When is it right to re-brand?

Ideally, you never would – unless the bank balance is telling you otherwise, at which point it might be too late. There are several reasons why re-branding can be necessary. However, there are only a few ways of doing it successfully.

Let’s start by reminding ourselves what a brand is. Essentially, your brand is the face of your organisation. It’s made up of the sum of many parts including marketing materials, website, logo and everything in between, and how they’re displayed to the customer. Essentially, your brand is the impression you’re giving and your customers perception of your business.

In many cases, a rebranding takes place because companies want to reset themselves and change the impression they’ve cultivated. To take a branding in its truest form, as the art of persuasion, it’s important to understand where your company or product is currently pitching itself. Is it confusing, mis-leading, outdated or too bland? Take the time to have a look at your brand from the outside looking in, and if you notice a disparity between what you perceive and what customers see, you’ve probably arrived at the time for change.

Once you understand where your company’s pitching itself, look at the context. It’s vital to understand your context as your marketing doesn’t exist outside of it.

What we mean by context is your promise to your customers, your brand values and most importantly, the channels via which you communicate. This promise is important in understanding how customers perceive your brand and how much they’re willing to invest in it. Would a customer inconvenience themselves to have your service? It’s hard to tell. But market research, feedback and customer engagement will help to show you whether or not your brand is doing the talking.

So when it comes to taking the plunge, changing your logo, strapline or a colour tweak is unlikely to shake up your campaigns in the long term. In order to successfully change your focus, a rebrand needs to run completely through your product, and your business. Not just how your logo appears in certain situations, where the colours are presented and the fonts used, but also what marketing materials you choose and where you promote yourself. Today websites are a massive part of this and will continue to be so; this is your window and portal to the world and needs to be your first stop when it comes to a rebrand.

When asked why they want to rebrand, many clients say it’s because they feel it needs to change. It’s an easy trap to fall into – with no rhyme or reason, it’s simply been decided that the brand’s a few years old and needs changing. In 2010, Gap decided they needed a new logo and changed it during the Christmas period. Nothing else changed and it left customers confused, and detracted from something they once felt an instant connection to. Although it was a small part of a wider plan to readjust themselves in the market throughout 2011, Gap had not done their homework. Customers reacted to the change in large numbers*. If a logo change garners that sort of reaction, it usually means you’ve got it wrong.

Rebranding can be a daunting process. But you can always ask Thrive to help. We’ll take an honest look at your brand identity and evaluate all the options before suggesting any sort of change.


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