We are in an ever evolving world. Things change, people change, ideas change. Branding, in terms of your business, is the whole shebang. It’s the first thing your customers see and the last thing they remember. If your brand was to go on an interview, it would be the suit you wear, your personality, and your resume combined. When it comes to your business consistency is key, but after years of using the same branding, it may be time to step back and create a new vision. The thought of starting from scratch can be overwhelming, and a bit scary. After all, how will your current customers react? How do you know when it’s the right time to rebrand?
1. You Want to Connect with a New Demographic
Sometimes when you’re in business for a while, it’s crucial that you tap into a new demographic that may be interested in your product or service. Rebranding your company will allow you to redefine your image with the intent of reaching new clientele. An example would be Old Spice. The smell of fathers and grandfathers for generations, Old Spice had an image of being for the “older” generation. Let’s be honest, their decades old image was seriously cutting into their profits. Their failing scent “Glacial Falls” was rebranded with their target audience of guys ranging in ages of 12-34 in mind. The rebrand turned “Glacial Falls” into “Swagger”. The product went away from an older, serious approach and turned into a campaign geared towards transforming nerds into popular, confident hunks. In the end, this rebranding quadrupled sales and has become one of Old Spice’s bestselling body wash and deodorant to date.
2. Your Branding is Outdated
How long ago did you start your business? On average, a business rebrands itself every 7-10 years to stay relevant. What was in style a decade ago is no longer the fashion and as a business, you need to keep yourself looking fresh and with the times. It took Microsoft 25 years to update their logo after being left in the dust by tech giants like Apple and Google. Their new color block logo pays homage to their old windows logo but gives them a more modern, clean look that brings them into the 21st century. Now they are an equal competitor and they are once again dominating the market.
3. You Want to Appear High End
So you have a great product or service and you want to be taken seriously but you just can’t get people to respect your company enough to pay higher prices. It’s nothing we haven’t seen before; many companies have been there. Maybe your brand is too unprofessional or unappealing. The way a customer perceives your company is extremely important when it comes to branding. Just recently Hewlet Packard (aka HP) shed their blue logo, with the intention to compete with more modern, higher end companies such as Apple. Their new sleek, minimalistic style logo gives their customers confidence that they are purchasing a quality product. For unknown reasons, this new logo has had limited exposure, but we're hoping to see more of it on future products.
4. The Vision for your Business has Changed
Just because you had a certain business model for your business when you started 15 years ago, doesn’t mean it is set in stone. Many businesses start off in one direction and change course after a few years to keep up with current markets. Take Reebok for example. After almost 91 years of using the classic Union Jack logo, Reebok rebranded themselves in 1986 using the abstract streak to transition themselves into a performance brand. They focused themselves on professional athletes in the NBA and NFL. As time progressed, Reebok’s growth had slowed. The exception was their CrossFit line which had an increase in revenue due to the popularity of the sport. Reebok decided to rebrand yet again which is where their delta logo comes into play. The 3 sides of the delta are to represent the 3 pillars of change; mental, physical, social and are made to appeal to fitness junkies.
5. You Need a New Image
In today’s day and age, it doesn’t take much for a business to get a bad rep. With the rise of social media, a negative business image can spread like wildfire. Or at a lesser extreme, the market for your product has changed and so your product needs a new image. If you need to shake the negativity, a rebrand can help. There are two examples that go along with my point. First let’s talk about Burberry. Burberry was once a status symbol and standard attire for thugs and gangs across England. New creative director, Christopher Bailey took over in 2001 and rebranded the image of the company by introducing swimwear and other clothing that was unaffiliated with previous images of the brand. Along with new products, Burberry focused their efforts on fashion forward designs and thus set themselves apart from their former gang image. Now Burberry is seen as a high end luxury company, with numerous celebrity endorsements.
Remember Oil of Olay? Back when I was younger, Oil of Olay was all the rage for ladies skincare. I remember their clear bottles filled with white lotion and black lids like it was yesterday. Over time though, the market for skincare changed. The word “oil” was now seen as a greasy residue that clogged pores and not something that you would want on your skin. Keeping only part of their name, Oil of Olay became simply Olay which allowed it to shed its oily image and appear to be more a health conscience, lighter, safer brand for skincare. The product remained the same, but the name gives you a more positive perception of their brand.
6. You’re Expanding your Reach
If you have backed yourself into a corner with your business name, it may be time to rebrand. Maybe your name used to relate to the products or services you sold when you first started, but since then you've expanded. That's exactly what happened to Domino's. Remember when you would call up Domino's with the sole intention of having pizzas and sodas delivered? Over the last couple years, Domino's has greatly expanded on their menu to include other items such as wings, sandwiches, pasta dishes, and desserts like those amazing chocolate lava cakes (a personal favorite). To break out of the pizza box (pun intended) Domino's ultimately dropped the "pizza" from their name and is now known as just "Domino's".
7. When you Need a Competitive Edge
No matter how long you’ve been in business, there will always be new competition popping up. The branding approach that may have worked against your old competition seems pale in comparison to your new one, and in the business world, it’s all about competition. Again, as with the first bullet point (You Want to Connect with a New Demographic); Old Spice makes another great example. For a while, Old Spice was a staple in men’s care, but that was until Axe stepped onto the scene with their younger, hipper approach. Axe didn’t focus on how great their product worked; it promoted themselves as a lady magnet. Essentially, Old Spice took a hit. In order to stay relevant, they needed a rebrand. Enter athlete, Isaiah Mustafa in the first quirky, random commercial in Old Spice’s new marketing campaign. The rebranding essentially worked, and to tip the tables, Old Spice is now Axe’s competition.
Chances are that if you're reading this article because you think it may be time to rebrand, it probably is. Whether it's a complete overhaul or refreshing new color palatte; no matter what the reasoning behind wanting to hit the reset button, the process itself can be seamless and easy if you take the right steps.