When it’s Time to Rebrand

by | Dec 24, 2018


Branding, when done properly, takes time and effort. Quite honestly, building your brand is a process that will tire some people out. For others, however, they will feel invigorated at the daily challenges and rewards that come from creating and establishing their brand. Slowly, over the course of time, as branders we look at our brands and begin to think there is something off. We can’t put our finger on it, but there is something that isn’t sitting right with us. Is it the colors? The positioning? Or perhaps it’s the messaging? For many, what happens is since they can’t quite put their finger on it, they look at the brand as a whole and determine that they need to start fresh or start-over. This is referred to as rebranding.

Rebranding is something that, from time to time, is necessary but, more often than not, it’s a knee-jerk reaction. That feeling that many branders feel is often caused when they start thinking that their brand is stale and in need of “new life.” For many they think they need to give their customers “something” fresh and new, because “they think the brand is dated.” In actuality, what they fail to realize is that the brander sees and works with the brand on a daily basis, but the customer does not. The customer does not grow tired of the brand as quickly as the brander might. In fact, rebranding—if done incorrectly or unwarranted—can have dire results for the brand in general.

One example is Tropicana. Everything from their logo to the packaging was rebranded, driven by a desire to move the brand in a modern direction. For Tropicana, the leader in orange juice, this turned into a costly move. Their new look was launched on January 8, 2009, and by February 23 (the very next month) Tropicana corrected course and changed back. In all, it is estimated that this aborted rebrand cost Tropicana between $50 million and $137 million dollars.

So what are some ways to tell if you really need a rebrand? Here we have gathered 7 sure-fire reasons that can help you make your decision.

  1. You’re Embarrassed.Do you feel a bit hesitant to promote your brand? Are you worried about having to show your brand when you’re giving out your business card? Perhaps you hesitate to wear a shirt with the brand logo on it. Or you simply feel the urge to explain your brand is outdated when you introduce it to someone. If you’re hesitant in any way to promote your brand, you need to update.
  2. No Differentiation.In any marketplace that has multiple competitors it is easy to feel a sense of imitation starting to take place. If you compare your brand to that of your competitors and you discover that it is harder to tell them apart—or, worse, your customer has a hard time telling them apart—an update is necessary.
  3. You’ve Merged. If your brand has recently merged with another brand or been acquired by a new parent company you need to look at rebranding. Does the merger put you in a new place in your market or does it shift you entirely into a new market? If you’re acquired you need to see if your brand fits within the brand architectureof the new parent company.
  4. You’re Not the Same.Over the course of time it is not uncommon for a brand to grow or change direction from its inception. Perhaps your name has become a cultural reference that does not carry the message you want. Or your company direction has shifted. Either way, it’s time to rebrand.
  5. Change in Strategy.Similar to the last reason, if your brand strategyhas changed from when you first organized 5 to 10 years ago, a rebrand may be warranted. These shifts can occur due to changes in the marketplace, technological improvements, or customer demand. Whatever the reason for the change in strategy, a rebrand could be necessary.
  6. You Moved.Often, many brands use a regional term as a part of their brand identity. If your brand or company moves, does the original name carry the same significance that it did before? If your brand’s name is closely tied to a specific geographic region and you’re not able to reliably use it any longer, a rebrand might be needed.
  7. New Audience. Is your brand tied to a certain age range? Perhaps when your brand started it connected most with people who are a certain age. If your age market is the same, your generational marketmight change. When you started if you connected with 30 somethings, who at the time were Gen X, you now might be needing to deal with Millennials. Each generation requires a different approach, and as such a rebrand may be needed to help connect.

If your brand connects with any of these reasons it may be time to consider rebranding. If your brand meets any two or more of these items, then you definitely need to rebrand. Keep in mind that rebranding is a process;it is not something that can be done overnight. It can also be costly, so make sure you’re doing it for the right reasons and not simply as a knee-jerk reaction.

Ideas To Make Your Brand Better Now:

  • Take a look at your brand and see if it aligns with any of the reasons to rebrand
  • Develop a plan for updating your brand
  • Begin doing the beginning steps of the branding process

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