Are you thinking about rebranding your business, but you’re not sure if you should pull the trigger?
Maybe your current visual identity looks fine, but you wonder if it would look better with some fresh design elements. Or maybe you surveyed your brand as a whole (your website, your Instagram page, your email footer, your direct mailers…), and you have a sinking sense that your current visual branding isn’t putting your company’s best foot forward.
Is that nagging feeling that your branding is “just okay” a strong enough reason to undergo a full rebrand?
Rebranding can be a fun and creative process that helps you clarify your message, scale your business, and attract the dream clients you’ve been waiting for. At the same time, a rebrand is a big decision that will require time, financial, and strategic commitments on your part.
In this article we will outline five distinct stages where a rebrand may help your company grow, along with personalized tips and next steps for each stage:
If Your Business Isn’t Growing:
If your business is stuck and you aren’t seeing the growth you were hoping for, a rebrand may be the answer to your problems. However, it’s important to look at other core aspects of your business before rushing into an immediate rebrand.
What does your sales process look like? Is there a market need for the product or service you’re trying to sell? What are your competitors doing that you aren’t? Is your pricing structure aligned with your expenses and with your competition?
If these factors are not addressed, no amount of new branding will be able to solve your core business challenges. But if the basic operations of your business are strong, and for some reason you still aren’t gaining new qualified leads, then a rebrand could be the magic touch that turns things around and attracts new and engaged customers.
Oftentimes when companies piece their branding together over time, their content and visuals don’t portray a singular unified brand – particularly if they haven’t created internal brand guidelines yet. The rebranding process will start with developing your overall brand attributes and brand positioning to ensure that your new branding speaks directly to your target customers in ways that your former branding didn’t.
Solution: If your revenue growth is stagnant, it’s time to work with a brand strategist who can help you take a birds-eye view of your business and identify opportunities to tweak, improve, and communicate your branding.
The brand strategy process is much more complex than just slapping a new logo and color scheme on your company, and a good brand strategist will give you an honest opinion on whether a rebrand will attract customers and pump new life into your business.
If Your Business Is Thriving:
This sounds counterintuitive, but it’s true: if your business is booming, it might be the perfect time to undergo a rebrand.
“What?!” I hear the panicked entrepreneurs of the world saying, “Why would I change my entire brand right when things are going well for us?”
When you create all-new branding for your company, you can reveal that new branding through a public and newsworthy event that can gain additional media attention for your company. If your sales and revenue have been growing, you can take advantage of the moment by launching a stunning rebrand that keeps your brand in the spotlight.
Even legacy brands like Formula 1 and Calvin Klein have rebranded over the years to refresh their looks, attract media attention, and show off their new visual identities.
When Formula 1 rebranded, they unveiled their new logo at the finale of one of their live events. The logo reveal and accompanying marketing campaign rollout was covered by over 1,500 media outlets (source and details about the Formula 1 rebrand are outlined in this case study.)
In addition to the media exposure that a rebrand can bring, a fresh visual look can help your business adopt a more professional tone and lay the groundwork for future growth.
Solution: Consider your long-term company goals, and meet with a brand strategist to discuss whether a rebrand could take your business to the next level. A rebranding campaign paired with a strategic and creative launch could be the jolt of attention your company needs to attract massive amounts of visibility and new customers.
If Your Current Branding Is Outdated:
Do you remember what websites looked like in the 1990s? Black and pink backgrounds with paragraphs of neon text layered onto them? Page layouts that forced you to keep scrolling…and scrolling… until you finally found what you wanted?
If you’re reading our branding blog, I’m going to assume that your current branding isn’t that outdated. However, design trends change and it’s possible that your logo, website, and visual branding are due for a refresh.
In 2018, Coca Cola relaunched its Diet Coke product using all-new contemporary branding. While the iconic recipe and beverage remain the same, and nothing was technically “wrong” with the old branding, the company added new flavors and completely revamped its product packaging. Now the cans are sleeker, the typography is more modern (while paying homage to Coca Cola’s past), and each can’s design includes a bold and colorful vertical stripe.
Technological shifts can also nudge entrepreneurs to update their branding. When was the last time you checked your company’s website from your smartphone to make sure everything looked right? Up to 70% of web traffic comes from mobile devices now, so if some aspects of your website look great on a desktop but don’t function well on mobile devices, it’s crucial that you refresh your web design.
Solution: Consider how long it’s been since you last updated your branding. If it’s been a few years, we recommend meeting with a brand strategist who can evaluate your current brand and provide insight on whether a brand update makes sense at this time.
If Your Ideal Client Changes:
There is a running cultural idea that Millennials have killed a variety of industries – from napkins, to homeownership, to marriage, to Applebee’s. Generation Z, the age group born immediately after the Millennials, is slated to create even more disruption via their consumption preferences.
Companies must evolve with the times and be nimble enough to serve new generations of customers. If you’ve been in business for several years and have recently seen a demographic shift in your ideal client, it may be time to rebrand your company to appeal to this new audience.
The diamond and jewelry industry provides us with an excellent case study. Millennials have tended to delay marriage more than previous generations, and when they do get engaged, many Millennials wait to purchase their rings together as a couple. This posed a challenge for jewelers who have spent decades selling expensive engagement rings.
But several jewelry companies rose to the occasion and found creative ways to update their branding – such as creating cheaper “placeholder” engagement rings. This is a perfect example of companies shifting their products, marketing, and overall branding to meet the needs of their new ideal client.
Solution: If there have been changes to your target market, you don’t necessarily need to rebrand, but it’s important to pinpoint the demographics and psychographics of your new ideal client.
How have shifting demographics and preferences changed your industry? The base characteristics of your ideal client have likely stayed the same over time, but perhaps their financial status has changed, or you want to target customers who are living in different areas or making more money.
If you haven’t thought about this on a strategic level, a consultation with a brand strategist can prepare your business for future trends and ensure that you’re on the right track.
If Your Company Evolves:
Is your business about to make a major pivot? If you’re aiming to reach a different set of customers, the truth is that you won’t connect with your new ideal clients using the same imagery, fonts, colors, content, and designs as you did before. Whether you’re looking to expand your services or narrow down to an even tighter niche than before, a shift in your company’s target market is the ideal moment to rebrand.
When I first started my freelance career, I was a graphic designer for business owners who were just starting out. My clients were often new to the world of entrepreneurship, and I would work with them to create their first logos, websites, business cards, and stationary designs.
At the time, the branding for my freelance design business looked fun, down-to-earth, and accessible. I made sure my messaging emphasized my flexible price points because I knew that was important to my ideal clients, and since I was a solopreneur, I included my name within the name of my company: KD Branding.
My target audience evolved as I gained experience, and I wanted to work with more startups and medium-sized companies. Eventually my business grew into a design studio that offers brand strategy consulting as well as logo and website designs.
When my business made this pivot, it was absolutely necessary for me to rebrand in order to appeal to my new target market. I renamed my company to reflect my growth, adjusted the messaging on my website to reflect a more serious tone, and chose colors and fonts that better suited the needs of larger businesses.
Solution: Work with a brand strategist to make sure that you start this new era of your business on a powerful and positive note. Save yourself the time, money, and heartache of trying to figure out a whole new brand yourself.
How to Decide Whether to Rebrand:
All of the above situations can signal an impending rebrand, but the biggest question to ask yourself is:
What happens if my company doesn’t rebrand?
How much longer can your business continue to grow under your current branding? Do you really want to replay the “We should rebrand… no, maybe we don’t need to rebrand… but what if a rebrand could help us…” conversation in your head for the next eight months?
This is precisely where a brand strategist can help you connect the dots and establish the best solution for your company’s unique needs. When you’re inside the company, living and breathing your company’s mission, it’s almost impossible to have a clear perspective on how your website, logo, and marketing materials are perceived by the outside world. Having an outside set of eyes on your company, especially eyes that have expertise in branding and design, can provide this fresh insight for your business.
It’s possible that you don’t need a rebrand at all –a few small-but-significant improvements to your company’s current branding might help you attract more customers. In that case, your brand strategist will be able to provide specific guidance on what changes need to be made.
What Are the First Steps of a Rebrand?
When we develop personalized brand strategies for our clients, we first start by identifying the brand attributes of your business: the key characteristics that describe the “feel” of your company.
From there, we work to consciously position your brand by identifying and celebrating what sets you apart from your competition. As part of that work, we perform a competitor analysis and develop user profiles to hone in on the exact traits of your ideal customers.
Then we work with you to establish your brand voice, develop a content strategy, make sure your branding is aligned with your business goals, and then put it all together into a new website, logo, or visual identity if needed. We work alongside your existing marketing team, if applicable, to make sure that our work complements theirs.
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As entrepreneurs, we often try to take on everything at once: we know the ins and outs of our finances, our marketing, our HR challenges, our daily actions, etc. But after a certain stage of growth, your visual branding is just too important to DIY on your own.
A memorable and consistent brand can significantly increase the visibility and success of your company. If you’re ready to work with a professional who can reignite your business through powerful branding, I invite you to set up a consultation with our team at Aventive Studio.