"A brand is a person’s gut feeling about a product, service, or organization." – Marty Neumeier, The Brand Gap
If your brand was a person how would they speak, how would they act, and what would they wear? How would others perceive them? We all grow and change over time, and just like your business, your brand should grow with you. Whether you are selling a new product or service, looking to attract a new target market, or just starting out, how your audiences perceive your company is important. A thought-through and strategic brand identity system effectively communicates, attracts, and sells. Think of it as selecting the right outfit for an important event. Just like you wouldn't wear last year's DIY Halloween costume to a job interview you also shouldn't wing it and DIY your brand (unless of course, you are an experienced Designer).
All of that being said, rebranding shouldn’t be taken lightly. Not only does it take time and money, but your company’s reputation is at stake if you miss the mark. Don't believe me? A quick Google search will put up dozens of articles and blogs on corporate brands gone wrong. From Kraft Foods to JC Penny, and more recently to the Australian Women's Network logo fail gone horribly wrong, there are a number of examples out there of what not to do from companies that had the budgets and opportunity to get it right. Read any of those, and you'll know getting your brand right is important to encouraging buy-in and scaling up your business for even more success. So below I explain what you need to know about rebranding: what it is, when it’s right, and how to do it.
Just What Is A Rebrand?
A rebrand is the design process of reshaping how a company, product, or service is perceived. In short, this is an opportunity for a business to revise and improve its visual brand identity system which includes, but is not limited to: logo and variations, color palette, typography system, brand imagery, patterns, and textures. But wait, there's more! Verbal identity updates often include updates to brand statements such as taglines, mission, vision, and values -- as well as positioning and messaging. The idea being that if your company is changing, and you want people to know about it a rebrand can be a way to grab their attention.
However, sometimes businesses don't need a full-on rebrand overhaul to succeed. It can help to think about it as three different stages:
Brand Refresh: A designer updates minor details only, such as modernizing individual aspects of your logo or slightly changing the hues of your color palette.
Partial Rebrand: A designer updates certain elements but not others, such as using a new logo that uses elements, themes and colors from your old logo.
Full Rebrand: A designer updates everything to help your business scale anew.
Your Brand No Longer Reflects Your Vision
As your business grows, evolves, and changes so will your audiences’ perception of your business. Maybe you're looking to offer new products or services, expand your marketing to new audiences, or adopt a new philosophy or way of doing things (e.g., sustainable or more environmentally friendly practices). Or maybe you're a corporate startup looking to merge or to be acquired. As an adult, you no longer fit into your favorite pair of sneakers you had when you were a kid. You grew, you evolved, and you updated your footwear. The same concept applies. If the shoe no longer fits, it's time to go shopping!
You're Embarrassed To Hand Out Business Cards
Did you DIY your brand or hire someone on Fiverr? If you cringe every time someone asks for your business card or website info it's time for a rebrand. You know it's not meeting your business goals or needs, and maybe it just isn't well-designed and therefore isn't attracting the business you need. You're not stuck with a flawed brand, and you shouldn't let a bad brand hurt your business. Even just a partial rebrand can help resolve what's not working without touching what does. After all, if it's not broke don't fix it. but if it is broke, let's fix it right away!
You're Not Standing Out From Your Competition
Don't swim in a sea of sameness with your competitors. If you're in the healthcare industry and everyone else has blue and green as their primary brand colors and some version of a plus sign medical logo -- doing the same will not help you stand out! When your brand looks like theirs it's time to update and differentiate. At the end of the day, branding is all about making your business distinctive to give yourself a competitive edge.
Your Brand Is Frankenstein-d Together
Maybe you're winging it or maybe all you have is a logo. Some brief attempts at designing some business cards later and maybe you realize you don't have a complete brand system. Maybe all of your marketing materials look like they're monster-mashed together. Now you realize there's a disconnect between your business and everything you're looking to communicate and achieve. If any of this sounds like you please contact your nearest brand designer (me).
You're Distancing Yourself From A Bad Rep
Sometimes you can do everything right in life and still lose. Or maybe a larger company in your industry made very big very costly mistakes and your brand is suffering from a ripple effect of negative connotations. Whatever the cause, if people start associating your business in a negative light, it can help to offer them something new and different as a way to move forward. No, this isn’t a perfect solution – some audiences aren’t quick to forget. Also, it takes time to implement new policies and fix things. However, if you’ve acknowledged the mistakes and are working to course correct, rebranding offers the opportunity to move forward and say hey we've learned, we've grown, and we're working to make it right.
Ready To Rebrand?
Well now, what’re you waiting for? C’mon you know you wanna contact me. Head on over to my contact page and let’s chat about your goals.