How do you know when it’s time to rebrand? When your brand strategy needs a facelift? Or maybe a whole new face?
In truth, companies should always keep a finger on the pulse of their brands.
Markets and people are in a constant state of change, so you need to be ready to adapt and evolve at all times.
In this article, we’re going to look at the common reasons branding becomes outdated and how you can fix it before you lose too much ground.
When is it time to rebrand?
First, what are the culprits behind a brand becoming outdated and needing a rebrand or refresh? Here are a few common scenarios:
You want to appeal to a new audience
Brands are designed to appeal to a specific market. They formulate visuals and messaging that resonates with a particular audience. As a result, when you decide you want to expand or change the market you are targeting, your brand and messaging will need to change, too.
For example, if you have a company that sells juice to restaurants but you are now going to offer it directly to consumers in the grocery store, you’re going to need to go back to the branding drawing board. Consumers look for different things in a juice product than businesses.
You want to stand out from competitors
You may have initially launched your brand with a unique value proposition. Perhaps you sell fruit popsicles. At first, yours are the only ones in the frozen section. But then, a year later, there are ten popsicle options. Now what? In situations like this, you need to rethink your product positioning. How can you stand out in a more saturated market?
You need to keep up with changing trends
As time goes on, technology advances and trends change. For example, logos have evolved as graphic design capabilities have improved. If your branding was designed years ago, it may come off as “behind the times.” When your branding is outdated, customers will assume your business is, too. It’s important to stay innovative in messaging and appearance.
You need to respond to social/political changes
In recent times, consumers have become more interested in the values and beliefs of companies. They want to know where brands stand on social and political issues. Further, 30% of consumers said they will pay more for a product if the brand’s corporate values align with their own, according to insights drawn from Resonate’s consumer intelligence platform. Your brand should consider whether it will take a stance, and what stance that will be. Activism can be a reason to update your branding.
Your initial branding was on a shoestring budget
Brand strategies are sometimes built haphazardly in the beginning just to get the wheels rolling. However, as your company grows, you may find it’s incoherent and not aligned with where you want to go. Undergoing a formal and professional branding process can ensure your company is in its most advantageous position.
All of these factors can lead to your company needing a brand refresh or overhaul.
How do you know when your brand strategy isn’t working?
Are one of the above factors slowly killing your brand? Here are seven warning signs:
- Declining market share/competitors gaining market share
- Stagnant or decreasing sales/revenue
- Drops in engagement
- Noticeably behind-the-times aesthetics
- Negative reactions/reviews to your current brand
- Confusion internally and externally regarding your brand
- Industry shifting in a different direction
While the above problems do not guarantee your brand strategy is the problem, it’s something to examine. Questions you can ask to figure it out include:
- Are you positioned in a way that gives you an advantage in the market?
- Do you have a thriving community of customers around your brand?
- Is your brand marketing consistent, easy to identify, and cohesive?
- Is it relevant in your current times and with recent trends?
If you answered “no” to any of these, it may be time to rebrand. To help you decide, you can follow these key steps, which include researching your competitors and asking for input from employees, trusted colleagues, and business partners.
How do you successfully rebrand?
Once you’ve decided it’s time to rebrand, where do you start?
Identify your goal
A good jumping-off point is identifying your primary goal. What do you want to achieve with the new brand? Do you want to appeal to a new audience? Adjust your brand positioning to be more cohesive? Broaden your offerings? Rework your social media branding to increase engagement? Write down the end goals you want to achieve.
Reverse engineer your strategy
From there, it’s time to build a brand strategy. You can work backward from your goal to figure out how you are going to get there. This stage requires researching your market, industry, and competitors. It can help to bring on a branding expert for guidance.
Once you have a plan, it’s time for implementation. Roll out the new brand marketing to your internal team first. That’s where the buy-in needs to start. Then you can move on to your external customers.
Effective brand building is not a set-it-and-forget-it exercise. You need to keep your finger on the pulse to ensure your brand positioning is continuously on-point. If you are seeing the warning signs of outdated branding, dig in right away to find out why. If you respond and adjust, you can overcome bumps in the road, gaining long-term staying power for your business.
Jessica Walrack is a professional freelance writer who creates blog posts for Fundbox.com. She loves to share the ins and outs of digital marketing to help brands reach their next levels of success.