When is it time to rebrand?

When is it time to rebrand?

In the early days of a new company, the first brand identity created tends to be done quickly, on a low budget, and with a limited scope suited to the product(s) available at time of launch. Rarely do early stage companies create a complete brand strategy with visual identity guidelines. Usually it's just a logo and not much else.

But as companies grow out of the adolescent phase, they often find their initial branding no longer suits their current stage of growth. It's time for a rebrand. Here are some good reasons to undergo a rebrand:

  • You are embarassed when sharing your website or going to tradeshows. You know your brand just doesn't look professional, and it's embarassing to send people to your website or for staff to stand at your booth. You want a brand you can be proud of, and what you currently have isn't cutting it.
  • You want to "level up" the company image. Your initial logo was fine to get started, but now that you're established in your market you want to have a brand that feels more appropriate to the maturity of the company.
  • You are growing into new markets, and your initial brand was designed for a smaller market. As your company has matured you've refined your target customer profile and also discovered potential market spaces that you hadn't thought of at launch. But your brand is limiting you to the initial market.
  • Your product portfolio has broadened. Maybe your initial name or look and feel were designed for your first product, but now you have multiple products and the brand is not "big enough" to contain those new products.
  • Your competition has stronger branding than you, and it's hurting your ability to compete.
  • Your name or logo is limiting customer understanding. When you first began the company your logo made sense, but now you're talking about your product or service in a more mature way, with refined positioning and messaging but your name or logo conveys something different.
  • You've been acquired. Following a merger or acquisition, you'll often have to rebrand to match your acquiror's brand.
  • You had a PR crisis. Following negative publicity, brands can become "tarnished" and sometimes a rebrand can help the company distance itself from the negative publicity.

There may be other reasons but these are some of the most common. A rebrand can inject new life into your business, both for employees and customers. A rebrand shows progress, upgrades your standing amongst competitors, and provides a stronger first impression. Rebrands also give you a chance to refine and improve your positioning and messaging. It can also be a good time to create or change product packaging, your website, or a company tagline.

Rebrands can be time consuming so they should be considered carefully, but they are a natural part of business growth. It's extremely rare that a company uses the same brand appearance through its entire existence. Companies change, products change, and markets change, so you should be prepared to change your brand as well.

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