Rebranding your business can be a tough decision.
It’s a little bit like when your favourite t-shirt becomes too tight or worn out. You know it’s time for an upgrade, but nostalgia makes it difficult to make the change. Furthermore, if you spend every waking hour managing the day to day aspects of running your business, it’s easy to miss that its time to shake things up.
Rebranding your business at the right time can breathe new life into your marketing, help you to reconnect with lapsed customers and widen your base to reach whole new market segments. Launching a rebrand when it is not necessary, however, can be very expensive and may actually have a negative impact on your marketing and sales.
It is, therefore, important to consider your move carefully and make sure that you launch a rebranding campaign at the right time. Here are 10 key signs it may be time to rebrand your business.
- You Aren’t Attracting the Correct Market
If you started your business in the correct way, chances are you were targeting a very specific target market at the start. However, you may have found that this market wasn’t as interested in your products as you thought. Maybe they are, but your price point is wrong for them. Maybe your idea of this target market was too broad, and you actually need to target one of several sub-markets that you are now much more aware of.
Rebranding can be a great way to either increase your brand’s appeal with your original target market, or to change your brand’s identity and target an entirely new one.
It can be as simple as changing the layout of your website and printing some new custom stickers, but we would recommend taking it as far as possible, including, if necessary, making changes to internal processes and products too.
- Your Company Feels Stuck and You’re No Longer Excited By It
This is more of a personal point than a business one, but if you don’t feel proud of your business when talking about it to others, or you don’t feel motivated to keep growing it, it may not quite be the right kind of business for you.
This is more important than you might think – you need to be motivated and passionate to do your best work.
If it is possible to rebrand your company to something that will make you excited again, this is one of the most important things you can do – and who knows, it might have the same result for your customers!
- You Want to Leave a Certain Image Behind
Maybe you attracted a type of audience you didn’t want to.
Maybe you had some negative reviews or bad word of mouth in a certain demographic or certain corner of the internet.
In some cases, these will be justified criticisms that you need to move away from and make huge changes to your business to succeed. In other cases they will be unjustified and no real changes to your business will be necessary, but it can still be a great idea to rebrand in this case in order to shed any links between the bad press and your company.
Reshaping your brand can help you shed these past images and regain control of how people see your business.
Uber found themselves going through something similar in 2017 after getting involved in numerous scandals, from sexual harassment to a toxic working culture.
Between this and taxi driver protests, sentiment for Uber was at an all-time low at the time, and it could have been the end of their business. However, they spent over 1,000 hours interviewing people from all around the world to learn more about how they were viewed.
Resulting from what they learned from this experience, Uber then designed an entirely new brand including a new logo, with the intention of transforming their image from a small smartup to a global transport supplier. Based on their success since, it clearly worked!
- The Wrong People are Applying to Work With You
A growing business needs new passionate employees who believe in it’s goals in order to keep growing successfully.
If the people that are trying to join your organisation are not what you expected or hoped, there is a good chance your branding is to blame.
Are these people getting the wrong idea about what your organisation is doing? And if so, is there a chance your potential customers are getting the same mixed message?
Changing this can put off the wrong type of applicants and attract the right ones, which aligns your team with your goals, ensures a passionate and dedicated team, and often rubs off on leads or customers too, as everybody loves to deal with someone who genuinely believes in what they’re doing!
b]5. To Represent a Change of Ownership or Merger[/b]
If you have purchased a business from somebody else, then rebranding it to suit your own goals can be a great way to take ownership and align the business with your own goals for it. Equally, in the case of a merger, the goals and objectives of the newly created entity can be quite different from your original targets.
A rebranding can represent this change in direction and help get across the message of what your business can offer.
One example of this sort of rebranding that we can learn from is Verizon. The telecoms giant has its roots in the Bell Telephone Company, the organisation set up in 1877 by the inventor of the telephone.
In the early half of the 20th Century, AT&T had an almost complete monopoly on telecoms after acquiring the Bell Telephone Company and numerous other competitors across the US.
In 2000, this already hugely successful corporation merged with GTE, another large telecoms company. The executives of the newly formed company wanted to move away from the previous names and the baggage of having acquired almost every major telecoms supplier in North America. They decided to come up with a new futuristic name to cover their entire business, and settled on Verizon.
This is now one of the world’s biggest telecoms suppliers and the company is said to have spent over $300 million promoting their new brand in the first year, grabbing huge market share and mindshare at the same time!
- The Business is Becoming Unfocused
Maybe scope creep has you offering more for your clients and customers than you originally intended. Maybe you’ve invested in too many different areas and the company’s focus is no longer as narrow as it should be.
You could even be losing sight of the original aims you had when creating the business. This is all too common in business, especially as companies begin to scale and grow. In the busy day-to-day grind of running a business, combined with the pressures of a competitive marketplace, it is easy for your focus to shift so that you suddenly find yourself focusing on services and goals that are completely different from your original intentions.
A rebrand can be a great way to shed fat, refocus your energies, remove what’s not necessary and excel at what is necessary. This is a great way to take stock of where your business is at, and remind yourself of where you want to be, as well as the best way to get there.
As you start the rebranding process, begin by returning to your business’ original mission, vision and core goals. Build your new brand strategy so that it is completely instep with these elements and will position your perfectly to meet your goals.
- The Marketplace has Evolved
Some industries stay the same forever, whereas others are in a constant state of change. Competition can also drive changes in the marketplace and force you to react.
If you feel like customers are looking for something slightly different to what they were when you first began operating, it may be time for a change.
Similarly, if competitors have begun to offer unique propositions that are getting the attention of your target market, it might be time to respond with your own new offerings.
Regular rebranding is a crucial part of staying competitive and appealing in a competitive and changing industry.
- You Don’t Stand Out Enough
This can be a big problem – if your branding is too similar to your competition, it needs to be adapted to allow you to stand out from the competition and grab your customers’ attention. It may be that competition has grown and developed significantly since your business started, or it could just be that you didn’t give branding as much thought as it deserved.
Either way, blending in with your competition is a strong sign that it is time to rebrand your business. Look for a way to appeal to your ideal customers while being authentic to your brand’s identity and values.
It is important to find a way to differentiate your business from your competitors while not losing sight of who you are. Don’t try to make your business stand out by pretending to be something you are not. Instead, think about your unique selling points (USPs). What are the products or services you offer that your competitors do not? What makes you different from them?
The answers to these questions should form the basis of your rebranding, as this will tell your customers and potential customers why they should choose you over your competitors. This will deliver strong results in the long term and help you position yourself in control of your market.
- Your Idea of the Business has Changed
So far, most of the signs you need to rebrand your business covered in this article have focused on external signs such as changes in the market or competition.
But it’s entirely possible the thing that spurs change will be internal to your business.
Maybe you learned things about the industry you never would have imagined. Maybe you’ve come up with new product ideas that don’t exactly fit with your original business plan and branding strategy.
On the other hand, it could be that you’ve realized your original idea doesn’t work at all but you have an idea of how you can pivot your business to a more successful approach.
Success in business means being flexible and adaptable. It is about knowing when things are working and when they are not. If you know that your business is not working in its current form, it is time to shake things up. Rebranding can help you to completely transform your business and take it in another direction.
These situations provide an opportunity where rebranding your business could be the next step to growth and long term success, and taking advantage of this opportunity could prove highly beneficial in the long term.
- You’ve Expanded Beyond Your Original Location
Local business names such as “Plumbing Supplies Seattle” or “Tree Surgeon South Wales” may seem like a good idea when you’re starting out and focusing on one specific location.
But as you grow and expand into new areas, this kind of business name can restrict you, projecting an image of being small and local that limits you from expanding into new locations. As your business grows, you may want to be able to open up new sites in different locations or service different areas. Or you may need to move your business entirely due to changing circumstances.
Regional businesses often need a rebrand as part of going national, or international. This may mean rebranding your business entirely, or it might mean simply creating a new branding for an international division.
One thing is for sure – business owners can easily neglect branding when they are too busy focusing on the day to day tasks of running a business. But it’s something that should always be kept in the back of your mind, as your company’s branding is often the first exposure a customer has to your business and your brand will stick in their mind.
This means that your branding should be optimized for your business and your market as they stand today. If it is not, it is time to rebrand your business.
Get it wrong, and you can disappear out of people’s memories rapidly, but get it right, a