It’s the question I’m often asked by Marketing Managers, CEOs and business owners. It’s a big decision that can make all the difference for your business if executed well. Let’s talk about when it’s best to rebrand.
brand vs brand identity
Before we begin, I’d like to be clear about ‘brand’ and ‘brand identity’, as they are often confused or considered one-and-the-same. (If you are in the industry and saying, ‘not this again!’, then you can scan ahead a couple of paragraphs!).
The simplest way I can put it is that your brand entails all the intangible aspects that people experience to form their perception and opinion of your business. Your brand identity is the tangible system presented to your customers that combines your appearance, voice and interface.
Want to rebrand? Get ready for an intensive process which involves a lot of internal strategy sessions with all stakeholders, market research, competitive analysis, revisiting vision, values and personality, usually a re-name and a step-change in strategic positioning. It’s fun, but it’s often hard work to get right.
Want to rejuvenate your brand identity? While still an arduous task, a brand rejuvenation deals more with updating the visual systems and personality of the brand including – but not limited to – the logo, image styles, messaging, colours, style guides and then obviously all the applications that follow; from websites and apps to social channels and digital campaigns.
Just want a new logo? Sorry, but these days a new logo will do little to improve your business – your best bet is to go to a crowdsourcing site and try your luck there.
“for today’s brands to remain relevant they need a consistent yet flexible identity system”
so how often should you rebrand?
Ok I’ll cut to the chase. In the past we’d see a business rebrand once every 10 years. Things are moving so rapidly today that we expect a rejuvenation every 3 years and potentially a rebrand every 5. If you’re looking for a simple answer, then you can stop reading right here. But I don’t think it’s wise to put a use-by date on any brand or identity, so let’s look at some good internal and external reasons for making a change to your brand.
Have you got new competitors threatening your market share? Is there a pre-existing audience perception that needs to change? Was your identity developed back when a letterhead was a primary touchpoint and a logo was the most important asset? If so, then you need to look at a rejuvenation quick smart!
Is your business booming and diversifying into other markets? Do you have (or need) a new purpose? This is a good time to look at revisiting your brand so you can facilitate the growth and see real results. This is perhaps the most common reason we see for change – a monolithic, inflexible identity, with a single-minded focus cannot support the growth and diversification of the business.
3 quick branding tips
1. If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it
Sometimes a rebrand can happen for the wrong reasons, including a change of staff or simply a personal opinion. Before you embark on an overhaul, ask your audience and see what they think.
2. You snooze, you lose
Keep your finger on the pulse of your audience, know your product and innovate now. Nobody likes a reactive brand, so don’t wait until it’s too late or else you risk becoming irrelevant.
3. Do it right
Any change to your brand should be taken seriously. Without proper foresight and a brand strategy you run the risk of damaging years of brand equity and alienating your customers.