Rebranding is a popular buzzword in the marketing world. Agencies throw it around in strategic planning meetings as a quick fix or solution to low sales figures.
There is something freeing about a rebrand. It feels like a reset button—a way to increase sales and customer engagement with a fancy new name and color scheme. While a rebrand can be powerful, it isn’t always the best idea. I’ve participated in rebranding activities for many clients, as well as our own organization. The bigger you are, the harder it is.
But, there are situations where a rebrand is completely necessary.
You must consider many factors before simply rebranding for the sake of change. Confusing your clients, losing prospects, and lowering the public’s confidence in your business are real consequences. There is rarely a good reason to rebrand your organization if it’s been less than five years since your previous rebrand. Give yourself time to build a reputation.
- Your brand was tied to a person’s name, and that person is no longer a part of your organization.
While this is a difficult circumstance, it poses an opportunity for a rebrand. However, if the name instills confidence and credibility, you may not need to rebrand. Take time to reflect on the elements of your personality. Those traits will help you on your path.
- Your name and company have a poor reputation.
When you determine that your company is no longer looked on favorably, you have a difficult decision to make. Do you stick with your name, but make other sweeping public changes to show a commitment to excellence? Or, do you relaunch as an entirely new company with new vision, direction, and passion? Both require real changes in product and service quality, or else your consumers will see through it.
- Your brand represents an old way of thinking in a modern industry.
With technology constantly evolving, this happens quickly. You may have named your company after the leading technology of its day, only to find that it isn’t relevant any longer. For example, perhaps many years ago you named your internet-provider company Dial Up. Now, you offer far more than dial-up internet, but the general public may never know. (I recently played the dial-up sound for my nieces and nephews, and they had no idea what it was!)
- Your core story, values, and purpose have changed.
Our company faced this very choice just a few years ago. Initially, our business was created as a value-added service to our parent company’s services. We helped their clients with their media and marketing at a significantly discounted rate, and we were subsidized by our parent company. It made sense for our name to look, sound, and feel just like theirs. When we bought ourselves out to become a standalone marketing agency, we needed to separate from their brand and create a reputation of our own. We no longer existed to serve their clients, but to create and execute high-converting marketing campaigns for clients across the country.
- You acquired another company and are merging under a singular umbrella.
Two companies becoming one is a great opportunity to show your commitment to one another as well as to your clients. In most cases, sticking with the stronger brand name is the best practice. However, a new and improved brand may better represent your wider array of services.
Rebranding is hard work. It takes careful planning, research, hard conversations, focus groups, and business decisions that may not be popular (e.g. changes in staff or products). Find someone who will give you good advice on whether you need to rebrand or not. Ask someone who will tell you the truth and not just be nice to you. Then, find a partner who has accomplished it and will work with you to meet your new goals.
We’re experts when it comes to branding and rebranding, and I’d love the opportunity to talk with you about your situation to help you find your new brand for the future.