While rebranding should be a rare instance, it is an inevitable necessity for any business that wants to remain relevant in an ever-evolving market. However, if done ineffectively or unnecessarily, rebranding can do more harm than good.

So – how do you know when you’re due for a redo? Here are some tell-tale signs that it’s time for a new face!

1. You Want to Shed an Old Image

Sometimes, the way consumers view your business doesn’t quite match the image you wish to portray. Take McDonald’s, for instance. What was already viewed as a cheap, somewhat dirty food venue was only further afflicted with the iconic debut of SuperSize Me. As part of a still-ongoing brand makeover, McDonald’s has successfully repaired many of these damages by offering healthier choices and implementing cleaner, sleeker restaurant design standards. Whether it’s a result of bad publicity or just the dawn of a new era, rebranding can be the key to shaking off your company’s unwanted reputation.

2. Inconsistent Updates

If your business didn’t lay out brand guidelines from the start, chances are the result is blatant “patchiness.” This can mean different fonts for different collateral, mismatched colors, undiscussed logo variations, and so on. Lack of brand consistency can lead to customer confusion and/or lack of retention. After all, how should anyone recognize your packaging if it looks nothing like your website? How can you manage your image if everyone is presented with a different first impression? Now is the time to take step back and construct a consistent, coherent brand identity for your business.

3. A New Target Demographic

Assuming you already know who your current target demographic is, you may have decided it’s time to expand your reach. Old Spice rebranded to appeal to a younger audience with one of the most successful ad campaigns in history. In just 48 hours after his debut, shirtless Old Spice Guy rode his horse all the way to 11 million new video views, 29,000 new Facebook fans, and 58,000 new Twitter followers. The lesson to learn? Reaching a new audience involves a lot of bravery, new content development, and trust in your marketing team.

4. The Logo’s a No-go

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it! Having a logo that’s several years old does not necessarily mean it needs to be replaced. For instance, BMW’s logo has hardly changed since its origination in 1917 because it is timeless, versatile, and does not misrepresent the brand. However, if you own a computer technology company with a logo that looks behind the times, this could certainly call for a redesign. Other possible reasons to update a logo include company mergers, technically problematic designs, and market expansion.

5. Your Market has Evolved

Speaking of market expansion, let’s look at Starbucks as another example. This coffee empire recently decided to remove the “Starbucks Coffee” text that used to surround its iconic mermaid graphic. Why? Because they want to be more than just a coffee empire! With plans to start selling organic chicken among other non-coffee delicacies, it makes sense that Starbucks decided to simplify their logo and incorporate nutrition-based language into their campaigns.

6. Your Brand was Botched from the Get-go

Perhaps your branding is consistent, but it has never quite reflected the look you had in mind because it was originally designed poorly or hastily. Whether this is because you hired an amateur graphic designer or your marketing team was less than prepared in the beginning, it’s better to rebrand late than continue the wait! The longer you hold onto this undesired image, the more difficult it will be to replace down the road.  


Ready for Rebranding: Where to Start

Whether your business is implementing a full or partial rebrand, planning deliberately will give you a greater chance of success. Your marketing team should take the time to create a detailed plan, identify which tactics are and aren’t working, and give your current audience a heads up about the changes to come (you don’t want to blindside your customers).

Still not sure if it’s time to rebrand? Take a look at these simple questions we like to ask our clients:

  • What is your organization’s vision?
  • Who is your audience(s)?
  • What does the audience(s) think about your organization now?
  • How do you know what they think?
  • What do you want the audience(s) to think about your organization?

Can you answer the questions above? If not, or if you don’t particularly like your answers, let’s talk.

Branding – and rebranding – is our jam.


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