Maybe you’ve played with the idea for a while, or maybe you never want to go near the branding process ever again, but it’s important to recognize the key signs that show your company needs a re-brand.
You should approach your brand as though it’s fluid and it’s a good idea to make a practice of reassessing your brand strategy annually. If you have these two mindsets in place it puts you in a better position to be able to give your brand what it needs to flourish and to appropriately assess when you might need to re-brand.
IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE A TOTAL RE-HAUL
First off, I want to explain that there is a broad spectrum of what can be defined as a “re-brand”. Although sometimes necessary, performing a re-brand doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to do a complete re-haul. Sometimes it just means making slight changes to what’s currently working for you to better improve your impact. We see major companies do this all the time.
In 2018 Target launched a re-brand initiative. This re-brand involved remodeling some of their stores to better serve the needs of the local communities in which they were located. The focus was on making their stores more user-friendly and appear more upscale. At the same time, they launched a variation on their logo design. Instead of their name being in all caps, it now appears as all lowercase:
Target is still carrying out this rebrand initiative, and the Target near where I live just underwent this type of remodel.
You can see in this example that the Target brand still maintains all of its integrity and recognizability, but is slightly more improved to better connect with its target market.
SO, HOW DO YOU KNOW WHEN IT’S TIME TO RE-BRAND?
It’s true that in the name of consistency, you shouldn’t be performing re-brands left and right. So how do you know you need one? The answer is different for every company. Here are some quick questions to ask yourself about your company that might determine if you need a re-brand.
1. Has your target market changed? Or do you understand your target market better than you did when you first branded your company?
Any time you notice your company servicing or advertising to a client base that’s different from the one you set out to serve, you need to reassess your brand strategy. If your initial brand was designed to reach one demographic and then you switch audiences, you must determine if the same strategy you were using will work for your new audience. You might find that parts of your old strategy still work, but that you need to reimagine other areas to become more effective. Or, you might need to go back to the drawing board and design a new strategy.
2. Do your visuals and methods appear outdated? Do your customers comment that your branding looks “old”?
What worked ten years ago is probably different than what will work today. True, some methods are timeless, but you also want your company to stay relevant to the people you’re trying to serve. The fact is that as technology progresses people are constantly given new expectations that they then project onto the brands they consume. Companies need to be thinking of ways they can constantly become more user-friendly, more easily accessible…more of what their audience wants and expects. This plays out in all areas of your company – from your logo design and typography to your in-person or online user experience.
3. Do you blend in with your competition?
If your branding is too generic, then you won’t stand out adequately among your competition. Your brand needs to be memorable, so that customers or potential leads won’t get you confused with your direct competition. You want people to remember you, so you need to make a unique impact to be able to stand out. If you notice that your branding looks and feels too similar to that of your competition, then it might be time for a re-brand.
4. Do you need to outgrow a poor reputation?
Does your company have a bad reputation? Do you want to change the way people perceive you? Lots of companies have successfully accomplished this through a strategic re-brand. A prime example is McDonald’s. In the past, they were always considered the cheap and unhealthy option. They decided to re-brand their stores to overcome this public opinion. They turned their focus on designing their restaurants to be more attractive, bringing in more natural, earthy colors and textures, and better-designed furniture. Together with this, they focused on offering lots of healthier options, including salads, grilled chicken sandwiches, and yogurt parfaits.
While we still might think of McDonald’s as the cheaper fast food, we also know that it’s an easy on-the-go place to find some healthy options.
Choosing to perform a re-brand for your company is a big decision, but it’s an important one, and one that you should never be too afraid to consider. Its impact could greatly increase the forward momentum and effectiveness of your company in ways you can’t now imagine!
Hopefully this gives you an idea of what to look for when considering a re-brand, and perhaps you’ve decided your company could use one! If that’s the case, please reach out to us for a free consultation, and we’ll help you figure that out.