Every once in a while, a business will sit down and ask big questions of themselves around the direction of the business, and what strategies need implementing or dumping. When asking the big questions about your business, you should also be asking big questions about your brand identity.

Rebranding can be a scary thing to consider, as the risks are high – especially if your customers have incredibly strong, positive feelings about your current identity.

However: the greater the risk, the greater the potential reward. And truth be told, if it’s handled professionally the risks aren’t that high at all.

Here are 6 typical signs that prompt companies to seriously consider rebranding:

1. Relevance

Few brands have remained consistent throughout their history or withstood the test of time with aesthetics that always met with contemporary approval. In fact, even well known brands like Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Apple, Nike and Volkswagen have all gone through subtle or seismic change to appeal to modern standards.

Simply wanting to keep up to date is one of the biggest motivations for rebranding.

2. Evolution/Transformation

If your business is moving away from its flagship product or service, or reinventing your core offerings then it’s possible your existing brand will not be consistent with your current and future vision of your company.

New direction is the primary reason for rebranding and as well as symbolising your evolution, it can reenergise your brand, both internally and externally.

3. Expansion

Businesses often consider a rebrand when expanding to new territories. Consistent branding is paramount and it’s possible your new market already has a key player with a similar name or logo. On rare occasions a company’s name or logo can be considered offensive in a new market and a total rebrand can be more invigorating and unifying than separate branding. There’s also the trouble of regional names. If your business hopes to expand into a territory that has a historic rivalry with the region you’re named after you could find your business opportunities slightly hamstrung.

Developing a new brand identity can send a message that your company is geared for geographical expansion and diversifying of cultures.

4. Audience

Sometimes the easiest way to launch a new product, create buzz and generate loyalty is to go niche. Once established in the marketplace, with a saturated audience, the next logical step is to broaden your appeal and expand your demographic.

A rebrand is often a good way to break into new markets without alienating your base audience. Your audience can be assured that the rebrand is a result of their loyalty to your product or service as you seek to leverage your market position to benefit a wider audience.

If your branding is niche or tailored to a certain audience a tweak won’t normally cut it and your brand will not reflect the expectations of your more diverse target market. 

5. Mergers and acquisitions

When you merge or acquire businesses it’s important to appeal to your new, larger customer base. It’s possible that many of your new customers were customers of the company you acquired or merged with precisely because they didn’t want to use you. If you just absorb companies with a positive brand image as though they never existed you can disengage with a lot of customers.

It’s essential to understand how acquired brands fit into the overall brand architecture and alignment of the parent company. If this isn’t thought through then both brands can suffer and that’s why rebranding can be useful.

Rebranding can help to reflect the new dynamic, retain loyal customers, and can also be an effective marketing and PR strategy.

6. Website woes

Sometimes your website could just do with a little TLC. Sometimes it needs completely gutting. If your focus or message has evolved significantly enough to gut your site then you might as well go the whole hog and rebrand. Your company’s branding needs to reflect who you are now and where you are going not just where you’ve come from.

Your branding isn’t just about your website though. Your message needs to be consistent across all of your collateral.

You’re reading this article

Signs that it’s time to rebrand can creep up out of nowhere but one of the biggest is reading this article!

If you’re thinking of a rebrand then it’s highly likely that you need one. However, that alone probably isn’t enough to convince you to undertake one of the biggest decisions you’ll make for a few years yet. If any of these signs are relevant to your business then you should seriously consider contacting a professional branding firm.

Rebranding can often be essential to reflect the growth of your business but it needs to be done properly. A professional rebrand performed by experts in brand strategy is a good idea and a solid investment, with measurable benefits that are likely to return your investment multiple times over.