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Should you rebrand? On average, 74% of the S&P companies rebrand within the first seven years. Rebranding is a significant endeavor that can evoke a mix of emotions for companies. It involves many variables and can be both exciting and scary. There are a lot of questions my clients have on whether or not they even need to rebrand.
At my company, Strategic Advisor Board (SAB), we help clients through opportunity analysis and strategic planning. Sometimes in the strategic plan, we advise the clients to rebrand. If our clients are the ones who bring up wanting to rebrand, we always ask them a few key questions first:
- Why do you want to rebrand now?
- Have your clients changed?
- Is your brand out of date?
- Is your growth potential being impacted?
- Is your brand no longer in line with your current clients’ needs and wants?
- Have you outgrown your brand?
- Is it difficult for your clients to tell your brand apart from your competitors?
- Has your services or business model changed?
The first question holds significant importance. At times, businesses consider rebranding simply because it’s been a while since they did any changes to their image. But the why behind the rebrand is what gives way to your brand strategy.
When rebranding, what key areas do you need to focus on?
Brand audits are crucial for aligning your brand identity with your new brand strategy. There are three types of rebranding: brand refresh, partial branding and full branding. A brand refresh will only change a few minor elements, usually within the visual side of things.
This could include changing a few elements in a logo and or slightly modifying the brand color palette to keep it modern. A partial rebrand would include changing some elements but not others. A full rebrand would change all elements of the brand as if you were a brand-new company. Whichever route you decide to go down, keep in mind that a brand strategy has to do with your company’s positioning in the marketplace and there needs to be a goal in mind of why the strategy is being done in the first place. These are elements of your brand you could change to suit your strategy:
Rebranding can include changing your business name. Start with your brand name. Does your name still connect with your audience? If you’re trying to reach a new audience, does it connect with them? A good name is unique and uses clear, easy-to-remember words. Stay away from trendy words or slang since words can change meaning over time.
Mission and vision statements
Do they still align with your company’s focus? Remember, a good mission statement should include a company’s ethics, values, culture and goals and it should affect how your employees and stakeholders operate. It should be clear and concise and easy to understand the first time it’s read and keep it around 1-3 sentences long. Make sure you re-evaluate your values and see if they fit with your new image. A good vision statement should include looking into the future and explaining where the company is going. Also, it should be 1-2 sentences max.
I’ve included typography and brand colors in this section as they’re all a part of the visual components of your brand. Brand colors can increase brand recognition by 80%. When most small business owners start creating their brands they’re not thinking about the psychology of colors and how they play on human emotions.
There’s a whole world behind brand the psychology of color theory and if you look at certain industries you’ll notice there are some common themes in colors. For example, in the restaurant industry, red is used in order to create an appetite. So don’t underestimate the power of brand colors in your logos! A good logo will be simple, look good on all scales, whether it’s on a business card, website or billboard, and it will evoke a sense of feeling of what the brand’s personality is like. If you’ve noticed, in most of the mentioned categories of rebranding, a common theme is simplicity. It’s no wonder that 95% of the top 100 brands in the world only use one to two colors in their logos.
Your brand voice is the personality that comes out in all of your marketing and it must be consistent in all communication you have with your clients. From your online presence to the way your employees conduct themselves within their customer service roles.
It’s important to stay consistent. I would argue this is one of the most important parts of your brand because it’s how you directly connect to your clients. So when you’re rebranding think about if your current voice reaches a demographic you want to continue reaching, or if you want to branch out to another demographic, will they resonate with your brand personality? Maybe your current demographic has connected well to your informal voice but in order to expand to another demographic you would be better off adding a bit of humor to the mix.
Taglines aren’t necessary for your brand but they do help in creating first impressions of what your business is all about. A good tagline is short, relevant and creative and it helps with your company’s brand identity and recognition in turn setting you apart from your competitors.
There are a lot of great reasons to rebrand, just keep in mind that your rebrand should help drive brand loyalty and engagement, create excitement, increase revenue and have a clear purpose and strategy behind it. By updating either some or all of your branding through your business name, mission and vision statements, logo, voice and tagline, you’ll be able to reach new markets, stay modern and stand out from competitors.