To brand or not to brand, that is the question…

If you’ve been in business for a while; the chances are you’ve developed a brand. Good – that’s the first step to business success.

However, when was the last time you really took a good look at your branding? You’re probably pretty comfortable with it, but therein lies the danger – comfort isn’t necessarily a good thing.

Even global brands need a refresh sometimes; just look at Apple: from fussy pencil, to glorious rainbow, to simple monochrome, to stylish silver, Apple is constantly tweaking its brand in line with the times and it keeps it fresh. That’s the beauty of branding: you don’t have to change it completely to keep it up to date. Apple will always be instantly recognisable, but that doesn’t mean it has to stay stuck in the past!

Apple logos

What if it goes wrong?

Ok so rebranding doesn’t always go smoothly – do you remember when Coco Pops changed its name to Choco Krispies in 1999? Don’t worry if you don’t, the public outcry was so great that it quickly reverted to the original branding.

What about the disastrous rebranding undertaken by clothing giant The Gap in 2010? The company went from a globally recognised logo to something so bland and unrecognisable that Execs ended up appealing to the public for help with the redesign (leading some to speculate that it was all just a clever, albeit expensive, publicity stunt).Finally, talk to a professional designer. Rebranding is not something that can be done in 5 minutes on a smart phone, it takes time, skill and experience, and it’s too important to get wrong.

Remember: all brands evolve over time and rebranding doesn’t necessarily mean changing everything completely. Successful rebranding is about evolution not revolution, so don’t be afraid to up your game!

Gap logo

So should you bother?

When you’ve got a thriving company, rebranding can fall pretty low down your list of priorities, and concerns about the cost and possible negative impact of any changes can make you wary of taking the plunge. However, you need to remember the old saying “if you’re not moving forward, you’re falling back” Brands that never change look dated rather than reliable and will soon start to lose customers (or, at the very least, not gain any new ones).

So how do you know if you need a rebrand? 

Take a look at the check-list below and if any of these apply to you then it might be time for a change:

  1. Your brand no longer represents your business’ vision
  2. There’s a disconnect between your business and your target audience
  3. You blend in too much with your competition
  4. Your brand message is too confusing
  5. You want to change perception of your brand
  6. There’s negativity associated with your current branding
  7. You’ve experienced rapid growth and have outgrown your current branding
  8. You want to target a new demographic/audience
  9. The market has changed and your business no longer seems relevant
  10. You want to boost your profits

What’s next?

Start by stepping back and looking at your brand objectively. You may love your old logo but is sentimentality clouding your judgement?

Next, ask friends, colleagues and customers – maybe even create a survey – to gauge public opinion. If the majority agree that it’s time for a refresh then go for it. Finally, talk to a professional designer. Rebranding is not something that can be done in 5 minutes on a smartphone, it takes time, skill and experience, and it’s too important to get wrong.

Remember: all brands evolve over time and rebranding doesn’t necessarily mean changing everything completely. Sometimes only tweaks are needed but when done right, those tweaks can make a fundamental difference to how a business’s identity looks.

Your brand is an investment and investments require commitment.

Successful rebranding is about evolution not revolution, so don’t be afraid to up your game!

If you would like to discuss a rebrand or a simply branding audit then get in touch.

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