A re-brand can be an exciting moment in the evolution of a business. It is exciting, an opportunity and it could mark a milestone in terms of years or sales, or it could mark a new product or service. But in truth, every brand has a shelf life, and some of the biggest businesses in the world have undergone an evolution of sorts at some time. So chances are, your business is no different.
The problem is, brands are often on a natural cycle, and it is not always obvious at which point in the cycle you are at, so if you need a new brand identity, it can be very hard to recognise that fact. Change can be difficult to manage, particularly when it represents the very essence of your business, like a brand identity does. Change can be a scary thing, or you can embrace it for the greater good, but either way, recognising when it is necessary is the biggest problem.
Here we will look at the major signs that your business needs a new brand identity.
The business direction has changed
Maybe there has been a merger or acquisition, or the structure of the business has changed and you feel that this is a fresh start? As your industry evolves, maybe there is a change in how you are perceived as a business? Maybe your brand was always meant to be temporary and now is the best time to address that? If there is any confusion as to who you are, what your message is and who you are trying to talk to, a new message and brand identity could be key to your ongoing success.
Your name or brand is holding you back
This might be something as simple as a word or a visual symbol being given new meaning in the general lexicon, and which renders your name or brand a PR disaster overnight. But it’s not always as simple as that. Ideas evolve and perceptions change, so what was a good idea ten years ago might look a little tired or dated now, or it might seem confused or inconsistent. Your standards change too and success drives them up, so maybe the brand just isn’t good or strong enough, or you have outgrown it? Changes in design fashions might make it look graphically sub-standard or lazy, and when first impressions always count, you don’t want your brand to promote a lack of style or investment, as that will always reflect badly on the business.
You need your brand to stand out more
Of course this is one of the primary objectives of a brand anyway, but maybe you have seen some signs that performance is waning, results are dipping and in a competitive industry you are beginning to fall behind. You might also sense a lack of customer loyalty from sales figures or website views. A re-brand can re-position you in the marketplace, give the business a fresh impetus and help you to gain a competitive advantage.
You need to attract new customers
Naturally this is the goal of most progressive businesses, but in certain circumstances it can evolve to be a specific goal because the market changes or new competitors emerge. Brand evolution can help you retain your existing customers but also attract new ones. Of course it can help you stand out from your competition too, but an effective re-brand also helps you speak to new customers with a new message. In a slightly different scenario, this could also help in attracting new staff and ensuring your business has the best talent in its ranks.
If you are still unsure about committing to a re-brand you need to establish your goals for what you want a re-brand to achieve, and what its impact could be, both positively and negatively. What is the realistic outcome? Are your goals achievable? And perhaps most importantly, what is the cost of staying the same?
As with many branding changes, research and feedback is key to how you approach it and what you ultimately do. Listen to your market and you will soon understand what your branding problem is, and if you even have one.
Call me if you would like to discuss how I can help you with your brand identity.