Image Alt

When It’s Time To Rebrand: A Guide For Business Owners

When It’s Time To Rebrand: A Guide For Business Owners

We’ve all seen major companies go through rebrands. From the various iterations of the Airbnb logo to Dunkin Donuts’ major brand overhaul a few years ago, most businesses will eventually need to revisit and tweak their branding strategy.

But how do you know when a brand is stale and in need of a rebrand? What are the types of rebrands and the risks involved? We’ll walk you through what business owners need to know about rebranding.

What is a Rebrand?

Let’s start with the basics. According to Entrepreneur, your brand is the “sum total of the experiences your customers and prospects have with your company.” Your brand should let people know what your business does or offers and should appeal to your target markets and demographics.

But over time businesses change, whether it’s through a merger or acquisition, a new product launch or a shift in values and goals, and these changes can lead to a rebrand. But a rebrand doesn’t necessarily mean a complete reimagining of your company’s aesthetic and message.

Partial Rebrand versus Full Rebrand

As the name suggests, a partial rebrand focuses on certain aspects of a company’s messaging such as reworking a logo or launching a new product. Forbes states that partial rebrands are best for established companies looking to update their services or identity in the marketplace.

Full rebrands call for an overhaul of a company’s identity and may involve a new business name, new products or services and / or a new vision for the future. A complete rebrand typically happens when two companies merge or when a business wants to reposition itself in the marketplace. Keep in mind, though, that a full brand overhaul is no easy feat, so consider it carefully before moving forward.

How to Know When It’s Time to Rebrand

So how do you know when it’s time for a rebrand? Whether you’re considering a partial or a full rebrand, here are some telltale signs your branding could use a refresh.

The business has evolved or the vision has changed.

If you’re part of a company with some longevity, you may have already been through at least one rebrand. People change, times change, and businesses are not different. It’s not unusual for an established business to eventually expand into new product categories and services or to

experience a change in scope or vision. When this happens, it’s important to ensure your messaging is up to date and reflects the current scope of your company.

You’d like to reposition your company in the marketplace.

Perhaps you’d like to attract new customers in an entirely new demographic. Or perhaps you’re trying to recover after some negative publicity. Whatever the reason, a rebrand can help customers see your business in a new light. Think about where you’d like your company to be in five years, or even ten years, and build your branding on that vision. Changing a company’s messaging can be instrumental in recovering public opinion after a scandal or mistake or when taking your business to the next level of growth.

The business doesn’t stand out from the competition.

If you’ve noticed that your logo and website look very similar to your competitors, it might be time for a refresh. It’s possible you’re missing out on customers because your brand is too generic. Focus on the things that make your company unique and then translate those distinguishing points into your branding.

You’ve recently merged with another company.

If you’ve gone through a merger that’s a good opportunity to revisit your branding and make sure it reflects the new values and mission of your organization. Structural changes can affect a company’s offerings as well as their target markets and vision for the future. All of these changes should be taken into account when rebranding after a merger or buyout.

The brand is out of date.

If it’s been several years since you revisited your logo or website design, it might be time for a change. Your target audiences’ tastes will change over time and new technology makes for new possibilities. If a website is lacking in user-focused design or functionality, you might be losing out on customers. And if your logo is the same one you’ve had since the 1990s, customers may feel your brand is out of touch. It’s a good idea to revisit your branding every few years to make sure it’s still relevant to your target consumers.

Risks of Rebranding

A thoughtful rebrand can offer many benefits, but it’s not without risk. There are a few potential downsides that should be considered before undertaking any new business strategy.

According to Forbes, “a rebrand needs to be purposeful and deliberate, aimed at communicating a message tied to specific goals.” Undertaking a rebrand, especially a full one, when it’s not really necessary can actually hurt your business. For example, if you’re trying to

boost sales or generate buzz in the media, you’re likely to achieve these goals through a targeted marketing campaign versus a full rebrand.

For partial rebrands, make sure the messaging is consistent with your existing marketing. Inconsistent marketing can create brand distrust, whereas cohesive messaging will reinforce your company’s position in the marketplace and attract higher-quality customers.