Branding your company is a lot like decorating a new home. You examine the state of the infrastructure, understand the capabilities of the house and envision the final product to your liking, much like you would with your company in the beginning stages. You plot out exactly what the house will look like, putting your signature touches and extra care into each particular room, or in the case of your business, selecting fonts, colors, your logo and the like. You notice the quirks and the character in your home, a squeaky hardwood floor or a window that slams down easily in its pane, and instead of masking them, you embrace them, much like you would a quirky employee who also happens to be hardworking and devoted to the company. After it’s all complete, you step back and admire the finished product.
As time goes on, you begin to redecorate, otherwise known as a “brand refresh”. You build out the basement to make it a quaint, yet welcoming rental for Airbnb (adding new services or products is the equivalent to this). You roll up your sleeves to plant flowers and install a porch swing outside of your home, much like you would with updating your website with new content and images. But then, years go by and you realize that your peeling yellow paint in your bedroom must be completely removed and replaced, the kitchen needs more space and the bathrooms are in dire need of new fixtures and lighting. With your company, you need to readdress your customer experience, update your tagline and change your logo to better reflect your brand. And you think to yourself: maybe it’s time for a renovation (or a rebrand).
Overhauling your existing brand in favor of a new one can be a daunting task. But it’s necessary for the growth potential of your company and your brand’s positioning in the market. As we mentioned before, rebranding doesn’t mean changing one element of your brand, such as a font or a color, in the same instance that redecorating would mean adding wallpaper to a room. You have to take the whole company into consideration, and figure out what’s lacking; a brand audit can help you with this.
Rebranding also doesn’t happen every year; if you rebrand correctly, you’ll only need to do it once or twice over the course of a company’s lifetime. If you don’t rebrand, you risk being viewed as a company that can’t keep up with the times, and the risk of losing customers increases.
Here are a few signs it may be time for a rebrand:
- Your brand attributes are a mish-mosh of elements that don’t work together to tell your brand’s personality. Did you arbitrarily choose your fonts and colors simply to put something together? If your business has grown but your company’s brand still comes off as a mom-and-pop shop, it’s time to reevaluate your brand.
- Your most loyal customers are now going to your competitors, leaving you without a steady customer base. Something must be going terribly wrong for your most devoted customers to leave you for the competition. Before you hastily consider a rebrand in this instance, do your research to figure out what’s causing them to leave. If it’s your brand experience, then it may be time to change it up.
- The names of your products or services don’t accurately describe your business anymore. The names of your business’s offerings are a direct reflection of your business and the brand, and if they don’t accurately depict them, then it’s time to change the names to better mirror your company’s mission and overall look and feel.
- You’ve experienced a series of public crises that cast your company in a negative light. If your company has been the target of a series of scandals and public upsets, it may be time for a PR team and potentially a rebrand (depending on how damaging the crises were to the brand). But, your “rebrand” can’t simply serve as a band-aid or a catch-all to distract customers from the bigger issues that your company has, because then that would come off as disingenuous.
- Your customers cannot distinguish your brand from your competitors. If you look just like the other startup that does nearly the exact same thing as you, then how can you expect your customers to be loyal to you and continue to come back time after time?
- The look and feel of your brand is dated, and your brand’s signature look is no longer “exclusive” to your company. If you’re still using Lucida Sans handwriting for your cursive font or Comic Sans as part of your logo, it’s time to dead that in favor of something new, fresh and more original for your brand. This rings true for your website: if you are using Wix.com instead of WordPress, it may be time for a upgrade.
- Your marketing materials are unsuitable for the channels they are in. If you are still designing brochures, but only exclusively using them for the web, then it’s time to rethink what materials you’re developing for your brand and how it supports the company’s goals and mission. This is even more important if your company is based on innovation: innovation means you should be using the latest technologies to communicate your messages.
- You were in a rush to create a brand when your company first started. You don’t want to rush through brand development: it needs adequate time for you to sit down with it, interact with it and experience before a brand comes to fruition.
- You conducted research and the brand doesn’t resonate with your target audience. We don’t mean asking your family or friends about whether your company’s brand is pretty or if it attracts them to buy. You have to think about your target customer, and ask them a series of questions about your brand to see if any of it relates to them and makes them want to buy from you. In some cases, these questions can be asked informally after a purchase; in other cases, the questions can be presented as part of a research study conducted independently by a third-party organization.
- Your company has been acquired or purchased. In this case, the company that purchased yours will likely have a say so in how your company is branded and where it will fall in line with their portfolio.
Are you ready for a rebranding strategy or interested in exploring what a rebrand would look like for your company? Reach out to us at Creative Juice today so we can discuss your branding needs.