How do you know it’s time for a rebrand?

Last Updated on May 28th, 2020

I’m doomed…
There is no hope left down the hill.
What will happen?

Will the big giants eat my market share?

Market Giants

Will they wipe me out?

I was thinking it all; suddenly, I heard someone’s voice coming from the right…

“Hey, you, Hobo! There is no place left in the business clan. Get outta here.”

I was mourning the death of my dreams

Sigh! Thanks to my alarm clock, I got up and realized, “It was just a DREAM.”

After getting up, a question kept buzzing around in my noggin… “Mate, this was a dream for you but can be a sad reality for many businesses who become Tom, Dick, and Harry when somebody talks about a Rebrand.”

Before moving on to the main question, when you should consider rebranding, I want to address why people are so reluctant to rebrand.

What stops people from rebranding?

Rebranding is a thing of the past?

Human beings are wired to think like that. If I put it in better terms, they believe that the term rebrand stands for “Marrying the same person once again.” Jokes apart; to them, it’s a thankless chore that just costs them money yet doesn’t give anything in return.

I wonder why big brands like Apple, Subway, Dunkin Donuts, and Starbucks went for a rebrand?

The answer lies in this: They wanted to make their businesses stand out infront of the potential buyers.

Rebranding is a thing of the past. Is it true?

I am still tied to the notion of rebranding always helps. Gladly, I came across two tweets that provide sheer evidence.

The first tweet is of 2009

What was considered a crucial thing a decade ago still occupies the same position. I can say that rebranding was significant, is important, and will stay relevant.

It seems like you all are convinced by now, “Rebranding is crucial for your business.” Let’s move to the point when you should consider it.

It feels terrible to handover your business card

Imagine… You are just a step away from closing your business deal.

Everything is on point, your presentation, your approach, your idea, but your client asks you for a business card, and you feel pretty embarrassed.

You are in the state of confusion, whether to hand it over or not…

If this is something you can relate to, then it’s time for a rebrand. Remember that stale, pale, and boring branding can’t make your business shine among the rest.

According to Venngage, 52% of people prefer not to buy from a brand if it has bad aesthetics.

See, I can understand, when someone embarks on an entrepreneur’s journey, they often forget the power of branding. Well, when things get streamlined, and people no longer remember you as a newbie entrepreneur, it’s high time to take things seriously.

You can’t stay stagnant, trying magic spells to increase sales. To change the fortune of your business, you have to change your image as a brand.

What else can be better than considering a rebrand?

Let’s see the example of Starbucks here

Starbucks no longer wanted people to perceive it as “Just another neighborhood coffee shop.” They smartly changed their color scheme, removed the letters, and gave it a whole new look.

They cleaned up the logo, made it aesthetically pleasing yet functional for the customers. Since Starbucks just doesn’t offer coffee only, they removed the dialect and let the customers fill the space.

Here comes another example of a brand “Vast.” Look at what it used to be and how we have rebranded it.

This is what it used to look like:

Vast Alt Tag

Vast Caption

I feel the design itself is pretty self-explanatory, and there is no need to say how rebranding has given it the vibes it was dying for.

Talk of rebranding, how can I miss mentioning Horn Creek Hemp? After all, it falls in the list of brilliant rebranding.

Horn Creek Hemp used to look like this before:

Horn Creek Hemp – Before

After a thorough research and multiple brainstorming sessions, we came up with something that changed the overall feel of the brand.

Horn Creek Hemp – After

You are the mirror image of your competitor

“I want to look like my competitor,” said no one ever.

But wait… sometimes, your digital destiny plays idiotic games. You end up looking like a twinnie of your competitor.

How many times have you seen a logo and have mistaken it for some other brand? I am sure quite a lot.

Let’s play a small game here. Recognize what it is

 

Don’t make a face now (I am sure you are thinking that I am going nuts.)

Well, these are just potatoes but with a name. One is you, and the other one is your competitor.

Why am I saying this?

Let’s be honest, if there is no point of differentiation between you and your competitor when you look like a mirror image of your rival, then what’s the point of branding?

Don’t hide your face now. If you are a victim, it’s the perfect time to rebrand.

Do you remember the ever famous “The Big Bang Theory” series?

We still adore those characters. It was one play yet had different identities in it.

  • Sheldon- the Narcissist
  • Leonard- the patient and sanest
  • Bernadette – the loudest one

If those characters had no point of difference, we wouldn’t have remembered them to the date. Similarly, in the business sector, you need to have a distinctive identity. If there is no separate identity, how would you set yourself apart?

Think about it.

When you want to tap a new set of the audience yet not ready for it

Branding should serve three purposes:

  • Connect
  • Connect
  • Connect

I have emphasized it thrice for a reason. Any brand that fails to connect with the target audience doesn’t get the desired share.

For instance: You run a burger chain. Your target audience is those who share a deep love for meat.

Now you are willing to introduce a new line of vegan-burgers, yet your emblem represents meat. Do you feel vegans would be interested in knowing about it?

I bet they won’t even listen.

This proves one thing: your branding should run parallel to your target audience. If it doesn’t, then put it in work and make it run parallel.

Now, I am not saying that you alienate your existing customer base. Your rebranding should be something that conveys the message yet doesn’t shock your loyal customers.

Here, Coca-Cola has set a great example:

Millennials are hip. They love sassy, fun, lively, and energetic things. To hitch them, Coca-Cola came up with exciting flavors yet rebranded in a whole different way.

It came up with the colorful cans as visible in the picture. Every little chunk of its rebranding speaks for vivacity. I’d say the strategy is enough to make you feel revitalized and energized.

When you are to rebrand, make sure that your strategy is on point. Here, a buyer persona can help you understand more about your target audience.

Here I can quote an example of a brand that actually suffered due to the poor branding. The brand failed to connect with the target audience. Let me show how it was like:

  • Before
  • After

The glitter, gradient, cluttered elements were sucking the soul out of it. We gave it a new makeover that changed the overall vibes of the brand.

Can you see how defined it looks now? Well, this rebranding is pretty self-explanatory.

You don’t feel proud of your branding anymore

Your brand is like your baby, so yeah, you can’t stop loving it.

But there comes a time when you feel bored while looking at it. It is because the monotony kills you inside.

What to do in such a situation? Perhaps go for a rebrand.

Over time, things change. The habits of your target audience change, the industry norms change, and your way of looking at the future changes.

If “change” is the reality of life, how can you leave “branding” behind?

Ask yourself:

  • Are you delighted with your current branding that has been there for ages?
  • Isn’t your heart saying it’s time to change?
  • Don’t you want to give your brand a new feel?

If these questions are causing you an adrenaline rush, then don’t ignore it. It’s a red alarm for any brand when the branding doesn’t feel right.

Take it this way- When you are feeling disconnected, how can you expect your customers to build up that connection?

Take an example of Twitter here. Over the years, it has gone through some significant iterations. The history of the Twitter logo tells that it didn’t stop but evolved with time.

If big faces like Twitter can evolve, why can’t you? (P.S: You are not from Planet Mars)

One more example can fit just the right way here: Recently, we have added a new soul to the brand who was longing for it. The previous branding used to look somewhat like this:

With the magic option of our artisans, we have given it a new life. See what it looks like now:

Oh, yeah, it’s totally a 360 degree makeover. Now you can feel how energized it looks!

When your value proposition gets changed

Does it happen with you: You plan to go somewhere else, but end up going to the place which was never the part of your plan?

I am sure you can relate to it. The digital world is not an exception. Businesses come into the market with the aim of providing specific services to specific people. But with time, things change, and the horizons spread the wings.

To deal with this change, brands need to adapt to the situation. I wonder what came just to sell books is now recognized as our go-to brand for everything.

I am talking about Amazon. It started as an online store with the purpose of selling books. Later on, seeing the demand, it converted into a renowned eCommerce giant.

The previous logo of Amazon clearly signifies that it deals in books. However, to cater to the need of other segments, it changed its philosophy.

After rebranding, its logo looks like this. The connection of A to Z represents that you can find everything from A to Z. All in all, it is conveying the message, “We’ve got you covered.”

Had it stick to the same branding, it would have failed to convey the real essence.

When you plan to expand your business, make sure that your branding resonates with what you are trying to convey. If it doesn’t, then I am sorry, the branding is of no use. You are in dire need of a rebrand.

Remember that your target audience decides the future of your brand. Therefore, it is imperative to treat your rebranding strategy, not as an option but a primary thing.

When you plan to merge with a new company

This type of rebranding should be done with utmost care. When you plan to merge with a new company, it makes sense to rebrand.

However, in many cases, people forget the part of how it should be done and end up giving weightage to the one. In this scenario, the identity of one company gets lost somewhere.

In such a case, rebranding should be done in a way that it explains the merger or partnership yet doesn’t alienate your presence. This means you stay visible, yet people get informed.

You want to tap into a new geography

Crazy it may seem, but we human beings are wired to associate colors with the culture we thrive in.

Do you even know, in North America, the yellow color is considered as the color of happiness while in Latin America, it is perceived as the color of death?

By now, you must have understood the catch here. When you aim to tap into a new geography, it is crucial to learn about it. You just can’t go there with the same identity.

Therefore, new geography means you have to rebrand with care so that you don’t hurt the sentiments of the people there and gather the massive appreciation you long for.

For instance: You have a fast-food chain, and you serve food in black color boxes. In some cultures, using black color in food-industry is considered a sin. Therefore, you have to be very particular with how you are going to tap into that new geography.

I’m sure; by now, you must be saying rebranding isn’t easy as it seems.

Now let’s have a quick look at if it does any good for your brand:

  • Rebranding helps you reposition your business
  • It revitalizes the overall feel of your brand
  • It helps you tap into new segments
  • It doesn’t let you get hijacked by the monotony
  • It helps differentiate you from your competitor and make you steal the light
  • Rebranding helps shift the focus, allowing you to set and achieve new business goals

Final takeaway

I’m sure; still, many of you are considering it thankless efforts. Well, you can’t judge anything unless you try it.

Rebranding impacts your inbound marketing strategy and gives wings to the sales funnel. What is pleasing to the eyes yet aesthetically sound is what stays in the game.

The ball is in your court now. If you want to stay tongue-tied, it’s up to you. If you’re going to beat your competitors and claim your fair-share, then head to the rebrand way.

Again, if the clouds of uncertainty are bothering you, remember that big brands wouldn’t have done it if it was of no use.

I’ll leave you here with RAC. Didn’t understand?

Rebrand, Amplify, and Connect!

  • A Picture of Waqas D.

    Waqas D.

Waqas D. is the co-founder of the branding and website agency, FullStop™. He supercharges brands by crafting memorable logos, brand identities and engaging websites. Besides thousands of startups and medium-size businesses, FullStop has worked with likes of Microsoft & L’Oréal. View our portfolio or get in touch.

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