Your unique selling point will change, as you are no longer able to provide the same values and unique services you were able to offer a smaller market. As you grow or differentiate, rebranding grows your identity to match that of your thriving company.
Rebranding Because You Finally Found Yourself
No we’re not talking about a journey of self-discovery, but this is much more common among entrepreneurs and business owners than one might think. After operating for a year or two, you have better insight or a greater understanding of your market’s needs.
You’ve been around your customers, and have an improved understanding what it is your customers want. Take advantage of this newfound knowledge to connect with your ideal customer. Provide your target market with the customized experience they desire. Rebranding incorporates your newfound values and positions your business more effectively in your customer’s eye
Stay Relevant With Rebranding
Perceptions changes daily, and rebranding is mandatory to stay relevant.Corporate responsibility for the community or environment, for example, is no longer unique to big business. All companies are expected to operate within a community in an environmentally friendly manner. Prior to global warming, coal power plants didn’t experience nearly the same scrutiny they do today. Businesses are expected to give back to the community that berthed them.
Rebranding To Beat The Competition
Ten years ago your business was the first of its kind in an emerging market. You were on the forefront of your industry, but improvements in understanding and efficiency have saturated your market with countless start-ups.
Rebranding is necessary just to keep up! With crowd-funding becoming exponentially more popular and accessible, it is no longer as difficult as it once was to find start-up capital. These start-ups have the advantage of creating their brand identity in the present, making your brand look out of touch. Rebranding distinguishes your brand from past and current competition.
Rebranding To Broaden Appeal
Your business outgrew its previous business model. You’ve scaled to incorporate a number of different services or products.
A company that used to supply reams of paper local businesses has had to evolve to include e-Readers, tablets, or database software to stay viable with changing times. You’ve changed with the times and your brand needs to as well. Rebranding takes into consideration how the products or services you offer have changed and adapted, representing who your company is today.
Rebranding Before You Go International
Brand analysis and rebranding prior to going international is often overlooked, and overlooked by huge companies! Failing to recognize differences between cultures internationally can be devastating.
People of different countries have different behaviors and norms. What is universally understood in America, may represent something completely different in another country. In Asia, topics American’s define as private or personal, such as age, income, and marital status, are topics of everyday conversation. Perceptions of how one should communicate, or what something means, varies abroad. Take Gerber for example. When Gerber started selling their baby food in Africa, they continued using the same packaging. To their misfortune, in Africa it’s understood the picture on the label is representative of the contents. Needless to say, the cute Gerber baby found on their baby food packaging was not as enticing to the African communities.
Rebranding After A Merger
The merger or the acquisition of new businesses, while central to corporate growth strategies, is quite unsettling to consumers and investors.
Brand loyalty to a specific company is extremely common, and the changes brought about during an acquisition can cause uncertainty. Sure, they are familiar with your brand, but they may not be so familiar or comfortable with the merging company. A merger or acquisition is a perfect time for rebranding. Companies merge because each has something of value to contribute. Rebranding and developing a new identity capitalizing on these strengths is necessary and reassuring to your consumer.
Legal Issues? Rebranding To Save The Day
No press is bad press, right? Quite a few companies have found out the hard way that’s not always the case. Some have withered, and some have used rebranding to revitalize their business.
A prime example involves arguably one of the most widely recognized hamburger chains known today. McDonalds shaped an industry, some would even say a culture of food convenience. In the early 2000’s McDonalds was taking heat as a culprit behind the American obesity epidemic. The film Supersize Me had just been released, and its impact was devastating. It was being shown in classrooms all across the country. Standing accused of making America fat, the court of public-opinion rendered a guilty verdict. McDonalds quickly dropped its “supersize me” catchphrase, added salads to the menu, and made an effort to plaster their foods nutritional facts everywhere but the patties. McDonald’s also invested tremendous time and money developing their “Get Fit” campaign.
Today we know McDonald’s as the Starbucks-esque eatery with a variety of wraps, salads, and healthy alternatives to their staples, the Big Mac and DQP (the double-quarter-pounder of course). Rebranding strategies including the “I’m Loving It” campaign, were effective in dispelling the “McDonald’s made me fat” rationale. No business wants to be on the receiving end of bad press, but the optimist sees the opportunity. With your business in the spotlight, it is a fantastic time to listen and address the needs of your market. Be proactive, and launch a rebranding campaign fitted your market’s needs.