I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: A strong consistent brand built up over time is the best guarantee of future earnings. But, you already know that. We all know that. It’s information we heard in the very first branding or marketing classes we ever took. And even though social media and search have turned branding upside down, brand strength and consistency still build loyalty over the long term.
Given the importance of long-term brand consistency, the decision to rebrand should not be taken lightly. Not only is it expensive, but rebranding can lead to unnecessary confusion amongst your customers and potentially a hit to the bottom line. There are really only six good reasons to rebrand.
You need a name change
Maybe your company name is misleading, or maybe you’re in the midst of a trademark conflict. Whatever the reason, changing your name necessitates a rebrand.
TIP: Make sure to include your finance and legal teams in renaming decisions, or at least keep them in the loop. They will need to ensure all paperwork involved in a name change is properly filed with various government entities.
You are merging with another company
Acquiring or merging with another organization often dictates a rebrand. Be careful that consumers and brand strength are taken into consideration during negotiations of what the name of the merged organization will be. Doing so can reduce risk to the bottom line.
You are no longer in the same business
If you’ve completely shifted or expanded your business into other categories, markets, audiences or geographic areas, a rebrand may be in order.
You need to reinvigorate your brand
Maybe brand awareness is low or your stock is devalued. Or, maybe repositioning your brand will open up a broader marketplace. The need to revitalize your brand is justification for a rebranding effort. Just be sure there is a valid business reason for the decision and that you aren’t just wanting to leave your mark on the company.
Your look and feel needs a makeover
Do you cringe at the site of your logo? Hesitate to send out links to your website? Hate handing out your business cards? If you feel your brand is dated or lackluster compared to the competition, a rebrand might be in order. Even if it’s just the design that needs a refresh, be sure to take a step back and double-check strategy as well. Oftentimes, an outdated look and feel is symptomatic of a bigger problem.
Your brand lacks consistency
If all your communications look like they are from a different company or every division is using a different logo and different color palette, it’s probably time to rebrand. In this scenario, we recommend evaluating your brand architecture strategy. This can be particularly helpful for organizations that are managing multiple brand names and logos.
Remember, rebranding is a big deal. It will cost you money and time. Too often, people forget that every single piece of communication from email signatures to legal contracts will need to be updated with the new brand. Plus, it’s not an instant solution. It could be damaging if you have a loyal customer base invested in the current brand. But, there are times it’s justified and makes good business sense.