When you think of your favorite brands, what stands out about them? Was it their creative logo design? The social impact of their mission and values? Their witty social media presence?
More than likely, it’s a combination of these factors. THAT’S what branding is—the combination of features that identify one business’s products or services as different from another business.
Something most business owners fail to realize, however, is that your branding is not set in stone—nor should it be. The world is constantly evolving, and your brand identity should be, too. I’m sure you’re wondering “When is it time to rebrand my business?” So, without further ado, let’s dig in and find out!
What is a Rebrand?
Rebranding is the process of adjusting your marketing strategy to build a new brand identity in the minds of customers and prospects, team members, and other stakeholders.
On the surface, you might assume rebranding is only concerned with more tangible brand assets, like logo design, color palette, and brand name. Although these are crucial components of brand identity, rebranding extends beyond visual assets.
In addition to these visual assets, a rebrand is concerned with a company’s mission, vision, target market, name, tagline, and many other oft-forgotten line items.
Why Would a Company Need to Rebrand?
The list of reasons you might consider rebranding your business is long, but it boils down to two main things: attracting loyal customers and retaining quality employees.
How Often Should You Rebrand Your Company?
This answer depends on several variables, but on average, well-established companies should refresh their brand identity once every 7–10 years. Sometimes these changes are minor, like tweaking the color palette, while others are much larger in scale. Where you fall on that spectrum will depend on your current branding, position within the market, and business goals.
But no matter what, business owners should ask the question of when to rebrand, not whether or not they should rebrand at all.
10 Signs Your Business is Overdue for a Rebrand
If you read through this list and one or more of the following circumstances applies to your business, it’s time to start thinking about rebranding:
1. Your Brand Name is No Longer Aligned With Your Brand Vision
Your brand name is the foundation of your brand story. It’s the first introduction your audience has to who you are, what you do, and what you stand for. If your brand name doesn’t reflect the answers to those questions accurately, it’s time you consider returning to the drawing board and reworking your brand name.
2. Your Business Model Has Evolved
The pandemic has taught us if nothing else, that unforeseen circumstances can force you to shift your business model even when you’re not ready. A changing business model requires re-examining your branding efforts to ensure your operational structures are aligned with the message you’re communicating to your audience.
3. Your Business Has Expanded Outside Your Original Location
Growth is an exciting part of running a business—but it also comes with its own set of challenges. When regional brands expand into national (or even international) markets, a brand refresh is important to ensuring your new audience identifies with your brand’s visual identity and messaging.
4. Your Visual Branding is Outdated
What are your thoughts when you visit a website that looks like it hasn’t been updated since the dot-com boom? If you’re anything like me, you’re probably considering if they’re a credible or reputable player in their industry right as you hit the back arrow on your web browser.
Modernizing your visual presence online is critical to creating a strong brand identity—especially for eCommerce brands.
5. Your Business is Undergoing a Merger
Merging two (or more) companies into a single entity can expand your audience and market share tremendously, but when this happens, rebranding should be one of the first items on your to-do list.
Many things are changing, but first and foremost, the internal team spearheading the merger should consider how audiences perceive this change and work proactively—not reactively—to ensure a clear, consistent brand identity before publicly announcing the launch.
6. Your Business Has Outgrown Its Original Branding
Maybe when you started you had a small list of products or services in a niche market, but your offerings have since expanded to meet market demands. This is prime time to determine whether or not your brand identity represents who you are and what you do. But even more important to keep in mind are your ambitions for the future.
Thinking ahead will allow your updated branding to have a longer lifecycle as your operations shift and grow to meet your goals.
7. You’re Not Proud of Your Current Branding
If you preface all conversations about your website with “I know—I need to update this,” you’re probably overdue for a rebrand, or at least a brand refresh.
A brand refresh allows business owners to update and modernize their brand’s visual and verbal components—graphic design, messaging, and web content—without overhauling major brand pillars like core values or company mission and vision statements.
8. Your Business is Not Attracting Quality Talent
Top-tier employees want to work for top-tier companies. If you’re unable to hire and retain the right people for your team, it might be worth giving your brand a facelift and taking a second look at your internal values.
Start by thinking about the type of people you want to attract and build your rebrand strategy from there.
9. You’re Trying to Break Ties With a Poor Reputation
In a world that’s becoming increasingly more aware of the social and political implications of our actions, maintaining a positive reputation isn’t just important—it can often be the difference between a business that thrives and a business that fails.
If failure isn’t an option for you (and why would it be?), a rebrand is generally the simplest way to reposition your business and work toward improving audience perceptions.
10. Your Branding is Too Similar to Your Competition
An age-old adage touts that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and while that may be true, it’s not good business practice.
A sure sign that it’s time to execute a rebrand is when your brand identity becomes indistinguishable from that of your competitors and you (or even worse, your audience) are unable to differentiate yourself from other companies promoting similar products or services.
5 Tips for a Successful Rebrand
So, you’ve recognized that your business is in serious need of a rebrand, but your work doesn’t stop there. In fact, the real work is just beginning. If you’re unsure where to begin, these tips can help you navigate a successful rebranding process:
1. Start With Your Mission and Values
Think of these things as the foundation on which the rest of your brand identity is built. In order to understand where your business is headed, you first need to understand your company’s mission and vision, as well as the principles that guide them.
2. Work Within Your Existing Branding
Starting from scratch can be difficult—and not to mention overwhelming—but it’s also unnecessary most of the time. Consider which existing elements you can keep and start developing your updated brand from there.
3. Perform a Competitor Analysis
What are your competitors doing? Is this working for them? Where could they improve? The answers to these questions will guide you in the right direction when determining how to differentiate yourself from your competition.
4. Solicit Opinions From Your Internal Team
Your team has invaluable insights into your operations from a wide variety of perspectives. Reach out to your employees for ideas and feedback throughout the rebranding process—you never know who’s got a great idea just waiting to be shared.
5. Tell the World
After everything is put back together, there’s only one more step to ensure rebranding success: the launch! Developing a strategic launch plan will help you stay on the offensive regarding audience perceptions of your updated identity.
Rebrand Your Business with Versa Creative
If all that seems like more work than you’re cut out for, reach out to a team of experts to guide you through the process.
At Versa Creative, we’ve built a team of strategic thinkers, creative masterminds, and technical experts to help you execute your rebrand with purpose. Whether you’re looking to bring your graphic design efforts into the 21st century or gearing up for a top-to-bottom overhaul of your brand, if you’re wondering when is it time to rebrand my business and where do I begin? our branding experts are here to help.