Have you ever had that feeling when your clothes which were once comfortable are now starting to feel a little snug? Or perhaps the feeling when you’re looking in a mirror and are tired of your hairstyle? It’s the same with brands.
As times change, you may find that your brand is looking like a relic of days gone by, or maybe just what your brand symbolised in the early day when you were a small startup now don’t reflect the value and character of your more established venture; no brand will ever remain unchanged, eventually, a redefinition becomes due.
Rebranding can open up so many more doors, the value of it as a long-term investment is borne out by brand metrics. It can do so much, be it separating you from the crowd, instil your marketing efforts with more vigour and relevance, reach whole new audiences, and what’s more, it may even allow you to charge more for your products and services.
Knowing when you require a rebrand can be tricky. All too often the typical red flags can get missed especially when you’ve got a tight ship to run and work never seems to let up, and even when you do spot them, initiating any form of plan of action to embark on a rebrand can be daunting and be left on a to-do list in your drawer. So, how do you know when’s the right time to reach out to a design agency?
This compiled list of 12 indicative signs to look out for, so you know when its time for your brand to hit update.
1: Your brand name has lost its relevance to your brand vision
Brands evolve. The name may have been great 10 years ago, but today it’s not a true representation of what your brand is all about. It may well be a change in cultural context which changes the meaning of your brand name or perhaps the name has simply outgrown its welcome. There are countless reasons, but you shouldn’t let your brand name drag your brand down and stunt progress.
2: You feel embarrassed handing out business cards or web address
This is a pretty common one. What may have worked at the time, now just doesn’t do you justice and so you end up handing out cards that you’d rather just keep in your pocket to spare you from shame. Outdated, stale, boring or just unoriginal – if your identity either offline or online or both no longer has any good about it, you need branding help.
3: You’re unable to stand out from your competitors
What makes a brand a brand is its identity, an identity to differentiate itself from that of a competitor. If your own brand has lost its uniqueness in what can sometimes be an ocean of marketplace sameness, you probably want to consider rocking the boat a little. Revaluate what you have, who you are and channel that into your brand to make it exponentially more visible to potential customers looking for a company with something about themselves, not just another sheep.
4: Your brand has become confusing and over-complicated
Brands should have a clear message from the off. When you started it may have been clear and obvious but as you’ve grown you may find that your brand design has become convoluted and confusing since added new offerings and such, but you’ve not unified the brand narrative as you did so. If your potential customers are left clueless about what you’re all about, then you should consider taking a step back to refine and simplify. With branding, the more complex, the less cohesive – a rebrand is one of the best ways to remedy this.
5: Your business model or strategy is no longer the same as it was at the start
Sometimes you’ll find that five years down the road, the strategic objectives on which your company was founded are no longer what they were at the start. Regardless of whether it’s unforeseen market opportunities or changes in technology, business models do change. When this happens, you should consider changing up your brand too, in order to align it with your operation.
6: You’ve simply outgrown your brand
Growth and scaling are some of the more fortunate problems to have in terms of changes within your business. Well, if you do find that you’ve expanded to the point that your branding no longer gives a true representation of your size, then, you guessed it – rebrand. Sometimes leaving your old brand behind is what it takes to compete at a higher level with higher-tier brands.
7: You’re merging or undergoing an acquisition
When growth doesn’t come organically, a step many businesses take is to merge with or acquire other businesses and form an entirely new entity. When this happens it should always be looked at as a golden opportunity to rebrand since it’s critical to look at how the acquired brands gels with the architecture of the parent company. It’s all too common for this to be overlooked which then, in turn, impacts both brands due to poor brand alignment which does nothing more than to confuse.
8: Your original geography no longer applies
What happens when LDNtown Financial Ltd starts taking on clients from Birmingham, Newcastle, or Cardiff? Or maybe when Rutland Design Study sees a brilliant opportunity down in Cornwall and decide to up-sticks and relocate their operation to there? Regional businesses can all too often be faced with the prospect of a rebrand if they are to expand into new regions or simply relocate without causing confusion and questions.
9: Your brand has found itself being associated with a negative image
In this day and age, we often find that certain words or concepts can take on less desirable connotations which can end up affecting your brand with devastating consequences. What might be an innocuous brand, can find itself in hot water overnight thanks to how social media has the intense power of spreading political mishaps and business faux pas like wildfire. Often the simplest and most effective rectification in these circumstances is to jump straight into rebranding and wash away the old brand image.
10: You want to charge more, but you’re struggling
If you find yourself in a market where the price for your products or services seems despairingly pinned down even with the costs for materials rising, there’s something you might be able to do to circumvent the issue. Ultimately, brands boil down to perception, so if your brand is designed specifically for a certain demographic which is better suited to your pricing range, you’ll find it much easier to pick up the work for the prices you’re looking to charge.
11: You’re not engaging with your current audience
We’ve had the boomers, now we’ve got millennials, tomorrow it’ll be post-millennials. Regardless of whatever the appellation may be, there’s always another generation closely behind those who are spending money in the current marketplace. One way to tap into these new audiences is with rebranding by redefining yourself. Staying on top of demographic shifts is good business since none of the young and savvy wants to be associated with the prosaic brands of their parents’ gen.
12: You’re finding it hard to attract top talent
The fact of the matter is this, top talent wants to work at the top brands. That’s all there is to it. So perhaps you find yourself wanting to recruit a high calibre of employee to propel your business forwards, but your brand is holding you back. The best talent expects a business to take itself seriously. If a business looks and feels subpar, they probably won’t even consider working for you. Redefine your brand not just for your customers but for your current and future employees as well since they are the crucial cogs that turn the business machine.
So, whether it’s plain for all to see, or so obvious you can’t see it, signs that show the time for a rebrand is nigh can be found just about anywhere. The first sign can often be as simple as wondering whether a rebrand is on the cards at all! Whatever the reason for it, you can rest assured that taking the steps to rebrand by reaching out to an agency will be the right decision to make. The benefits (if done right) can be immeasurable and the investment will pay for itself many times over.