Before we jump into rebranding, let’s review what branding is. Branding, at its simplest, is a marketing concept that involves establishing a distinct image and voice for your company. In our previous article, "Branding 101: Understanding the Process, Benefits, and Costs", we discuss all the important aspects of branding a company. If you’re not 100% confident that you have a good handle on the concept, check it out!
So, if branding is establishing a clear image and voice for your company, rebranding is redefining those things. Rebranding is not always necessary to do, but there are some very distinct indicators that point to whether a company needs one.
If your main product or product type has changed since you started your business, you may need a rebrand. Very often, business owners start out with a vision for what they will sell and who they will sell it to. As time goes by, their customers’ preferences may begin to shift. If this has happened to you, you know that to stay connected to your customer base, your product may need a little tweaking or a complete overhaul. If your product change caused consumers to see your business in a way that is no longer relevant, you may need to rebrand.
There are some instances when a business’s target market will change. Sometimes, this happens because of changes in your local housing market, your ability to serve a broader geographic area, and especially because you’ve changed your product. Any of those modifications can create the perfect recipe for rebranding. People are different and you can’t reach everyone with the same message. When there is a shift in your target market, your brand needs to transform too.
Businesses establish their prices based on a defined percentage of profit needed. Profit must cover your overhead, marketing, product restocking, equipment, human resources, permits & licenses and government-imposed expenses. Any significant increase or decrease in even one of those areas can force you to adjust your prices. Large price fluctuations change the way you do business. If you started your business with a middle-income target market, but you’ve had to increase your prices beyond what they can afford, you may need a rebrand. The way you communicate with a high end market is different from how you relate to consumers in the middle-class. In this event, your emphasis may need to change from value to luxury making a part of your old branding strategy ineffective.
No matter your business, when your competitors change you will have to make some transformations to compete with them. If a new competitor comes into your market or an old one modernizes the way they do business, you have to adjust. You must be sure they don’t grab a hold of your market share. To ensure your continued success and profitability, it’s possible that you will have to change things like: prices, service area, delivery options, production turnaround, business hours and marketing. Any one of those adjustments can create a need to alter your brand because they affect how people do business. To stay competitive and keep thriving, you may need to rebrand.
This is one circumstance that is up to you! But, you shouldn’t consider a rebrand if you simply don’t like your company’s current image. Seasoned businesses can feel forgotten if they aren’t connecting with new generations, but rebranding may not be your answer. Trust us, we know business owners grow tired of doing the same things day in and day out. If you lack inspiration or excitement about your own brand, it’s okay to liven things up a bit, but there are other ways to do it.
Consider promotional events or a new marketing strategy. Also, don’t rush to rebrand your business because you’re experiencing slow sales. Even if you think your current branding efforts aren’t experiencing a good payoff, rebranding isn't the answer. There are other effective solutions, like implementing a digital marketing strategy.
Just because you get the sense that your business needs to change its image doesn’t mean you have to overhaul the whole thing. There may be only a few areas that you need to refresh, while others are working fine. The key is knowing whether you need a full or partial rebrand.
Branding in itself consists of several focal points. If you still haven’t seen them in detail, check them out in our Branding 101 article. (link branding 101 to blog once link is available)
Every complete brand defines its:
A variety of tools and strategies make up each of those elements. You need to know what they are so you can determine which to keep and which to modify. A partial rebrand is less expensive and less risky than a complete one. It includes small adjustments like a new logo, tweaking your messaging to reach a different demographic, and changing your slogan. These are smaller changes that impact your company’s look and feel.
A full rebrand is much more extensive and you should only do it if your company needs a new identity.
Consider a full rebrand if:
Only consider rebranding if you have a major change in your company’s mission, vision, values, product and market. No matter what, consulting a professional should be your first step. An experienced marketer will ensure it’s the right choice for your business.
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