Rebranding is not an easy decision. But sometimes it is an essential decision to make. But how do you know if the timing is right? How do you know if rebranding will actually bring your brand benefits rather than lead you to lose your existing customers? Well, there are some telltale signs that indicate the need for rebranding.
In this blog, we are going to talk about these indicators that point in the direction of rebranding so that you know when to rework on your branding approach.
Not all businesses that start out imagine breaking the internet overnight or becoming a global sensation in a matter of days. But sometimes that happens! And not all businesses start out with a professional logo and brand identity that keeps a bigger market in the picture. Considering all this, if a brand is growing faster than expected, it indicates a few things:
To accommodate all these changes, a brand revamp might be your answer.
Take the case of Subway for example. When 17-year-old Fred De Luca launched a submarine sandwich shop along with his family friend Dr. Peter Buck, the store went by the name “Pete’s Super Submarines”.
The franchise grew rapidly and 3 years after the launch the brand was renamed “Subway”. The brand grew and a shorter name that’s easier to remember made better sense.
So, if your brand grows in scale or if you reach a global market or start exploring new industries, you might need a refreshed take on branding. This would ensure that your brand feels relevant to the larger market you cater to.
Did you know that Nokia originally started as a paper mill? Tiffany & Co. began as a stationery and fancy goods store. Yes, as surprising as it might sound, not all globally recognized brands originally sold the signature products these brands are associated with today. If that’s the case with your brand too, then rebranding makes sense.
Originally when you come up with a name for your business you sometimes use your niche and signature products/services as a guide to craft the perfect name. So, when that changes, revamping your brand is a welcome move.
What started as a podcasting venture called Odeo later pivoted to become Twitter. The name change here is a clear indication that the brand moved on to a different niche.
Change in your target audience can come in two ways. One is when your brand pivots and therefore you focus on different audience demographics. For example, a business that starts as a venture catering to baby products might slowly diversify its approach and offer mommy-care essentials. This means that there is a wider audience to focus on. So, rebranding makes your brand stay relevant to the new set of audiences too.
Another is when the generational perspective comes into the picture. For example, take a business selling teenage fashion. In the years to come your target audience might still be teens. But, a teen’s take on fashion today is very different than what it was a few years ago and it’s going to be different from how a teen perceives fashion and trends in a few years. So, you need a different approach. In this case, you are rebranding if your brand feels outdated with respect to your audience’s perspectives.
As your brand grows and evolves, as your customer interactions increase your brand values sometimes change and that’s alright. In such cases, the core offerings might remain the same and the type of audiences you cater to might remain the same too. But the shift is in the values your brand prioritizes.
Let’s understand this with an example. PayPal recently introduced its new brand identity to the world. There’s no significant change in the logo or brand name. The change lies in the brand colors and design elements used as a part of the brand style guide.
The reason for this refreshed brand identity is the brand’s switch to a “people first” approach that prioritizes accessibility. The colors, contrasts, and other design aspects take into account the recommendations of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Similarly, if your brand recently had to switch its strategies and if you think a refreshed brand identity might support the change, go for it.
Sometimes, the vision you have for your brand changes. In other words, you start envisioning a whole different future for your brand and start incorporating several steps toward this new set of goals.
In such cases, there is a combination of different attributes that change including brand values, target audience, and types of products you deliver. In the event of such drastic changes, a fresh new look for your brand is a good idea.
The rebranding story of Dunkin’ is a good example. Instead of being identified as a “donuts” brand Dunkin’ wanted to identify itself as an on-the-go brand known for its beverages and other options on its menu. To accommodate these changes, Dunkin’ Donuts became Dunkin’ in 2019.
By retaining the signature color scheme and font the brand preserved its brand identity while also indicating change.
Besides brand growth and exploration of new markets, the other major change that can happen to a business is a merger/acquisition. In such cases, there are two brands coming together to form one brand. When that happens, the new brand ideally includes the brand identity elements of both the brands involved or sometimes there is a whole new identity created. It all depends on the arrangements of the merger or acquisition. Therefore, this will be a time that calls for a brand refresh.
For example, Facebook started out as a single social media platform. But today Whatsapp and Instagram also belong to the family. That’s why the brand chose to rebrand itself to Meta, therefore, creating Metaverse. It is a more future-focused approach that adds enough room for growth and expansion. The new identity helps create a name without weakening the presence or impact of the individual brands involved – namely Facebook, Instagram, and Whatsapp among others.
Virality is a big topic in today’s era of social media dominance. Making customers notice a brand is not enough any longer. Brands strive for popularity. Brands strive for customers to talk about the brand actively on social media. In short, brands crave virality.
With all that said, we cannot deny the fact that sometimes brands also attain negative virality. In other words, some brands fall prey to controversies. People start talking about the brand but it’s not for a good reason. When this happens, the brand needs to take a step back and revisit its branding approach. That’s when a whole new brand identity feels like the most practical step to take.
For example, KFC stands for Kentucky Fried Chicken – that’s an association most consumers know. But until 1991, the brand was commercially known by its full name “Kentucky Fried Chicken”. Around this time, the brand faced a lot of backlash due to health concerns attached to the idea of promoting “fried” items.
In order to shift the attention from the word “fried” without losing its valuable customer base and reputation, the brand adopted the name “KFC” as the commercial moniker.
The use of the founder Colonel Sanders’ face in the logo and the overall color scheme have remained the same in order to keep the brand recognizable.
As you can see, there are many occasions where rebranding feels like the most sensible step to take. But to make this work, a lot of promotions are involved. A lot of branding and advertising designs are involved. To indicate the fresh look of your brand you might need a new logo or a refreshed color palette.
Along with this, you will also need ads created and customized for different social media platforms in order to keep your audiences informed of the change. From the moment you decide to make a switch to the complete transition and a little while later you might need to communicate with your customers regarding your rebranding campaign.
Your posts and ads should tell customers why you are rebranding and what’s changing. That’s the best way to make your brand refresh campaign a success.