When is the Best Time to Consider Rebranding?

Rebranding your business is like the old, beat-up old couch that you take to the upholster for recovering vs. going to that new shop in town that has the best couches you’ve ever seen and having them build you a new, custom one.

It’s a face-lift vs a total rebuild; it all depends on what you need to accomplish. How you approach your rebrand, will depend on why you think you need one.

Partial vs. Total Rebrand

Using our couch scenario as an example, a partial rebrand would be reupholstering an old couch. You’re going to take your existing setup and give it a shiny, new look.

“Think of a partial rebrand as an adjustment focused on your visual brand identity to suit new offerings or markets — as opposed to a complete identity crisis.” ~Dawson Whitfield, Hubspot

This would mean updating your logo and website, branding, and promotional materials. This is normally a cosmetic procedure but can affect your customer base and sales if not done carefully. It’s a good thing to prepare your customers ahead of time so that they can expect the change, cushioning the shock factor of a whole new look and feel.

Now, a total rebrand is another bird altogether. Yes, it includes all the above, but is much more involved and takes time to implement successfully.

You might consider this option if your company’s entire focus has changed. Fundamental changes such as new management, mergers, new acquisitions, or negative influences on your current brand could spark reasons to rebrand.

When You Should Rebrand

Rebranding often involves an internal restructuring. A total rebranding might be worth including any of the following:

  1. Merger – A merger will actually change “who” the company is. It’s no longer a good ole ABC Company, it’s now a marriage between two unique entities with different values and missions. The brand needs to reflect the “new” ideals of this marriage and its new focus.
  2. New business acquisition – Everything changes when you add new real estate. Now you have new locations, employees, and customers so having a unified brand to present to customers is of utmost importance. A smooth transition can be reinforced by notifying the customers of the upcoming change of hands, ensuring every form of communication from the storefront signs to the employee’s name tags, carries the new brand at all locations.
  3. Negative influences – It happens, we all know it. For whatever reason a company ends up with a not-so-great reputation; a total rebranding can help you get out from under it. This will probably include a name change and some very fundamental shifts so it doesn’t happen again, so be aware that you’ll usually end up starting from scratch. Be absolutely SURE that there isn’t another way to solve your problem. A new slate looks attractive but it comes with a price.
  4. Attract a new audience – There are a couple of things that could be going on here. Maybe sales have stagnated at a certain level or your company needs to grow with the times and influence a new target audience.
  5. Mission or values have grown or changed – So your little start-up has grown up and is playing with the big boys now. Now you’ve found, since competing in this new space, your focus and values have changed. Your branding needs to reflect that. Ask yourself some questions like, “what does our new direction look like?” and “how does it reflect on our company?” You need to be able to verbally tell your customers and personnel… this is “what” we represent and “how” we represent it.
  6. Branding is stale - If your company has been around for some time, it may be time to think about getting a facelift. Times do change and your company needs to freshen up to grow with the modern times. Keeping in step with the times is important to keep growing with your target audience as it evolves.
  7. Shedding stereotypical profiles – In the age we live in, people are hyper-aware of stereotypical profiling. It may be time to look at not just your company brand but any product branding that may show this tendency and give it a more inclusive and cohesive look.

A great way to kick off your rebranding campaign is to schedule a Grand-Reopening or kick-off event. Potential and existing customers will be more apt to remember your brand if you have fun, branded giveaways. These feel more like gifts to your customer than promotional materials. So, nurture that trust, and keep your name front and center with your customer with items they will hang on to for some time to come.

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